Not Your Ordinary Joe

Joseph's of Kirkwood is every bit the equal of its downtown counterpart

Special mention must be made of the various tomatoes used in many of the dishes, including a special beefsteak salad that we had when we popped into the downtown location for lunch. Although it takes extra effort to find fully flavored tomatoes, especially early in the summer (and this is even more difficult in the off-season), the many different kinds we had at Joseph's were deep red and intensely flavored. We learned later that, at least for this time of the year, they come from a grower near Naples, Fla.

The signature dessert at Joseph's is a delicate lattice of fine-gauge cookie around vanilla ice cream with an assortment of berries and a rich chocolate sauce -- a large final course but not as heavy as I might have expected. Although tiramisu has become the Britney Spears of local dessert menus, the alternating layers of soft cake and mascarpone cheese at Joseph's were perfectly done, and a Granny Smith crisp brought out the best features of that tart apple.

If I had one quibble with Joseph's, it would be that there aren't enough moderately priced wines, with the vast majority of the list's offerings costing more than $30. We also momentarily found ourselves drawn into the should-they-or-shouldn't-they cell-phone debate on one of our dinner visits, but when we noticed that the hostess of our previous visit sat down at the table in question for dinner, we divined that the ringing phone and voice belonged to Consolo the elder, and we all know how hard it is to ask your dad to do anything. (Mr. Consolo, an executive with the May Co., was also spotted during our other Kirkwood visit and on our lunch visit downtown, so we do have to give him credit for his obvious devotion to his family.)

The Kirkwood location of Joseph's is every bit as sophisticated as the downtown one, featuring impeccable ingredients, thoughtful but not outrageous blends of flavors and great service.
Jennifer Silverberg
The Kirkwood location of Joseph's is every bit as sophisticated as the downtown one, featuring impeccable ingredients, thoughtful but not outrageous blends of flavors and great service.

Location Info

Map

Joseph's Italian Cafe

451 S. Kirkwood Road
Kirkwood, MO 63122

Category: Restaurant > Brunch

Region: Kirkwood

Joseph's Italian Cafe

107 N. 6th St.
St. Louis, MO 63101

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Details

Hours: lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon-Fri; dinner, 5-10 p.m. Mon-Sat. Pastas: $10-$16; entrées: $14-$22.
451 S. Kirkwood Rd., 314-909-0456

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A dinner-jacketed pianist entertains regularly from the entryway, and even the classy flora follow the black-and-white scheme, featuring white roses and what appeared to be white ginger. Also be sure to observe the elaborate techno-framing on the black-and-white photos that line the outer wall.

We can only hope that the influx of loft-dwellers and other upscale residents into downtown, coupled with the rash of new hotels and the promise of a new convention-center hotel, will lure Joe Consolo III to rethink the dinner option downtown. Meanwhile, however, he's fashioned a jewel in his Kirkwood location.

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