Charlemagne's 616 Thomas Street, Weston · 816-640-2608
Charlemagne's chef, Leroy Tobeck, wears a real, white chef's toque. And that's what you want to see in a place that's striving for the champagne-bistro feel in a quaint little day-trip getaway town. When Tobeck has a spare moment, he can poke his hatted head through a window to see how his concoctions are going over with the patrons (and to pass a little plastic cup of M&Ms to kids dining with their parents). He's been in the business 45 years -- 44 years longer than Charlemagne's has been in business. The restaurant was opened this year by Tobeck's close friend John Pottie, who claims to be a direct descendent of the Frankish empire's King Charlemagne. That's why the restaurant serves the cuisine of northern Italy, France, Germany and northern Spain (all within Grandpa's empire). And after a dinner of thick soups, pastas, meats and breads (with Tobeck looking on), you can walk it off upstairs in Pottie's art museum, which holds the largest collection of woven-silk tapestries in the world. Museums in Leon, France, and Chicago have collections that amount to 51 pieces combined, but Pottie displays 150 pieces. So when you're dining at Charlemagne's and gabbing with Tobeck and Pottie, you might also be sitting next to curators from the Louvre or the United Nations' director of antiquities, who have been known to visit. You can share your M&Ms with them.