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“Superb, but not perfect”

Justus Drugstore A Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 27 Restaurants in Smithville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
50 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Superb, but not perfect”
Reviewed June 30, 2014

I enjoyed almost all the 3 1/2 hours we spent noshing and sipping at Justus. The dishes are stellar, with original/unusual ingredients (juniper essence? pea ginger cream?) blending harmoniously -- as opposed to some of the creations at Novel.

We did fall into some black hole of invisibility/a Bermuda Triangle at the end of our dinner, pre-dessert, when our punctilious water server AND our waitperson disappeared or forgot about us for 25 minutes. This made my sister quite grumpy, although the scrumptious carrot cake beignets helped to mollify her (be advised that they taste more like orange than carrot cake); she was already curmudgeoning at the paper-thin, embarrassingly small slice of trout served as her entree. While the dish was artfully presented, the trout itself was poached, had little flavor and was smaller than our appetizers -- the lovely pasta pecan watercress, the trout en brioche, the nested egg, the spring goat cheese -- all of it tasty tasty tasty! Seriously, we joked about whether her trout "filet" was 1 oz. or possibly 2. The other entrees - the rabbit, the pork and the special fried chicken - were decent-sized and delicious.

The wine list is commendable and reasonable (although not cheap; nothing on the menu at Justus is cheap), and the bread is to die for -- I ordered it for dessert; that's how good it is. As was the amuse bouche. THAT should be an entree or appetizer! Rye toast, some sausage, some more ingredients, sauce - I don't know what it was, but I want to marry it.

The dishes at Justus are complex, and my sister may not return, but my wife and nephew and I were very happy with our third visit to what I consider one of the top top top restaurants in the KC area. Go for a special good time, expect to take your time, and allow about $75 per person with drinks included. Or $100. You won't want to stint.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank winetast3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    119
    25
    7
    2
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
44 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great Food & Service”
Reviewed June 23, 2014

My wife and I heard about this restaurant from friends and various articles. It was a 45 minute drive from our house. The inside was nice and clean but not upscale, but more like an old pharmacy. BUT, the food was fantastic. We had four courses which took us over 2 hours to finish. This is a destination place, but if you are a foodie and are in Kansas City area, you got to give it try. Be prepared to spend a lot of money, but it is worth every bit.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank RontheRoadWarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A piece of New York City in the midwest”
Reviewed June 1, 2014 via mobile

Justus drugstore is the only 5 star restaurant in the Kansas City area. The chef has an incredible talent for combining ingredients, flavors and textures to make fabulous dishes. It is not a place to go to eat then see a movie. The dining experience IS the movie. You will be there for several hours. There is no rushing nor attempts to turn over the tables. It is a great place to go with good friends and you will enjoy being able to leisurely converse. Reservations are required unless you are eating on the patio which has a completely different vibe and much more casual menu. If you are fortunate enough to live in Kansas City or travel there, this is a must!

Helpful?
Thank cjess1019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Interesting reservation policy”
Reviewed May 30, 2014

For parties of more than 4 you can only choose between a 5:30 and 8:30pm for reservation times, which wouldn't work for most people. I think for the price you should be able to eat (their delicious food) when you choose!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Erin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kansas city
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Justus Drugs can be a little slow but the food is generally good.”
Reviewed April 16, 2014

The title says it all. The restaurant does a good job of offering local products that are well prepared to order. Mark and Michelle.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank markbryants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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