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403 Lafayette Center Send to Phone

Dinner Mon.-Sat.

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Cafe Campagnard Restaurant Review

: Cognitive dissonance: Light blue shutters open to reveal a strip mall parking lot. Drinking a real Provence rose', cool and unsweet and endearing, while watching a Bunny Bread semi lumber past. Turn from the outside world and find yourself in a dining room that tries, with increasing success, to take you to France, with whitewashed walls and a sign on a staff door that says, Attention: chat lunatique. Far-suburban Manchester Road isn't where you'd expect to find this spot. Young lovers learn from the Monday night wine special (for $12, try as many as you wish from the dozen on the by-the-glass list, all French---and including that rose'). Groups unfamiliar with the cuisine are helped by a careful serving team. The house makes its own charcuterie, pates and sausages, all delicious and distinctive. course. Mussels are fat and subtle in a lightly creamy curry broth. Entrées always include variations on the theme of roast chicken, and somewhere there's bound to be lamb. Bouillabaisse, impossible to truly reproduce in this country (the right fish aren't available), is nevertheless tasty, wearing a stalk of roast fennel on the top and lots of shellfish underneath. Be aware the kitchen salts sparingly, and we admit to wishing for a more generous hand with the fresh tarragon, but this may be part of the process of tutoring newcomers to the food. Desserts are closer to Franco-American, but hold to the meal's high standards---clafouti isn't doughy, coffee bread pudding with caramel is dazzling, and a pastry crust on a fruit tart is so crisp it withstands refrigeration. As the kitchen grows, St. Louis is going to be in for some serious good times.


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