cd603ee8-8f7b-45ad-81cc-8d2f2b9365a3 cfbfbac6-24c1-411c-89f0-27b315804a29We legit have a new favorite restaurant!  It’s probably a good thing that Harvey’s is in Redfield, because if it were down the street, we may be there for every meal!

I got a tip that Harvey’s was under new ownership and the new owners had hired an amazing chef and we needed to try it out…so we did!

We went in on a Friday night and they were busy, but there was no wait for a table. We were greeted by Katie, the owner, and when I say greeted, I mean welcomed like we were family.  She is the sweetest thing and I’ve never felt like an owner cares more about e6923608-2ed0-4051-8b5d-614c14271df6how we enjoyed our experience than she and her husband did. She treats every customer like family. Our waiter was friendly and accommodating. This place is special!

We started with the watermelon margarita (which we may have each had three of) and we went with the smoked prime rib special and the fried chicken for dinner.  We couldn’t get over how delicious the prime rib was.  Everything was so good.  The fresh seasonal veggies, the perfectly seasoned mashed potatoes.  All. Of. It. So good.

c88acb55-1dae-4f07-a3ec-7f9155a02a81We got to speak with the chef and he explained how he worked on perfecting his prime rib smoking technique for months.  It was truly amazing.  They have a pastry chef named Tricia Foster who makes the desserts.

We ended our meal with the most delicious banana creme pie.  Katie told us to come back for the Sunday Brunch and we can’t wait!

So worth the drive to check out this hidden gem!  Do it!


Bonefish Grill

img_0022img_0024Being from Boston, I normally steer clear of seafood restaurants in the Midwest. The taste of fresh caught lobster and scallops just can’t be replicated this far from the ocean.

So when Bonefish Grill invited me in to try out their new fall menu, I thought it would just be okay.  Boy, was I wrong!  Bonefish has a location here in the metro in West Des Moines at the West Glen Shopping Center.

We started our mid-week date night visit to Bonefish with $3.50 glasses of Merlot, which were fantastic. We caught the tail-end of happy hour and got in on this sweet deal. And how cute are the Bonefish wine glasses?

img_0021Our, waitress, MacKenzie, has been working at Bonefish for SEVEN years! She was outstanding.  She was super knowledgeable, friendly, and ultra-sweet.  They are very accommodating to special diets, so she said all of the staff need to be super educated about what’s in each dish.

img_0030It was recommended to us that we try the “Dine and Discover, Dinner for Two” menu, and who are we to argue?  $50 includes an order of Bang Bang Shrimp to share for an appetizer. And OMG the Bang Bang Shrimp. If you haven’t tried them, you must. They are lightly-battered and pan-fried and served covered in the most addictive sauce. EVER.

The second course gives you a choice of two entrees from a list of four (which is shown above and which all sound amazing) and then you get a dessert to share.

img_0036Here is where we were start to get really impressed…. We ordered the Fresh Swordfish with Pumpkin Ravioli and Fresh Rockfish and Shrimp.

img_0032The swordfish was by far the best we’d ever had.  If you blindfolded me and did a taste-test, I may have mistaken it for beef.  It was cooked perfectly with no “fishy-ness”. We loved it. Rick was raving about the blackening on the shrimp and I thought that it was great as well.  There was nothing healthy about the butter-laced green beans and that’s ok by me, delicious. The whole meal was satisfying and we were talking about coming back for it again before we were even finished.

img_0041And the dessert….Rick quickly proclaimed this one of his favorite desserts ever. It’s called Jamaican Coconut pie and it’s served with rum sauce. It was incredible. Think big, warm coconut macaroon with whipped cream and rum sauce.

I hope they don’t mind me sharing….because says they got it off the the official Bonefish website, but you’ll love this so much when you try is as part of the three course menu, that you’ll want to make this at home, immediately when you get home:

So thanks again to Bonefish Grill for treating us to an awesome date night! We think you should treat yourself to a date night this week and go try the Dinner for Two, which is a bargain, at Bonefish!


Hurricane Grill & Wings


Taco Hangover


Lurra Cocina

I had really been anticipating the new Downtown restaurant, Lurra Cocina! Spanish tapas restaurants are hard to come by in the metro and the menu here at Lurra Cucina had me excited! Plus, I’m also a fan of Nick Illingworth ventures (i.e. the now defunct Magnolia Food truck), so I had a feeling I’d like Lurra.

Have you had The Wine Experience?

