- 841 42nd St., Des Moines, IA, 50312
- Overall User Rating:
- (9 ratings)
- 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday,closed Sunday. Lunch served 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. weekdays.
- Official Web Site:
Since it opened in 2003, La Mie has distinguished itself in many ways — including its ranking as perhaps the most difficult restaurant in Des Moines to nail down. Every time I’d fall in love with one of their concepts and crow about it in a column — from poached egg salads and creative supper omelets to their limited but well-chosen cheese selections — it would soon vanish from the offerings.
But in the last year or so, the restaurant has hit on a formula that seems to have staying power.
Atmosphere: The décor has been a work in progress for about seven years now; these days, the abundance of joyful art on the walls has, at last, softened the restaurant’s hard edges; thanks to some recent architectural maneuvering, there’s more room to move, too.
Menu: The lunchtime menu offers quintessential urban bakery-café fare, with sandwiches, salads, omelets, quiches, soups and all kinds of baked goods, mostly in the bread and breakfast-pastry vein. The prices are admirable for such refined food, with sandwiches and omelets around $5 and $6.
Service: While La Mie used to offer table service, it’s now a well-oiled order-at-the-counter operation, with many of the sandwiches readymade and waiting for the lunch rush. Pick up your flatware and drinks, head to the table, and the staff will soon bring your order. A one-hour lunch is definitely doable, with plenty of time to linger over coffee.
The best: From the fluffy, high-and-mighty quiche, delicately sprinkled with herbs and bacon, to the glossy and moist omelet topped with a spoonful of crème fraîche, eggs are a specialty. Sandwiches favor a judicious handful of high-quality ingredients over an indifferent pile of mediocre ones.
The beef and arugula sandwich brought thin slices of rosy medium-rare roast flank steak with arugula, horseradish and mayo tucked into a nicely tuggy yet sandwich-perfect soft roll.
The rest: On a better day, I’d imagine the beet, blue cheese and walnut salad would taste outstanding; this day, however, the undercooked beets were borderline crunchy and someone forgot to add the walnuts.
The soups, alas, mostly underwhelmed. The zucchini soup tasted more of its creamy base than it did of vegetables, and a pulled pork and bean soup was hearty and filling, but not much else.
Bottom line: High-quality, handcrafted food at reasonable prices.