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[Des Moines, IA] Cafe Di Scala

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Cafe di Scala is an Italian restaurant in a converted Victorian era home. It sits in a residential neighborhood just west of downtown Des Moines. It has a very small menu, about 6x appetizers, 1x soup, 3x salads, 6x main course options, and 3 or 4 desserts.

Overall I and my two companions were quite pleased.

High-Lights: All of us were very happy with our soups/salads, main courses, and desserts.

* The noodles of the pasta with red sauce and sausage main were very nice, and the sausage was surprisingly mild for Graziano's.

* The bacon wrapped, cheese stuffed chicken main was a hit.

* The braised pork stew w/ quinoa main was a surprise at first, but very tasty.

* The tiramisu was quite good.

* The Italian Wedding cake was exceptional

* While we didn't sit out for very long, the porch was very nice.

Low-lights

* Parking on a busy night would be terrible given that this restaurant has no parking lot.

* While my companions were quite pleased with the lamb meatballs I was not, but I firmly feel this is an issue with me as an eater, not on the restaurant. I'm coming to the conclusion that the only meatballs I like are beef-based.

* After the dessert course, we were semi-neglected. Receiving and processing the check took longer than we would have liked. If we had been sitting outside this would not have been as much of and issue, but the restaurant was filling up, getting loud, and we were ready to leave. I can understand this to an extent because we ate early and we were finishing while the rush was coming in, but it was still frustrating.

Side Comments:

* The soup offered is very good, but ridiculously large as a first course. It took all three of us to put a dent in it. It could easily serve as a main course.

* I didn't see how this restaurant would work for someone in a wheelchair given its steep stairs. There may be an elevator along the side I missed. Those with mobility issues should ask when making reservations.

* While this restaurant has a menu in the Italian style with Primo and Secondo courses, the individual courses are far too large to chose one of each. Picking a salad or soup, Primo, Secundo, and Dolce would leave the eater with many doggy bags (not necessarily a bad thing).

We had a good experience overall. The best single item was probably the Italian Wedding Cake. I have a well known sweet tooth amongst friends and family, so I'm not sure how impartial that statement is, but each of my companions felt the same way.

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  1. Thanks for the detailed report. The small setting and limited number or reservations means not that many people get inside there. The same people opened a pizza place (Tony's), closed that pizza place, opened another one (Gusto), then opened a fast casual place (Host) that flopped then turned it into a Hot Dog place (Hotshots) that is doing pretty well. Gusto may expand in the suburbs soon.