Eat good food and share!

Posts tagged ‘Des Moines’

Des Moines Valentine’s Day Menus, 2012

Looking for a place to take that special person out to eat for Valentine’s Day? Touting these as Des Moines’ most romantic restaurants, the Des Moines Register’s Datebook has provided the following menus that will be served on Valentine’s Day. Catch the story in the Datebook.

Cafe di Scala

644 18th St.; 244-1353

THE DETAILS: A five-course prix fixe
dinner ($60) will be served Tuesday
evening.

MENU: Choose from the following for your
five-course dinner. Antipasto: tomato and
zucchini ragu over baked polenta cakes;
roasted Italian beef-stuffed peppers;
smoked trout mousse crostini with radish
and dill. Zuppa: puree of carrot soup with
tarragon creme fraiche; Italian wedding
soup with romano crostini. Insalata:
spinach, pine nuts, figs and ricotta salata;
roasted beets, garlic-chevre mousse, pine
nuts and orange blossom oil. Secondi:
braised pork shoulder over roasted
cannelinni and tomato ragu; seared
flounder over zucchini risotto; roasted
fennel and chevre ravioli with pinot bianco
cream sauce. Dolce: flourless chocolate
torte over caramel almond brittle; tiramisu
paired with chocolate-covered strawberry
and biscotti; chocolate panna cotta with
cherries.

Centro

1011 Locust St.; 244-7033

THE DETAILS: Centro’s features are
available Saturday through Feb. 18.MENU: Bourbon-maple glazed smoked
salmon with an apple salad and candied
walnuts, $10. Shrimp tortelloni with vodka-
tomato cream sauce and shaved Pecorino
Romano, $12. Spaghetti Rustica, braised
duck ragu with fresh sage, fresh pasta and
Pecorino Romano, $22.

Christopher’s

2816 Beaver Ave.; 274-3694

THE DETAILS: Three-course prix fixe
dinner available.

MENU: Starters include either a Caesar
salad or a roasted pear and walnut salad.
For your entree, choose between the
following: filet Oscar, an 8-ounce filet
topped with lump crab meat; a lobster tail
dinner; or filet mignon and a 6-ounce
lobster tail. Dessert is a chocolate cake
served with raspberry sauce and icecream.

Fire Creek

800 S. 50th St., West Des Moines

THE DETAILS: Specials available Saturday
through Tuesday.

MENU: Two entree specials. One, a 12-
ounce bone-in filet with a trio of sauces,
roasted baby red potatoes and baby top
carrots, $43.95, or red snapper with
lemon oil sauce, topped with crab-meat
stuffing, rice pilaf and baby top carrots,
$33.95. New York-style cheesecake with
strawberries or homemade creme brulee,
$7.50 each.

Fleming’s

150 S. Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des
Moines; 457-2916THE DETAILS: Specials available Sunday
through Tuesday. Each couple dining on
those days will get a $25 gift certificate to
use at Fleming’s at a later date.MENU: Entrees ($69.95 apiece) include
filet mignon served over portobello
mushrooms and bacon, paired with crab-
stuffed prawns; a New York strip steak
topped with butter-poached king crab,
asparagus and a champagne bearnaise
sauce; or a North Atlantic lobster tail with
drawn butter, served with lobster mac and
cheese. The dessert special is a red velvet
cake for two ($9.50), served with espresso
truffles.

Mezzodi’s

4519 Fleur Drive, 287-3333

DETAILS: Special available Sunday through
Tuesday for $59.99 per couple. Served
family style.

MENU: Pink peppercorn dinner for two.
Surf-and-turf platter for two featuring pink
peppercorn mahi mahi topped with tropical
salsa and seared flank steak topped with a
red wine-peppercorn sauce. Served with
garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed
vegetables, a bottle of house wine and
Mezzodi’s signature chocolate falling down
cake.

Mojo’s

6163 N.W. 86th St., No. 103, Johnston;
334-3699DETAILS: The Valentine’s prix fixe menu is
available Tuesday and is $40 per person
MENU: Starter choices include
Mediterranean veggie crostini; tuna tartar
in crispy wonton cups; smoked mushroom
and lentil salad or chicken and leek soup.
Entree choices include a pan-roasted
stuffed quail; lavender and pepper grilled
tuna with jasmine rice; beef bourguignon
with oven-roasted potatoes or potato and
chive pierogies. (Add a butter-poached
lobster tail to your entree for an additional
$15.) Dessert choices include a frozen
Grand Marnier souffle; chocolate hazelnut
torte or beignets with lingonberry sauce.

Sbrocco

208 Court Ave.; 282-3663

DETAILS: Valentine features are available
Friday through Tuesday.

MENU: Social plates specials: white prawn
bisque; bone-in pork belly with smoked
polenta. Entree specials: oven-roasted
Canadian lobster tail with lobster risotto;
roasted Colorado rack of lamb and a
lamb-quince demiglaze. Dessert specials:
artisan chocolates; red velvet cake with
Grand Marnier icing; creme brulee with
fresh berries; chocolate walnut torte;
assorted fresh berries with lemon sabayon
and mint syrup.

