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.
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