IMG_2263IMG_2245Look! I’m shopping and drinking wine at the same time!  Is this heaven?!  No! It’s Younkers!  We rediscovered The Wine Experience in Younkers at The Jordan Creek Mall this weekend.  The Wine Experience, with its impressive wine selection, top-notch cuisine and lovely atmosphere makes The Wine Experience (in my eyes) one of the best kept secrets in the metro.

I know I’m known for being kind in my restaurant reviews because I have a soft spot for locally owned and IMG_2272operated restaurants (like this one), but this place is the real deal.  I was happy to be invited in this week to try out what they had to offer.  I have to admit, I was definitely not expecting it to be as wonderful as it was.  It’s unfortunate that The Wine Experience isn’t as well-known as other restaurants in its league, because it should be!  I’ll be having dreams about Chef Simon’s Korean Steak and Egg entrée special that he served with brussel sprout hash and miso corn puree.  Seriously, I’m not kidding…Out. Of. This. World.  All of these dishes were intricate and delicious and paired well with our wine choices.

IMG_2203 This particular evening had a corn theme, a wise choice as the most glorious Iowa corn season is coming to close. IMG_2194I don’t think we could have gone wrong with anything on the menu, but stand out items were the bacon deviled eggs served with house-made pickles, which I could have easily eaten a whole plate of by themselves. That good.  The corn fritters which were light with a nice crunch.  The stuffed dates which had a generous amount of bleu cheese and a superb red wine reduction.  Our friends tried the pesto pizza and chicken apple salad which they said were fantastic and Josh had the La Quercia prosciutto baguette which he was so attached to that he was still trying to finish the whole thing when our local pear, pear crisp arrived. It was so good, our friend who proclaimed he didn’t usually like crisps said it was awesome.

IMG_2201 IMG_2210The prices were quite reasonable, the wine was excellent, not to mention that you can BRING YOUR WINE into Younkers to shop!  Umm…what a great idea!  Why do I not see people walking around with wine glasses all the time in Younkers?

It’s in such a convenient location that we already plan to be back for lunch very soon and what a great intimate setting for a special occasion, or just because!

IMG_2240 IMG_2254Please do yourself a favor and check out The Wine Experience.  You won’t be disappointed.  Like, I said you can’t go wrong.  Especially check out the shared plates that are available after 5 and whatever Chef Simon says to get….do it!  He makes some magic in that little kitchen and I hope more people come try it out soon!





Check out their website here for menus and information and “like” them here on Facebook for special events and meal specials!  Thanks for having us in Tom and Lane!

El Patio – Lunch Style

IMG_5660 IMG_5659Did you hear that El Patio is now serving lunch Tuesday thru Friday from 11-2?  We got to stop in a few weeks ago to try it and we really enjoyed it!

If you’ve never been to El Patio, it’s been around forever and it’s basically a house off of Ingersoll (on 37th st.) that was converted into a Mexican restaurant and of course features a patio to dine on….But you can of course eat inside as well.

The lunch menu offers about 10 different combination platter for $8 each and a few lunch entrees for $9 each.  All of the meals include chips and salsa and sides.

IMG_5661 IMG_5664Our meals came out piping hot and very fast. You can definitely come from downtown and make it back to work in time during a lunch break.

I was with two friends who had never been to El Patio before and both really enjoyed their meals.  They both commented on how fresh the ingredients tasted and both agreed they’d be back again.

I particularly enjoyed the zippy salsa and that every inch of my plate wasn’t covered in cheese like you sometimes find in Mexican restaurants.  The seasoning of the meats, particularly the pork, stood out and make for a tasty meal.

IMG_5663 IMG_5665You can for sure bring the kiddos with you to El Patio or you could leave them at home and come out for a few margaritas with friends.  Either way I think you’ll enjoy the food and the unusual atmosphere. And now that they are open for lunch we will for sure be back sooner than later.


IMG_4554 IMG_4551So this little soul food restaurant (little in size, but not in taste and definitely not in quantity of food of course) is getting a lot of attention lately, and for great reason!  Take a look at this spread at Patton’s Restaurant!


The restaurant is located on East Grand Ave. in Des Moines.  Every Sunday, owner Pam Patton puts on a soul food buffet that you wouldn’t believe.  The buffet includes some of the best fried chicken we’ve ever tried (I admit, I’m from Massachusetts and live in IMG_4552Iowa, so I can’t claim to be a fried chicken connoisseur, but from what we tasted and from what everyone has experienced, this is amazing stuff). We even came across a couple from the south dining there the day we were there and they said they come every chance they can because it’s the only place in town that serves the kind of food that they get at home.


IMG_4553The buffet also includes cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, collard greens and much more!  Don’t forget about the sweet potato pie or peach cobbler! The price: $16.


