- 5513 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines, IA, 50313
- Overall User Rating:
- (29 ratings)
- Official Web Site:
Preliminary visit — not yet rated.
Could the fourth time be the charm for the former Graze-Crave-Ciao location in West Glen? Now Gino Foggia (of Gino’s, the long-standing Sixth Avenue restaurant) and his family have taken over the spot. I figure if anyone can make a go of what seems to be a cursed location, this family can.
Decor: It’s comfortable in that spacious, suburban way. Yet something feels missing to me: Part of the appeal of Gino’s is its old-school supper-club character, from the aqua swivel chairs in the lounge to the knotty-pine paneling and the trompe-l’oiel bookshelves. Diners, like me, who love that retro appeal will find the current décor — the hot-red half-moon booths, the tubular lamps, the overall West Glen feel of the location — a bit of a disconnect, especially considering the mid-century focus of the food.
Menu: If you’ve been to Gino’s, you know what to expect: They’re known for top-quality steaks as well as bright-red sauced pasta specialties, fried chicken, famously thin and crisp onion rings and cool and creamy ice cream drinks. You’ll find other seafood, chicken and pork entrées, but this isn’t the place for the cutting-edge.
Food: The toasted ravioli appetizers — with soft, nubbly bread coating and savory meat filling — proved a pleasant way to kick off dinner. Salads are mostly of the head-lettuce variety.
Gino’s aged top sirloin ranks as one of the best under-$20 steaks in town, and the move to West Glen did not diminish this. Ours arrived thick, succulent and perfectly cooked to order.
Believe it or not, I had never tried Gino’s lasagna (always opting instead for the steaks). The great bake — with its thin, precise layers of bright and tangy red sauce, rich herb-flecked ricotta, smooth and buttery mozzarella and fennel-enhanced sausage — could easily become another go-to dish here.
Hold your horses: The new venue was not prepared for the unforeseen crowds; food was taking inordinately long on a Tuesday night (friends mentioned they had arrived around 6:30 and still didn’t have their entrées at 8 p.m.). Though empty tables sat in the dining room, we had to wait at the bar for quite some time — the hostess explained that the kitchen simply couldn’t keep up with a full dining room.
Final thoughts: Members of the Foggia family were working that night, and I’m sure they’ll whip the place into shape soon enough. But in the meantime, expect a glitch or two.