A family-owned drugstore from the 1950’s located in Smithville, Mo. is now revered as one of the most unique and decadent eateries in the country. Justus Drugstore and Restaurant was transformed by later generation and head chef, Jonathan Justus. Publications such as the Kansas City Star, Food and Wine Magazine, Bon Appetit, and the NY Times have all written articles about the quaint location and its impact on the small Missouri town.
Everything at Justus is made from scratch. Before the first course is the amuse bouche (french for “mouth amuser”) aka a single bite-size hors d’oeuvre. The chef’s choice was a chilled squash soup.
Freshly baked bread is served on every table, as well.
Pictured below is the caesar salad on a bed of greens with fresh heirloom tomatoes underneath.
For the third course, I went with the Barham Farms Duck Breast. I had never had duck before and felt like Justus of all places where I should give it a shot! Described on the menu as being composed of “lentils, micro salad mix, citrus olive oil vinaigrette, cumin scented herbed goat cheese stuffed leeks, orange compote, orange segments, shallot brittle“.
I actually really liked the duck! The goat cheese was delicious, too. I’m a sucker for goat cheese!
For dessert, we had the butter cake. Described as “Butter cake, lemon pastry cream, honey berry, compressed apple, candied fennel, black pepper cookie”. I personally was not a fan of the dessert. It was not sweet enough for me. Especially the black pepper cookie (on the left).
Lastly, a small glass of what I believe was sparkling ginger wine to cleanse your palate.
All in all, I enjoyed Justus. It was different from anything I had ever had and was very sophisticated in its menu options. It was evident that a lot of thought and deliberation went into each part of the menu.
I would say that when considering to go to Justus be sure to have an open mind and be willing to try something new. Since their menu is on the lighter side, you may end up eating something you’re not familiar with but you won’t be sorry!
Justus is a 9.5/10