Fancy Illusion

630 aspires to casual elegance but has a ways to go

Maybe it was miscommunication because of a loud keyboard player; maybe it was inexperience with wine. It's a quibble, perhaps, but paying attention to that type of detail is crucial when a restaurant commands upscale prices.

Cajun jambalaya pasta isn't Mediterranean, but 630's kitchen manages to pull it off nicely with chicken chunks in a slightly hot-and-spicy cream sauce, mixed with rock shrimp, peppers and onions. It's not remarkable, but compared to the other disappointing meals, it's downright spectacular.

630 offers a short list of appetizers in the $8 to $9 category -- not very good value for what's presented. Better calamari can be found elsewhere, meaning a lightly coated, crisply fried version. Most desserts are housemade, and the apple pie was good -- but not good enough to be priced at $5.50 a slice.

At 630, you can sip your drinks and nosh on appetizers while listening to live jazz.
Jennifer Silverberg
At 630, you can sip your drinks and nosh on appetizers while listening to live jazz.

Details

Fried calamari $8
Stuffed cod $14
Grilled pork chop $17
Cajun jambalaya pasta $17
Shrimp-and-chicken pesto $18
Four-cheese pasta with chicken $16
Spinach ravioli $18

314-863-6013. Hours: 6:30-10 p.m. Wed.-Sat.

630 North & South Road

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This restaurant is crazy about the number 630. It opened on June 30, 2001; dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.; and then there's the address. 630 draws a steady clientele for private lunches and parties on its off nights. In that setting, where most people congregate for the company rather than the food, 630 probably does quite well.

Even if you're not interested in a full dinner, 630 is a cozy spot in which to hang -- in the bar or the intimate backroom, with a few friends or a date. You can sip your drinks and nosh on appetizers while listening to live jazz. Just be warned that the cappuccino looks like the real deal -- frothy and rich.

But then again, things aren't always what they seem.

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