For our second Restaurant Week 2014 meal we chose The Gramercy Tap in downtown Des Moines. Located in the former Kirkwood Lounge location at 400 Walnut Street, The Gramercy Tap is close to the Civic Center and Wells Fargo Arena.
The restaurant and bar takes up the entire ground floor of one of Des Moines' historical downtown buildings and there is lots of space for drinking and dining. Plus, they have a very nice patio that sits out on Walnut Street all along the length of the building.
The open kitchen concept is nice if you're into watching the chef making your meal, but the whole space has a nice 'city' vibe to it, with high ceilings and dark tables and booths.
We settled in at our table and ordered up a pre-dinner cocktail. Grant went with his usual vodka tonic.
I wanted something a little more snazzy, so I perused the cocktail menu and came up with this - The Palm Martini. Made with pomegranate vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, tonic and lime, this was a nice, tart, and boozy martini. Just the way I like 'em.
There were some very interesting looking menu items for the Restaurant Week dinners, it was hard to decide. For starters, it was soup or salad. Grant went for the salad - a wonderful concoction of candied walnuts, beets, and Maytag blue cheese atop mixed greens with a tart cherry vinagrette. There was tons of blue cheese on this salad and Grant said it mixed perfectly with the dressing and got very creamy by the time he was finished. Very nice.
I had the soup, which was a local sweet corn chowder with grilled focaccia crouton. It had so much flavor - silky and creamy, with the crunch from the crouton - thoroughly enjoyable. I asked Grant to take some notes on this soup so he could try to recreate it at home!
With our cocktails finished, we had a peek at the wine list and decided on an Old Vine Zinfandel from Truant. A little peppery, lots of fruit forward flavor - a great choice.
For my dinner entree, I chose the Slice Seared Sirloin with Bourbon Honey Glaze. Served atop a Smashed Red Potato and topped with fried aruglua, this was a real treat. The glaze added some distinct sweetness to the sirloin, which was cooked perfectly, and that little crisp of arugula was a nice touch.
Grant decided on the Bone-In Pork Chop with Apple Glaze, Apple Stuffing, and Farmer's Market veggies. Imagine his delight when he saw that he was served not just one, but two, beautiful pork chops. These chops were juicy and meaty and seasoned with care. Underneath the chops was the delicious apple stuffing - the glaze over it all really added to the fruit flavor of this dish. Quite the presentation, too.
One of the best things about Restaurant Week menus is that dessert is included in the pricing. We usually pass on dessert unless it's really something special, but when it's included, we're all in. I enjoyed the Lemon Pound Cake with Blueberries, topped with Lemon Sabayon. It was excellent - nice, dense, pound cake, lots of blueberries, and that Sabayon on top was heavenly. Wonderful dessert.
Grant went for the Homemade Chocolate Bowl with Vanilla Ice Cream and berries, topped with Raspberry Puree. He can't turn down chocolate and ice cream and this was a lovely combination. The chocolate bowl was thick enough to hold all of that creamy goodness, but he enjoyed bites of it with the berries, too. A unique take on the ice cream sundae.
Our server was fairly new at the restaurant game, but she did her best to make sure we had a enjoyable evening. We are pretty easy going though, having been in the business ourselves, so no worries when waiting on us. Plus, it wasn't a very busy night, so everyone had good service that night.
We had been wanting to visit The Gramercy Tap for a long time, so we were happy to have a nice meal, good wine and cocktails, and pleasant service. I'd like to go back and enjoy an evening on that patio - looks like an excellent spot for cocktails.
Let us know where you went for DSM Restaurant Week!
The Gramercy Tap
400 Walnut St
Des Moines, IA 50309
Dinner Tuesday - Thursday 5:00pm - 9:30pm
Dinner Friday - Saturday 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Late Night Menu 9:30pm - 12:00am
Bar/Lounge Tuesday - Saturday 4:00pm - Close