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

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. Now that modern Italian restaurant, Farina, is set to open at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.

“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.

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.