Trostel’s Greenbriar

5810 Merle Hay Road, Johnston; 253-
0124DETAILS: Chef-created specials available
Monday and Tuesday.
MENU: Appetizer special: tempura-fried
Alaskan snow crab legs, $8. Entree special:
grilled wagyu strip loin filet with a lobster
wonton, $22. Dessert special: tart cherry
dark chocolate creme caramel with
seasonal berries, $8.

New Year’s Eve Menu – Cafe di Scala

Cafe di Scala, located at 644 18th Street in Sherman Hills, is planning a special four course Prix Fixe Menu this New Year’s Eve, complete with a toast of Adami Proseco for $60. These spots fill fast, so call for reservations at 515-244-1353 to save your spot!

Zingaro 515

If you haven’t heard about Zingaro 515 yet, you need to! After hearing much buzz on Twitter and in the Des Moines Register about Zingaro opening in Sherman Hills, I decided that I needed to investigate, and inform my readers about this new dining experience.

Zingaro 515 opened on Dec. 2, and is located in the Scheuerman House in Sherman Hills, at 1605 Woodland Ave. Zingaro is self-described as, “A chef-driven restaurant in the heart of Sherman Hill. With an approach unseen with in the Des Moines culinary world.”

The sight of the house brought back an immediate childhood memory for me. I lived in the Sherman Hills district during most of my childhood. My family would go on walks, sometimes “downtown”  and we always walked right past the Scheuerman House, which is directly across the street to the west of Hoyt Sherman Place. Rumor has it that I was a stubborn child, and disliked walking anything but SLOW. About the point at which I would get tired and start to lag just happened to be right in the vicinity of the Scheuerman house! I can still remember it.

Anyway, after further research I discovered that Zingaro 515 is a “pop-up” restaurant. Local chef/blogger Sam Auen gives a superb explanation in his blog, Locally Grown.

“Pop-ups are popping up in larger cities (shocker) and play on a chef’s creativity.  It’s a way for those chefs without big money backing to expose the world to the product of their obsessive culinary nature.  The goal of these places is not to become a fixture, but to burn brightly then move on to something new.  Sometimes these ventures are a testing ground for the viability of a concept or to showcase an intended static restaurant concept to the public and especially to people who may want to invest in the particular chef’s future.  Did you catch that one?  This is awesome semi-guerilla dining at its rawest.”

I contacted York Taenzer, owner of the Schuerman House, to ask about featuring the house and Zingaro 515 on my blog. I was lucky enough to be invited to view the house and chat with both Taenzer and Chef Hal Jasa. Chef Jasa is well known in the Des Moines area. He was also a chef at 25th St. Cafe and Phat Chefs, and more recently did underground dinners with the Des Moines Social Club. Jasa also had the honor of being featured as “100 Tastes to Try in 2007” in Food & Wine magazine. He’s number 51 – “Clandestine Dinners” if you want to go take a look.

Chef Jasa chatted with me about his passion for food. His specialties are charcuterie, and sauces.  According to Wikipedia, charcuterie is “the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork.[1] Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef‘s repertoire. Originally intended as a way to preserve meats before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes.[2]

Jasa also experiments with scents that he says opens up the palate. He recently featured orange creme brulee on the menu, which included “pine.” Jasa showed me how he used one dish to place a bed of rock salt, and an actual sprig of pine, then placed the creme brulee in a dish nestled in the rock salt. He is also using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream at the tables – something that excited one of my readers greatly when I shared that fact with her.

The Scheuerman House itself is a grand old Victorian home with ornate Golden oak woodwork, a fitting showcase for Chef Jasa’s culinary genius.

Authentic Victorian furnishings

A grand piano

and an elegant dining room

Zingaro will be open Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30 to close. Diners can enjoy three courses for $30 in the dining room, or dine on five courses at the six-person chef’s table for $60. Zingaro is a BYOB restaurant, with a $5 stemware charge per table. For more information go to http://www.zingarocuisine.com. Reservations are recommended.

The best thing I ever ate

In honor of the Food Network show by the same name, today’s blog is about the best thing I’ve ever eaten. It was totally by accident… I had stopped by a little Italian store called A Taste of Italy, (8421 University Boulevard, Clive, IA 50325-1036). The smell was divine so of course, being a devoted foodie, I asked what it was. It turned out to be the italian sausage cooking for sandwiches. I asked, “Fix me up with one!” The wait was a little long, but WELL worth it!

I took the sandwich out to my car, unwrapped it and bit into heaven! It was undoubtedly one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten in my life. Two thin round slices of medium heat italian sausage, marinara, grilled red peppers and onions and provolone cheese on a round italian bread bun. Somehow they toasted the entire sandwich in an oven (maybe toaster oven?) so the bread had a lovely crispness to it… OH MY GOD! I had to call my mom, who also loves any food Italian, and rave about it to her! She laughed and said, “I’ve never heard you get so excited about a sandwich before!”

If you’re ever in Des Moines (Clive is a suburb of Des Moines) don’t miss A Taste of Italy!

Tag Cloud