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Michael Smith’s new Crossroads restaurant offers hand-crafted pasta, oyster bar

Farina by Michael Smith opened Feb. 5 in the Crossroads.
Farina by Michael Smith opened Feb. 5 in the Crossroads.

James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Smith took over a former restaurant space in the Crossroads and made it work for his namesake restaurant for a dozen years.

But in early 2018, a large space opened up on the west corner, giving him an opportunity to build a new restaurant from scratch. On Tuesday, that modern Italian restaurant, Farina, officially opened.

“We are serving kind of a chop house-type Italian food — traditional, seasonal — with an oyster bar, raw bar,” Smith said. “I guess I realized I loved everything about that kind of food. I wondered to myself ‘Why am I not cooking it as a concept?’”

Farina is Italian for flour so pasta is at the heart of the menu — with each “ribbon, strand, tube and pocket” created from scratch daily. It includes spinach pappardelle with Tuscan wild boar ragout, and Grano Arso Gemelli with lamb Bolognese.

The Four Kings of Rome will be on the menu year-round: Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, Rigatoni all’Amatriciana, Tagliatelle Bolognese and Bucatini Carbonara.

Entrees also include braised beef short ribs, aged rib eye and aged Kansas City strip, pancetta-wrapped sea scallops, grilled swordfish and Campo Lindo Farms chicken.

Some favorites from the former Michael Smith menu also will be on the Farina menu, including the pork roast with saffron risotto, tomato marmalade, crisp zucchini and jus, as well as the potato gnocchi with braised rabbit.

The raw bar will showcase shellfish and fish flown in daily.

Farina also features works by Kansas City-based artist Robert Quackenbush on the back walls, while the west and north sides have floor-to-ceiling windows.

The former Michael Smith space, on the east corner of the block, is now Michael Smith Private Dining & Events. Smith’s Extra Virgin, a Spanish tapas restaurant that also operates on the block, will remain the same.

Farina, at 19 W. 19th St., will be open 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It is closed Sunday and Monday. Reservations are recommended.

A real Snooze

Snooze an A.M. Eatery, a Denver-based restaurant chain, is coming to the Westport area with all-day breakfast offerings.

The menu includes classics such as eggs any style with a choice of ham, bacon, sausage, chorizo, pulled pork, chicken sausage or Soyrizo.

Then there are the twists: breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs and green chile Hollandaise and pico de gallo; shrimp and grits; corn beef hash with locally made corned beef; and Ancient Grains Benny (two poached cage-free eggs topped with cream cheese Hollandaise, drizzled with house-made tomato ragout on toasted vegetable faro cakes and finished with toasted quinoa and black rice).

It also has a variety of pancakes, from sweet potato to Pineapple Upside Down, as well as frittata, porridge and sweet potato hash.

“Morning cocktails” include the Bacon and Eggs (bacon-infused Breckenridge Distillery bourbon, house sour mix, frothed egg white, bitters and bacon).

Among the “Sammies” are the Havana Daydreaming with free-range house pork, shaved ham, Gruyère cheese, house-made pickles, and egg, with Dijon Hollandaise served open-face on a hoagie roll, and the Everything Bacon Sensation — a spice brioche bun brushed with Green Goddess cream cheese, topped with an over-medium egg, bacon and Citronette dressed arugula.

Two brothers founded Snooze in Denver in 2006. The chain currently has 33 locations in its home state, as well as in Arizona, California and Texas.

The new Kansas City location will be in a new building to be constructed at 4140 Broadway. The restaurant will have about 75 employees — dubbed Snoozers. It plans to stay open until 2:30 a.m.

The company also is looking to open at least one more metro location.