Restaurant Review: Cafe Osage
Just steps away from the urban streets of the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis city is Bowood Garden & Home, a renovated warehouse turned greenhouse that exudes charm. And, within Bowood is yet another gem, Cafe Osage. Collectively, the cafe, garden and home store, and nursery all combine for a wonderful experience. We've been to Cafe Osage for a brunch and lunch several times since moving back to St. Louis a few years ago and each time has been memorable. Aside from the somewhat lengthy wait on the weekends, but that is to be expected in a brunch loving city such as St. Louis. A trick is to put your name on their waitlist - you must physically go in and give the hostess your name. They will call you or your cell phone when your table is ready - and then use the wait time to walk around the Central West End shops and art galleries. (They do take reservations via phone during the week.) The Nowait app would be much more convenient here, maybe they’ll consider it.
If you don't want to stray too far, perusing Bowood's well curated collection of gifts , other home items, and plants will surely pass the time. Seriously, they have the most adorable collection of children's toys, books, and more. In the nicer weather, strolling outside in the nursery area is picturesque and you may even find a new planter or two or three to take home because they are just too perfect to pass up. Last year, we purchased a Mother in Law's Tongue plant for indoor use with the most lovely aqua colored planter and it still one of my favorite things in our house and still growing strong.
Now onto the food...on our trip last weekend, it was our first time experiencing the revamped menu since debuting it last September. Needless to say, I was eager to try it. We went with the Cauliflower Benedict ($12) with roasted cauliflower as the base, poached eggs, prosciutto, and hollandaise. I loved the low carb swap of cauliflower for bread. I also loved the texture that the crispy prosciutto brought to the dish. It was delicious, I just wish I could've licked all the hollandaise off the plate. We also shared the Turkey Salad Sandwich ($12) from the Lunch portion of the menu. We were in the mood for a sandwich and it did not disappoint. It had roasted turkey, greens, potato (!), and griddled brioche. The potato was a genius addition that added so much creaminess to the turkey salad. The sandwich came with a side salad which was not just a filler, it was an excellent side salad. And, I am picky about side salads. The Fruit Plate ($6) also called our name mainly because the pink peppercorn syrup and creme fraiche sounded too good to pass up. Right again. Our toddler even took her spoon to the sweet creme fraiche remnants and happily licked away.
Speaking of kids, the kid menu was strong. It had six items to choose from all $5 each. She went with the Silver Dollar Pancakes which stole her heart with the dusting of powdered sugar. We were all very satisfied with our choices. The only thing I regret is not ordering the Morning Buns (2 for $4) with a blueberry orange filling. They recently made a list of must try's in St. Louis Magazine.
Crayons and colored pencils?
Always a good idea.
Silver Dollar Pancakes passed the toddler test.
*Family Friendliness Rating: 8.5/10 - Parents and kids alike can enjoy a meal in a picturesque setting without feeling like they don’t fit in (aka “kids should only go to kid places”) or there are not enough food choices for everyone. I would recommend families with young children to sit outside in the garden (open as the weather is nicer) or inside the warehouse but just outside the main dining room where you can be a little louder and the tables aren't too close together. As mentioned the crayons/colored pencils and kid's menu turned cute coloring page is much appreciated to keep the kiddos occupied. The kid's menu itself is full of good choices but only some come with sides. Even for $5, I think it would have been nice for the pancakes to come with a small side of fruit. Also, there is a resident cat that roams the warehouse and our daughter loves to spot it. If you don't have time to wait for your table on the weekends, this may not be the spot for you, but I promise if you can plan around it and make it work - it will be worth it. And a tip for restaurants, if both parents and kids are happy, the parents will probably spend more money ;)
Again I have to mention the beautiful plants and decor that surround you while dining, it makes for a wonderful setting to sit back and enjoy. Maybe time stops for a second.
Open Mon-Fri 7am-2pm and Sat & Sun 8am-2pm