I wandered over into Kirkwood last week, the 21st century version of Mayberry, USA, with it’s quaint main street shops, farmers’ market, train station, and fine assortment of restaurants. It was lunch time and my friend, Cyndy, suggested we go to a place that she loved, but hadn’t been to for a while: Café Provençal. She said it had charm. A great menu. And good service. I had to see for myself. As it turned out, she was right, having never before steered me wrong when it comes to fine food.
Despite being located in a strip mall, the place has the coziness of a French bistro. We ate indoors, though it won’t be long before they’ll be able to extend their service to the patio, where customers can imagine they’re wining and dining on the Champs-Élysées.
I ordered the soup du jour: Potato Leek. I seldom order potato soup. Too often it has the texture of wallpaper paste or is overly creamy. But not this one. Julia Child would have been pleased. Like the Baby Bear’s bowl of oatmeal, this one was just right and I “ate it all up.” My friend got the French Onion Soup, a perfect bowl of gooey, cheesy comfort.
The hardy sandwiches were surrounded with a pyramid of French fries reminiscent of those I had in Paris last fall and the side salad was as tastefully dressed as a runway model.
Café Provençal, 427 S. Kirkwood Rd., Kirkwood, MO. Open: Mon-Sat: Lunch, 11a-1p; Dinner, 5p-11p.