- 428 E. Locust St., Des Moines, IA, 50309
- Overall User Rating:
- (32 ratings)
- Restaurant Friday&Saturday 11a.m.-2a.m. Bar Monday-Saturday 11a.m.-2a.m. kitchen open 12am
- Official Web Site:
THE BAR: The Continental is on Locust Street in the trendy part of the East Village, close to galleries and lofts. Wednesday through Saturday nights, there's live music, usually jazz. The bar has a jazzy ambiance that matches the music: exposed brick walls, a polished wood bar and live plants. The full bar also offers a wide selection of wine. There's not a dress code, but you could feel underdressed based on what everyone else is wearing. It's still casual. Just don't dress down too much.
THE CROWD: At happy hour, button-down shirt types gather in twos and threes for wine and martinis. The Continental doesn't offer drink specials at happy hour, so the after-work crowd is there for discounted appetizers rather than cheap domestic bottles. Small plates are inexpensive and original.
THE REGULARS: Bartender Julie Rahm said she sees a lot of younger business people. I also spotted a few loners. Happy hour at The Continental feels like a place to have a drink and read (or work on writing) a book.
MOST POPULAR HAPPY HOUR DISH: Rahm said the $5.95 goat cheese plate paired with wine is the most popular happy hour item. Most of the appetizer-sized dishes incorporate fresh ingredients, and there's plenty of selection for both vegetarians and carnivores. The roasted new potatoes are cubed and served with balsamic and rosemary aioli sauce, and the melon and proscuitto crostini are spread with warm goat cheese. I deduced that all the happy hour dishes have light flavors, which perfectly compliment the bar's specialty drink, The Continental, a strong raspberry mojito.
ARE WE HAPPY? After being stuck in a fluorescent-lit office all day, it was nice to slip into a bar stool at The Continental. The atmosphere was calming and pensive, and the food was delicious. Typical greasy bar food makes me feel sluggish, but The Continental's happy hour specials were just the opposite. I left feeling refreshed.