Monday, June 28, 2010

Justus for Ronnie

Last night, we shared a delectable evening with Ronnie and Jeff celebrating Ronnie's birthday. We met at Ronnie's to start out the evening with a Kir, a traditional French apertif consisting of a splash of Creme de Cassis with a glass of white wine.











We moved on to one of our favorite KC-area food havens, Justus Drugstore, A Restaurant in Smithville. Ronnie teaches in Smithville, but this was he and Jeff's first visit to Justus. I've written about this den of deliciousness before (see Justus Drugstore post in 2009) so I'll try not to overly wax rhapsodic about it....but once again it was quite the experience. We started off with the Elixir of the Day (pictured above right)....an artisanal cocktail made of blueberry-infused gin, cucumber juice and other fresh ingredients topped off with an elderflower garnish. We were presented with an amuse-bouche (pictured below right)...chicken pate on crostini topped off with blueberry foam. Our starter course was the ever-popular Farmer's Platter (pictured at the top of the page). Some of the components of this dish were familiar from our last visit....the wild-persimmon spiced rabbit terrine with mustard, the pickled vegetables, the gaufrette potatoes (thin, mandolin sliced, lace-patterned chips). Some were new and audacious to boot....like bone marrow mousse with brioche toast points. This platter was and is utterly fascinating to me. Layers and layers of flavors.

Jeff tried the Goat Cheese Fritter salad and raved about it...local goat cheese and mixed greens with a white-wine shallot vinaigrette. Our entrees arrived and they were all amazing. Jeff chose the Special(pictured below left): Goose breast with a cherry-basil sauce. I went with the Majinola American Kobe Beef Brisket (pictured below right) cooked in a house-brewed root beer braise, celery root puree, greens in a honey-sassafras vinaigrette and these amazing carrots glazed in smoked vanilla butter. I went with the server's suggestion of a Catena Zapata Malbec to accompany this. Ronnie and Keith selected the Campo Lindo Roast Chicken (pictured above right), which is half a roasted chicken served over housemade duck egg pasta with a delicious black pepper lemon herbed creme fraiche mousse.

Between the four of us, we covered most of the bases on the dessert list. Ronnie chose the Berry Napoleon; blackberries and raspberries with vanilla wafers and white chocolate creme served with double-lemon ice cream. Keith got the Blueberry Crumble made with fresh blueberries, vanilla honey, cinnamon blueberry Chantilly cream and served with basil(!) ice cream. Jeff selected the Strawberry Trio (pictured above right) which looked like a sculpture from the Nelson-Atkins museum and actually required instructions on how to eat it. This dessert consisted of a strawberry marshmallow in a chocolate torte cup with basil poached strawberries, toasted almonds and strawberry ganache. I, of course, went with the chocolate selection...the Chocolate Mint Decadence (pictured above left) that consisted of chocolate ganache, chocolate rose-hip ice cream, Champagne mousse and a glass of mint milk topped with malted Chantilly cream. The server capped off our evening with an after-dinner drink she surprised us with that was a small glass of white wine with a touch of honey-black pepper syrup.

Whew. I'm as exhausted from writing about this as I was from eating it. But make no mistake....it was the most satisfying form of exhaustion. In summary, let me say again I am no critic and don't pretend to be. I'm not knowledgeable enough. I simply have a great appreciation and fascination with food. The four of us essentially swooned appreciatively throughout all of our courses. The main reason I really love Justus Drugstore is that it totally opens the guest up to the possibilities of food and it's abilities to not just satisfy us but to also fascinate us and even challenge us(like the bone marrow mousse). It's an absolute palate-teasing, mind-bender of a meal. They don't just use all local ingredients, they make magic with them. Check them out at http://www.drugstorerestaurant.com/justus.php?id=1.

The night concluded on a hilarious note. When we left, K and I wanted to show Ronnie and Jeff the bar area. The bartender is a wizard with fresh made cocktails and we wanted to show them his copious bottles of ingredients. As we admired the bottles and containers of fresh herbs, an older gentleman asked us what we were looking at. We told him we were looking at the bar's potions and herbs to which the man said the woman with him was a whiz with potions. She then wordlessly performed this weaving dance on her barstool while waving her hands at us. We were about to think she was casting a spell on us when those dancing hands found their way to Ronnie's shirt and started essentially feeling him up. By the time the gentleman barked "Goddammit, Karen.." we slipped out the door. The birthday boy got fed AND felt up for his big day.....and the night was complete as we were in hysterics all the way home.

15 comments:

Ronnie said...

