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Feb 4, 2008 08:31 AM

Omaha Readers Delurk

I'd love to hear more about Omaha options. I know there are lots of great places to eat here, and I am new to the area. Please write about your experiences.

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  1. Hear, hear! I'm in the region but never see much on Omaha. Personal favorites are Ahmad's persian restaurant in Old Market and Blue for sushi. For foodie shopping head to the Penzey's spice store and of course Wholefoods.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ExercisetoEat

      Oh, I haven't heard of the penzey's spice store. I'll have to check that out.

      1. re: ExercisetoEat

        This is great and after looking at their catalog online, I totally know where I'm going to buy wedding shower and housewarming gifts.

      2. Although I live in Des Moines, I am a regular visitor to Omaha (& therefore a regular diner). Typically, I write individual reviews of individual restaurants, but here is just a brief list of some of my favorites -- most of whom do have websites, although I don't have the links handy:

        Vivace -- Mediterranean small plates in Old Market, good Italian wine list, good atsmophere for a small group, & open on Monday nights! They do a nice carryout prep job as well.

        Le Voltaire -- unpretentious French food on the west side, intimate atmosphere but not stuffy, excellent cheese plate carved at the table, & a chef from France.

        Darwin's Bistro -- French/Belgium bistro in Midtown, I wrote a review of this one a few weeks ago which you can probably still find here.

        The Tasting Room -- combo wine shop/wine tasting venue/small restaurant on the west side, nice outdoor seating once the weather doesn't stink, live music some nights but not in a "concert" kind of way. Nightly wine flights with generous pours.

        The Flatiron -- on the edge of downtown, unbelieveable food but with prices to match, probably my favorite "no-holds-barred special occasion" restaurant, it's a unique place with very professional service.

        Espana -- authentic tapas experience (all true Spanish, versus "tapa" only implying "small plate" of any ethnicity) in Midtown, including some items you likely can't pronounce, all-Spanish wine list, weekly Flamenco dancer although don't expect an intimate conversation due to the noise level.

        I'm sure there are more I could think of, but this is my short list of favorites!


        4 Replies
        1. re: SmallCap

          I think you're referring to Dario's Brasserie, which is located in Dundee. It's excellent.

          Darwin Bistro was out west at 114th but closed suddenly and mysteriously. The chef, Paul Urban, is now at Lucky's Ten O One downtown. I think he started this week.

          1. re: atom12

            Yes, duh, that is what I meant -- thank you. I believe I had the name right on my original review, although now you are making me wonder!

            Anyway. I actually liked Darwin's, also, & had met both the chef (Paul, I guess?) & his female manager several times... but I wondered even then about their viability. Too bad. I remember eating there during the great I-80 blizzard of March 2007, they were the only place open, & very hospitable.


            1. re: atom12

              I finally made it to Dario's Brasserie tonight and I have to say I was under-whelmed. Sure, I liked the Brasserie feel to the place. No need to worry what you are wearing, just come on in. But after the build up I expected more from the food. I ordered the Mussels, which is the one dish that is constantly applauded. It was fine, though the broth was too watered down

              I think it was the bread that gave me the most pause. There was a time when all the best restaurants got their bread from The Bread Oven, but apparently the BO's owner lost his mind and decided to charge the restaurants retail pricing. Few have been able to even come close when they went out to find an alternative. Dario, he didn't come close. The mussels scream for a good baguette. What I got was horribly mediocre.

              In all fairness to Dario I'll try again, and probably again after that. I've got my eye on the Duck Shepard's Pie.

              1. re: altajoe

                Sorry to hear it didn't live up to your expectations.

                As for the bread, the cost of wheat has more than doubled, and those costs are no doubt being passed on to the Dario's of the world. Omahans are notoriously cheap, too, so he's kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do you up the price to cover the good bread or do you keep prices the same and hope it'll turn around? Tough call.

                In addition to the Bread Oven, the only other places I'm aware of that make their own bread is Buvette and Wohlners (though they're not a restaurant).

          2. I grew up in Bellevue and my mom still lives there. Her personal favorite is Flatiron, although she believes it is a bit pricey. We also like the Upstream in the Old Market.

            1. This is great, all these new places to try out, now to convince my non-foodie friends to try it with me. They have a habit of hitting up the olive garden's and the applebee's. I think we're headed to spaghetti works tonight.

              1 Reply
              1. re: aestheticonion

                Another source for Omaha food news/reviews is Here's his list of Omaha restaurants and reviews: