More than three years in the making, Black Dirt restaurant officially opens for dinner Jan. 19.
James Beard-nominated chef and owner Jonathan Justus said his new restaurant will have all the best qualities his customers love at his Justus Drugstore in Smithville, but at lower prices.
The food at Justus Drugstore is “very complex and with many, many elements,” Justus said. But for Black Dirt he was inspired by his stint working at a Paris restaurant in 2004 with its mantra of “no more than five elements and preferably three.”
“There will be a lot of dishes here that are simple and elegant and with little twists and little turns and surprises,” he said.
The Black Dirt menu is broken down this way:
▪ Small Plates Cold: Includes pecan pear salad with ginger pickled carrots, spicy pecans and compressed pear, white whine shallot vinaigrette and apple “cracklins.”
▪ Small Plates Cold and Warm: Includes chicken gizzard salad with herb-breaded gizzards, shaved radish and parsley with cultured buttermilk dressing.
▪ Small Plates Warm: Includes duck confit fritters (Missouri rice, butternut squash/malted barley puree, pickled red cabbage and poblano chive aioli), and Crispy Pig Tail (lime juice tossed mung beans, toasted garlic, shaved jalapeno, cilantro and barbecue vinaigrette).
▪ Larger Plates: Includes fried chicken with mashed potatoes and sage gravy and greens; blackened catfish with Missouri rice risotto, creole sauce, collards with house bacon; milk-braised pork with golden beets, grilled radicchio, caramelized fennel, pan-roasted/mustard seed-scented cauliflower and pumpkin “cracklins.”
▪ Dessert: Includes coconut cream Napoleon and chocolate/dark chocolate layer cake.
▪ Cocktails: Includes the Foggy Town (Earl Grey-infused Tom’s Town gin, honey and lemon juice with an aromatic sugar rim).
Black Dirt, in the 51 Main complex at 5070 Main St., is 5,000 square feet and seats 137 people. It also has a patio.