Things have changed quite a bit since our last visit to Winslow's Home: Much of the shelving in the main retail area has been moved to accommodate more room for dining, and seating is now coordinated by a server at the bar area. There have been some changes in the back of the house, as well. Longtime chef Cary McDowell left last year for a new position as executive chef for Euclid Hospitality Group. He was replaced by Wil Fernandez-Cruz, who most recently was in charge of the kitchen at Ibby's on Washington University's Danforth Campus. While some things at Winslow's Home may be a bit different, one aspect that hasn't changed is the restaurant's commitment to quality ingredients and tasty food.
Winslow's Home has a highly seasonal menu that changes often, and it's always fun to see what new items have been added since the last visit. This time around, we started off with a steaming bowl of creamy Sweet Potato Soup ($5), sprinkled with pumpkin seeds for some crunchy contrast, perfect for the warding off the cold. Then, for something completely different, we paid homage to summer with the Egg Salad In A Jar ($8). This dish is a straight-ahead version of this classic picnic side, with some rocket salad on the side. This same salad makes an appearance on the plate next to the Falafel Burger ($9), which was our first entree. The ‘burger’ actually is a hefty chickpea patty on a bun, with a surprisingly spicy tzatziki sauce on the side. The falafel was extremely flavorful, but the bun tended to crumble a bit, making a knife and fork a necessity to finish it. This tasty patty may be better served up solo or as as a wrap.
Despite its decidedly casual atmosphere, the menu at Winslow's Home contains a fair number of dishes that would be right at home on the bill of fare at a more upscale eatery, like the Geisert Farm Pork Chop or the House-Made Potato Gnocchi ($16), which made the cut as entree No. 2. This bowl of tender dumplings is as good as any gnocchi dish we've had around town, and came mixed with steamed broccoli, plenty of Parmesan cheese and a whole-grain mustard sauce. While perusing the menu prior to making the final selection, the sauce gave us pause: Grain mustard seemed like too tangy of an accent for gnocchi, but luckily we took the plunge, and were pleasantly surprised. The sauce actually was quite mild and cut through the rich gnocchi quite nicely.
While there was definitely more elbow room with the new table arrangements, the worn wood floors, tin ceiling and the lazily turning fans hanging from it ensure that Winslow's Home still maintains the rustic, general-store charm that it's been known for since it opened. The service seemed more coordinated than on previous visits, as well; and the wait for our table was relatively short given the fair amount of folks dining. The current incarnation of Winslow's Home is proof that changes to an old favorite can sometimes be a good thing.
--Winslow's Home, 7213 Delmar Blvd., 725-7559, winslowshome.com.