La Mie Restaurant & Bakery -- Des Moines, Iowa
While I'm on the subject of Iowa restaurants, I thought I'd give this place a post. I was fortunate to happen across a brief mention of their dinner offerings in Des Moines's local paper. Prior to that, I'd believed they were strictly a local bakery.
And La Mie *is* a bakery -- up front is a pastry case, coffee shop, etc., & there's a long chalkboard full of dozens of breads (& other carbs) they bake themselves in the massive ovens downstairs. But there is a long room with counter-type booths in the back where they offer a lovely French-inspired dinner menu.
The atmosphere is -- as mentioned above -- low-frills & loud due to all the "hard surfaces" if it's busy. But it's a full-service sit-down establishment with an interesting (if limited) wine list, enough entree choices to satisfy most people, & a pleasant European bistro feel. My dining companion, who has spent some time in France, commented that La Mie did remind him a bit of places he'd been to there. The windows in the back were open, fans going, etc.
Most of the dishes are French-inspired, by preparation if not by actual item -- the traditional accompaniments were an especially nice touch, fluffy scrambled omelette-type eggs, so many capers I was in heaven, sauces, things like that. I had trout meuniere, my compaion had ahi tuna on a bed of nice egg noodles -- both were fresh, light, & good. Entree portions were nicely-sized.
My only real complaint would be the appetizers, which sounded more delicious than they tasted -- here, the portions were too small (even for two people who don't insist on large portions), & both were served on a bed of greens that became a bit monotonous.
La Mie's prices are pretty reasonable... what you sacrifice in atmosphere you gain on the dollar-side... & service was friendly & efficient, not pretentious but professional. As I said, sound carries -- we dined with two rather large parties across from us that created quite a bit of noise -- but somehow the "hustle & bustle" fit the feeling of La Mie. And as we left, we were even offered the customary loaf of bread as the last customers!
I was in for brunch this Sunday and was introduced to the new format...anyone know how long they've been trying this (i.e. help yourself to drip coffee, water, yogurt, pastry)? I imagine they had good intentions, but I'm not sure this did anything to improve Sunday service levels. In addition, the quiche was down substantially in size from my last reading. To me, the immoderate depth (+3") and silky consistency is what made this place really special. Here's to hoping it was just a bad slice!