For my birthday, Dan took me to Justus Drugstore in Smithville, MO. We had been wanting to eat there for a while and we finally made it. I was worried that the place was over-hyped, but my concerns were for nothing. This place is wonderful!! It's worth the drive to Smithville, even with too high gas prices. Travel magazine even listed Justus Drugstore as the reason the visit the state of Missouri in their July '08 issue.
The kitchen is totally exposed to the small, beautifully appointed dining room. There is a nice sized outdoor eating area and a small, but fully furnished bar. Even the restrooms are worth checking out. Reservations are recommended, but they do welcome walk-ins.
We were fortunate enough to have the General Manager/Owner Camille Eklof wait on us! She gave us lots of info on the restaurant and the menu. Everything is prepared from scratch and they buy from local farmers. Everything on the menu comes with a suggested wine pairing, so it takes all of the guess work out of what wine goes with what meal. I, personally took full advantage of this.
We started our meal with an Herb Cheese Spread that was made with house made goat and ricotta cheeses with chives and served with house made crackers ($8.00). This was very good and light, a perfect starter for a meal.
Dan had the Mixed Baby Greens with a creamy balsamic dressing ($7), while I chose the Maytag Blue Cheese Salad of mixed greens, beets, apple gelee and a thin Missouri black walnut praline ($9). Both were very good and perfectly dressed.
For dinner , Dan chose the Akaushi Beef, a Kobe flat iron steak served with a brandied morel mushroom cream sauce, chive mashed potatoes and asparagus ( $26). He loved it and from my taste, I agreed with his enthusiasm for the dish. I ordered the Akaushi Beef Brisket ($22). This was Kobe beef braised in their house brewed root beer with a celery root puree, smoked vanilla butter glazed carrots, watercress, sorrel and arugula dressed in a honey sassafras mustard vinaigrette with a sprinkling of vanilla pepper on the plate edge. The flavors were meant to evoke the old drugstore flavors and they did that and more. The flavors of this dish exploded in my mouth with each bite, truly amazing stuff.
For dessert Dan ordered the Flourless Ale Cake ($8) which was this nice white chocolate mousse with a mint foam and marshmallow meringue and I had the Goat cheese Cheesecake ($8) with a sour cherry topping and a shortbread crust. Not my favorite dessert of all time, but I don't really like goat cheese ( I was being adventurous).
The Executive Chef/Owner Jonathan Justus sat with us during dessert and told us a short history of his career and the opening of the restaurant. After dessert, Camille served us a complimentary glass of Moscato, the perfect ending to the perfect meal.
They are located at 106 W. Main, Smithville MO 816-532-2300 http://www.drugstorerestaurant.com/ .