George and I had dinner at Julian last night and the food was amazing. We ordered an assortment of appetizers, dessert and one entrée so we could get a taste of everything. I was starving last night and didn't have the patience to photograph anything. But trust me, every last morsel was eaten and enjoyed. My favorite? The onion rings. Yes, the onion rings.
I've read a couple of other reviews and comments about Julian and there are some very loyal Joe D patrons who are not chuffed about the new entrance. Since I had only been there once before, I have no such loyalties. But guess what, I still found a thing or two to critique.
Entrance » I agree. It's weird. It looks like a side door. And you walk right into a two top. I request never to be seated at that table.
Environment » Love the soothing, subtle palette of blues, grays and whites, but they got chintzy on the details. Cheap plastic switch plates, random electrical outlets in the middle of the wine rack (probably made sense when it was Joe D's), clip-frame photography that wasn't properly mounted (the photos are already bubbling), and in the bathroom, a basket of hand towels plopped unceremoniously on a dining chair instead of splurging on a proper crendenza or table of some sort.
The bar was a mess. Wine boxes stacked in the box on the floor, dish racks crammed in front of the computer. It's a terribly small bar, and that's why it's even more important to be organized.
Food Presentation » What's up with the picnic table patterned paper? Uuugh-ly.
Food » Absolutely gorgeous. We had dessert first, a grilled slice of pound cake with caramel apples and sea salt. Then moved on to sweetbreads and a cup of yesterday's soup (which I think was a creamy fennel). And finally, mussels, onion rings and a crispy pork shoulder with sweet potatoes and marshmallows for dinner. There were so many interesting flavors.
Service » Paul, our bartender, came with chef/proprietor Celine Tio from The American. His neon yellow head band and the sloppy server uniform of an untucked brown Julian t-shirt and jeans intially threw me off. I have been known to prejudge someone a time or two and hold it against them, but I'm happy to say Paul was excellent! He made great recommendations, took care of us without hovering and was constantly on the move, WORKING. Nothing impresses me more than a multi-tasker.
I'll definitely be back, but I hope they work out the aesthetic details and the noise issue. And I hope they get rid of that awful red and white checked paper. Stat.
6227 Brookside Plaza
Kansas City, MO 64113