Midwest Living Review
When Mark and Debbie Burgess opened the Aviary Cafe and Creperie in 2011, they found the perfect perch for their restaurant -- the former lobby of an early 1900s hotel in downtown Springfield, Missouri. The cafe's shabby-chic decor includes old hotel doors turned sideways to define dining spaces, church pews that double as banquette seating, and a stylized metal tree with the branches spread across the ceiling. With its fun, laid-back vibe, eclectic wine list, and attentive servers, the Aviary Cafe has become a popular roosting spot for locals. (Tip: Make reservations on weekends.) The lunch and dinner menu offers a taste of France at affordable prices. Savory main-dish crepes are made from a buckwheat and white flour batter and have fillings like poached salmon seasoned with herbes de Provence ($10.99) or steak and wild mushrooms sauteed with Cabernet ($9.99). For dessert, $5.99 white flour crepes include the Grand Marnier-flavored Aviary Suzette and the Aux Nuella with French chocolate mousse and Nutella. We especially appreciated that the wine list includes Missouri wines. For a perfect light, summery meal, have a glass of the St. James Winery Vignole with a Venetian Garden crepe. Crave more than crepes? Try the traditional French onion soup, the Aviary Maison with tender field greens and with homemade apple-rosemary balsamic vinaigrette, or the Shrimp Provencal, an entree consisting of sauteed shrimp in a creme sauce over handcrafted pasta. Says chef John Allen, "I take great pride in making things from scratch."