Get a Great Meal and Unique Gifts – Josephine’s Tea Room
Godfrey, IL/December 12, 2016 (STLRestaurant.News) Josephine’s Tea Room – The holiday season can be hectic. There are parties and special get-togethers with friends, and endless to-do lists. Shopping can become a chore, schlepping from one big box store to the next searching for the perfect gift. It’s even harder if your special someone already has all the usual things. But it doesn’t have to be so hard. To find unique gifts you have to think outside the (big) box! At Josephine’s Tea Room and Gift Shops, 6109 Godfrey Road (IL Rte. 111) in Godfrey, Ill., you can have a lovely holiday lunch with friends and get your shopping done too!
Josephine’s is a unique destination, about 30-minutes north of downtown St. Louis. The gift shops first opened in 1979 in an historic home that was once part of the Monticello College. They offer a variety of unique items including jewelry and accessories, home decor and florals—including Christmas decorations (on sale now!), and other distinctive gift items. The Monticello house offers the latest in name brand fashions, specializing in hard to find, brand name, designer handbags, ladies’ shoes, and unique jewelry. The main house is filled with artisan gifts and decorator accents. The newest addition is Fred’s Shed, Josephine’s closeout and clearance center.
In 1986, Josephine’s added its famous Tea Room—or rather rooms. There are three separate dining areas. Each is elegantly decorated and serves lunch six days a week. When the weather is nice, there’s also patio dining available in Josephine’s lovely gardens. Reservations are accepted, and they’re highly recommended during the holiday season. The rest of the year, you should make reservations for groups of six or more.
The Tea Room’s scrumptious menu offers a nice variety of salads, including garden salad, Caesar, Chef, Cobb, pasta salad, and their famous Fruited Chicken Salad. This customer favorite is a creamy, savory chicken salad with bits of fruit mixed in. Have it over a bed of lettuce, or on a sandwich. Another customer favorite is the Crystal Bowl Salad. It’s lettuce that’s been layered with fresh fruit and chunks of white meat chicken. It’s topped with crumbled Bleu cheese and sunflower seeds. The Crystal Bowl Salad and the Cobb Salad are both available in two sizes. Adding to the deliciousness, all of the salads are served with a homemade roll or muffin.
In chillier weather, like now, Josephine’s soups are especially popular. They are made fresh daily, and each has a legion of followers. The cheese broccoli soup is a warm combination of cream and cheese, with just enough broccoli that you can pretend it’s a vegetable soup. The “Famous” French Onion Soup is based on the legendary French onion soup served at the old Famous Barr department store restaurants in St. Louis. It takes two days to make this gloriously cheese-crusted, savory soup. And it’s worth the extra time and effort. But it’s not available all the time, so consider it a treat if they have it when you’re there. The star of Josephine’s soup lineup is the lobster bisque. It’s a decadently rich and creamy soup, strewn with bits of potato and lobster, and it’s utterly delicious. All of the soups pair very well with a half-salad or sandwich.
The sandwiches, available whole, or as halves paired with soup or salad, are the sort you’d expect at a restaurant that specializes in ladies’ lunches. There’s turkey breast, chicken salad, roast beef, and honey glazed ham. Two standouts are the Ham Special and Josie’s Stacked Club. The Ham Special is a hot sandwich made with their own honey glazed ham and cheddar, melted together on a homemade onion roll. It’s dressed with mayo and Freddi Joe’s special mustard sauce. Josie’s Stacked Club layers their fresh baked ham with turkey breast, bacon, mayo, lettuce, and tomato in classic triple-decker, club sandwich style. The sandwiches are generously sized, so order accordingly, because you’ll want to save room for dessert.
When pastry chef Jacques Torres coined the phrase, “Life is short. Eat dessert first,” he probably hadn’t heard of Josephine’s Tea Room. But nowhere is his advice more fitting. Dessert is an event all its own at Josephine’s. They have a rotating menu of more than 70 dessert items with at least 16 scrumptious choices offered each day. Everything is made from scratch, and made fresh daily. A typical dessert selection will include a couple of different cheesecakes (the Almond Cheesecake is highly regarded by customers), luscious bread pudding, crème brûlée, several pies, layered cakes, cobblers and tarts. Their meringue-topped pies are especially popular. If you enjoyed too much at mealtime, they’re happy to package desserts to go!
Josephine’s Tea Room is open for lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday (and Sundays in December!) The gift shops are open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday (and Sundays in December). The rest of the year, they’re closed Sundays. Weekends in December are some of their busiest days all year, so you will need a reservation, and still may have to wait for a table. It’s nothing a little chocolate mousse cake can’t cure! Weekdays are a little less crowded, leaving your more time to shop for a gift for that special someone! Or give the gift of a great lunch experience with a Josephine’s Gift card.
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