Although Winslow’s Home sits just down the road from the University City Loop, the atmosphere is miles away from the hustle and bustle of the area. The restaurant harkens back to a simpler time, when folks took their time at the table, and cooks pursued their craft with utmost care and attention and an eye toward quality.
The atmosphere at Winslow’s Home is laid back and almost rustic. Orders are placed at the counter at the back of the space, and beverages are taken from the cooler next to it. Since Winslow’s Home also is a grocery store in addition to being a restaurant, the tables are set up around the periphery of the retail space, which is reminiscent of a classic general store, wooden floors and all. We had a great time browsing around the aisles of dry goods and housewares while we waited for our food.
Winslow’s Home is known for using fresh, local ingredients, many of them sourced from its own farm in Augusta, Mo. The menu changes regularly with the seasons, and the creative impulses of chef Cary McDowell. On our visit, we ordered a bowl of the Tuscan Tomato Bisque ($5) to start, then moved on to our choice of entrees, the Salmon Niçoise Salad ($14) and the Picnic Chicken Lunch ($10).
The soup was a simple, tasty dish made with the requisite tomatoes, olive oil and seasoned with a judicious amount of garlic. Our only suggestion would be to serve some bread along with it, or even a few croutons to float in it, as it was a bit one-dimensional.
As the name implied, the salad was a twist on a traditional niçoise, replacing the usual tuna with organic Irish salmon. The presentation was deconstructed, with the greens, salmon, cooked eggs and fingerling potatoes each occupying a separate part of the plate. The generous slab of salmon we got was flaky and tender and delicately seasoned, so the mild flavor of the fish really came through.
The chicken was served cold in the best picnic style, but without the usual day-after grease, and was wrapped in a crunchy, peppery coating. It came with a side of Yukon Gold potato salad, served in a small jar. We really liked the fact that the potato salad was a fairly dry preparation, with nary a hint of mayonnaise, which in our opinion is usually overdone and the downfall of many picnic side dishes. The plate also came with a hearty chunk of sweet cornbread.
We finished up our meal with a delicious trio of homemade cookies from the bakery case ($1.50 each): chocolate chip, goat cheese and lime sugar. We made a note to go back and make a further exploration of the plethora of baked goods offered!
Winslow’s Home serves breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner, and also has many menu favorites pre-made and ready to go, so patrons can enjoy the homemade goodness in their own homes. For quality food and a respite from the daily grind of modern life, it’s hard to top Winslow’s Home.
Winslow’s Home, 7213 Delmar Blvd., 725-7559, winslowshome.com