I had a dichotomy of nightmares where I was in a maze of delicious food but being chased by a monitor-cougar sorceress waving her magic finger at me. I woke up tasting blueberries, duck pasta, and fear.

neklof said...

Hysterical ...I love it all. What a wonderful nite including the cougar encounter and you escaped without a scratch! I am the proud mother of Camille Eklof and mother-in-law to Jonathan Justus!

Lisa Mandina said...

Sounds like a fun night, but the food sounds just too weird for me.

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like you guys had a grand evening! Bone marrow mousse? How bout a 70th birthday celebration for Jane at Justus Drug? Linda C

The Foodie Wannabe said...

Hello to the proud mother! Thank you for commenting....you have much to be proud of....we love us some Justus Drugstore. Ronnie, that comment made me laugh so hard I did a spit-take with my water. Linda, we could do that....the dinner party group should do something. Jane mentioned that one of her friends is having a party for her at Prairie Village that she wants us to go to...we'll talk about it.

Robin said...

Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie. Only you, darling...lol Well, we should blame Gregory, too. He is wicked. Oh and Ronnie...Paging Dr. Freud, Dr. Sigmund Freud, please...lol

The Foodie Wannabe said...

The Evil Queen has made her comment debut on my blog! I am humbled and slightly frightened....welcome, Robin! I relish your particular brand of concentrated evil....:)

Kristy said...

Thanks for the mention of me Ronnie. Me and my magic finger will be shaking our way to the beach tomorrow. I will be thinking of you. P.S. that's Kougar with a K! LOL

Ronnie said...

LMAO! Dr. Freud can suck it. Until you've been fingered by Karen the Kougar, you have not experienced true terror. I was content to be pregnant with my Justus Drugstore food baby and lapse into a yummy coma. But no, I had to go home and break out the Kitty Carryall Doll and point out to Jeff where the bad lady touched me. "Was it good touch or bad touch?" Jeff asked. "She touched me where my bathing suit goes," I cried pointing to Kitty's KiKi. Then I crawled in the shower water on cold, and huddled in the corner having a Glenn Closee Big Chill for-your-consideration-Oscar-nominated fish white belly freckled titty freak out as Jeff sponged my hair and hummed Miss Celies Blues for me.

The Foodie Wannabe said...

Okay, I just laughed so hard I think I broke a rib. One innocent visit to a wonderful restaurant led to this....bloody hell.

Kristy said...

Kitten (aka Ronnie), you are soooo much better than Cindy Brady and her Kitty Carryall. Life is not so bad. When I was young I too was traumatized by my next door neighbor. Nothing tragic mind you. But I did receive a beautiful cloth-bodied, silver haired baby doll for Christmas that was my absolute favorite of all time. The following summer my foodie wannabe neighbor, aged 10, took my beautiful doll and signed his name in ink on her linen butt thus marring her pristine beauty forever. It's been 36 years since that heinous day but yes, sigh, I'm over it LOL. I'm thinking he could make it up to me with chicken pate, goat cheese fritters, Majinola American Kobe beef brisket and the berry napoleon from Justus. Followed up with not a cordial or fancy schmancy after dinner liqueur or drink but a big old beer. Perhaps a nice IPA. I'm saving my pennies for air fare Kitten. You work on our Foodie Wannabe to plan the event LOL!

Kristy said...

P.S. Kitten. Get out of the shower and walk tall. Kristy with a K demands it! Jeff needs to start singin We Shall Overcome..although I do like his choice of Miz Celie's Blues. Ya'll better look out KC. After all this food talk 'n stuff WV has GOTS to come your way!!! Great blog Greg. My mouth is always watering after reading your posts and seeing these pics. And my curiousity is more than piqued. I do so hope to see you all soon!

Confounded Cook said...

I'll believe it when I see it, Evil Woman. If I'm understanding you correctly, your welcome-to-KC criteria involves several foodie items and one beer that is big and old. You suggested an IPA but I'm thinking one aged on the shelf 40 oz. Old Milwaukee.

Ronnie said...

Kristy, get your ass to KC, girl. That Old Milwaukee is calling you.

-Kitten

Kristy said...

Such venom. Lookahere Quang, if yer gonna fetch me a 40 ouncer then you must know that my favorite variety in that size is Hurricane Malt Liquor...$1.79 a bottle. It can be found at drug stores and finer gas stations everywere. Please don't forget to leave it in the paper bag for me. It's the WV version of a coozie.

Kitten, I love you and miss you and truly truly want to see you. I have to save my pennies for the airfare and i just got my tax bill today. You know I would always prefer you over uncle Sam but right now I can't afford the taxes or the flight. Until then keep up the good work fellas. This Kougar is thinking of you always.

MEOW!

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