IMG_4557And don’t just come on Sunday.  They have a lunch buffet Tuesday thru Friday as well with a daily featured item.  For example, on Thursday’s they offer fried chicken and red velvet waffles…umm….yum!


If I got to choose to eat just one genre of food for the rest of my life…It would be soul food.  And if it was at Patton’s, I’d be good with that.  Definitely a family friendly restaurant.  There aren’t many places where you can say that you can taste the love in the food, but this would be one of them.

Guttenburgers..however you pronounce it.

IMG_6650 IMG_6648So up until today, I assumed this new restaurant, Guttenburgers, which I of course was at my table ready to eat at 11:00 on opening day, was pronounced “Goo-tenburgers”.  As in, the German meaning (and pronunciation)…Good.  It made sense…Good-Burgers.  Then, someone on our Facebook page pointed out that the owner is from Guttenberg, Iowa…So it’s Gut-enbergers.  And all along I thought it was also pronounced “Goot”enberg, Iowa.  Of course I thought Nevada, Iowa would also sound like the place that houses Las Vegas and Madrid was like the place in Spain….I digress….back to burgers…


IMG_6649 IMG_6653I loved the feel of this new burger restaurant.  It’s located right near Jethro’s Jambalaya (West des Moines/Waukee). It is set up a little like Zombie Burger where you can either order at the counter to-go or dine-in for full-service.  Or heck, just stop in for some ice cream or a milkshake.


My burger was solid.  My dining partners and I agreed that the burger toppings stole the show as the hamburger patty was good, but wasn’t the standout item.  My favorite part of the Orchard Burger was the caramelized apples.  I’d order it again, bacon, brie and glazed apples…on a burger…how can you go wrong?


The fries are IMG_6660Hawkeye/Cyclone themed and are darned tasty.  The cyclone fries are more like the spiral cut potato chips you get at the fair with parmesan cheese, garlic and ranch dip.  Nice that you can IMG_6663get a small serving for only $3.49… Fried goodness at it’s best.  The crispy-battered fried pickle chips were also great.  The homemade bacon mac & cheese stood out and would be lovely as a meal by itself.


IMG_6669 IMG_6666My friend really enjoyed her buffalo chicken sandwich.  They also have an impressive selection of ice cream flavors such as Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (I didn’t ask), Bourbon Pecan Pie, Superhero and more…they also have a sweet potato fry dessert that sounds heavenly and comes with a scoop of ice cream on it.  If I wasn’t so dang full, I would have totally tried it.  Next time for sure.


Our waitress, who also happens to have a sister who could be her twin working there (It took me half way IMG_6672through my meal to realize there were two of them), IMG_6684was very attentive and friendly.  I can’t wait to try more menu items here.  Fun to have a burger/ice cream joint in this part of town!  As you can see, the Oreo ice cream was a hit with our littlest table-mate today.

Family friendly but also great food to nurse a hang-over.  I liked it!  Guttenburgers will be entering our casual dining out rotation for sure!


Krunkwich Ramen House

IMG_5895 IMG_5891Ramen in Des Moines is here….and it is darn good.  Actually, my favorite part of my meal at the new Krunkwich Ramen House, which sits in the location of the original Tacopocalypse (before it moved) on E. 6th street and is also owned by famed local Chef Sam Auen, was the fried rice.

I really didn’t think I was going to like this ramen based on the one time I tried Chef Sam’s ramen at an event last year that he served ramen.  It was just ok that time so I wasn’t getting my hopes up for Krunkwich to deliver.  But I was wrong.  I tried the chicken ramen and the fried rice.  This was hands down the best fried rice I’ve found since leaving Boston 9 years ago.  I just haven’t found fried rice that comes close, until now.  I would come back just for the rice, but will come back to try more ramen too of course.

IMG_5911IMG_5900The only part of the ramen I didn’t like was the fried corn.  Aside from the fact that it was a little hard to eat on the cob, it wasn’t very flavorful.  Hopefully when sweet corn is in season, it will be better.  But the broth was great, the noodles were firm and not mushy, there was plenty of chicken and it was feel-good soul-warming all around…even with pictures of cats adorning the restaurant.  And did I mention how good the fried rice was?   You just have to try it.  That is all.

IMG_5890Here is a photo of the current menu…The permanent one isn’t up yet, so here is an idea of what is being offered.  Just go.  And get there early before the lunch rush if you want to sit to eat!


Oh and don’t not order the egg.  If you are standing at the counter debating spending the extra .75, debate no more, just do it.  The slightly runny yoke just makes a bowl of ramen complete.  You need it.