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“Disappointing first trip to this new restaurant” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Plus39 Restaurant

Plus39 Restaurant
2640 Stange Rd, Ames, IA 50010
515 292 0039
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Ranked #11 of 149 Restaurants in Ames
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Level Contributor
61 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Disappointing first trip to this new restaurant”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

We were really excited to finally try this much-hyped new Italian restaurant as it is near our home and looked like nothing that Ames currently has for restaurant options. The first problems came very early on when we had a reservation for 7pm that was lost. The woman who took our reservation for that time said it was no problem for 2 people at that time. When we arrived at 6:45 we found that we were not even on the list at all. Rather than being apologetic the hostess seemed more flustered and then said she would see what she could do but that they were really busy and it might be awhile. While we waited, we sat at the bar and ordered cocktails. It look awhile to get their attention and the staff seemed inexperienced. We asked one of the male bartenders if he could make martinis. He said yes and I ordered a very dirty ketel one martini. He brought me one and said "It's really dirty" and I could see that it was completely clear and not cloudy like a dirty martini should be and also not very cold. Upon tasting it I could tell that his definition of dirty was simply putting a lot of vermouth into vodka with a few olives. Dirty martinis should contain olive juice and just a splash of vermouth and be served very cold. The bartenders definitely need more experience. The bartender then asked if we wanted to order food. I said they had misplaced our reservation and I was hoping to get a table still. He said he would talk to the hostess but he didn't understand why they would have even taken our reservation that morning because they have been booked up for weeks and there was no way they had the room. After talking to the hostess, they determined that it would be a long time before we could get a table because there was a large group that was just seated so we could eat at the bar or wait for a table in the deli/cantina area. One did happen to open up in the cantina so we cashed out at the bar and sat down at the table near the deli case. The lighting in the case made for a less than pleasant atmosphere and the chairs were cold metal that made us feel like we were in a clinical setting. We then asked our server, a young shorter man, if he could tell us anything about the wine we were looking at, he said no, but that would ask someone. He then asked the Italian woman who was working the floor but she shook her head at him and he moved to another woman on the other side of the restaurant who was able to tell him it was a dryer crisp white wine which was just what we wanted. The wine ended up being good but we paid $30 for it and after googling it online later, we found that it was a cheap $8 bottle of wine. Next time I'll read up more on my Italian wines.
Our server then entire time seemed stressed and unfriendly and indifferent, even thought I felt like we were more than patient and friendly to him even after all of the problems.We ordered the caprese salad and were underwhelmed. I do not consider 6 sun-dried tomatoes and a few slices of mozzarella with a drizzle of pesto to be a real caprese salad. That being said, we felt like the highlight of the meal was the brussel sprout appetizer which had really good flavor. We ordered the carbonara pasta and the fettucine with added steak. I would say both of these dishes were very simple and didn't have much flavor. The carbonara was definitely better but there wasn't anything that set them apart from a basic italian dish elsewhere. Overall I just felt disappointed about my experience at this restaurant. I hope they are able to work out the problems and become the restaurant they were hyped up to be. The concept is good and the place is beautiful, but without the right staff and dishes, this place could become just another of the basic restaurant options that Ames has.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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58 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Huxley, Iowa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“A Long Way From "Italia"”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014 via mobile

We arrived with a reservation at 5:45 and were seated promptly. With no expectations the the layout and design is very inviting. We have traveled and dined in Italy where waitering is a profession. Not sure you will get that here. Bread, vinegar and oil was not offered without asking 20 minutes after seating. Our wine arrived before the bread. We noticed several tables that arrived long after us getting their orders. Waitress was apologetic but this is not what you pay for. Certain the kitchen was the bottleneck. Pizza and salad arrived at least 50 minutes after ordering. Not sure how you can make this work without turning over the tables at a reasonable rate.

Visited January 2014
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Ames, Iowa
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Don't waste your time”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Don't waste your time. We had 8pm reservations and didn't get seated until 9:15. The staff was somewhat apologetic but didn't do anything to remediate the situation. We got dry bread with no olive oil or butter. Our pasta portions were so small it would barely feed my 20 month old daughter. I wanted so badly to love this place. We were so excited for it to open, but it just disappointed so badly we won't be returning.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Good idea, needs work”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

I had high hopes and have been excited about having another good restaurant in Ames. We scoped it out one afternoon for coffee. Our macchiatos were much inferior to the coffee we had grown accustomed to in Italy. However, we decided to try it for dinner anyway. My family of 4 had a 7pm reservation Thursday night. We arrived at 7:02pm and had to wait 50 minutes for our table. Luckily we were able to sit in bar area where a welcoming fire was burning and ordered fun cocktails ($7-9/each). We eventually were seated at a booth right next to the kitchen door. Not ideal. Our waiter was super cute, professional and endearing. We ordered the beet/pistachio salad (nice), romaine salad(ok), steak tartare(fabulous), fig/prosciutto pizza(ok), mushroom ravioli(very weird, inedible), porchetta (overcooked), pasta carbonara(delicious), panna cotta(strangely flavorless), tiramisu(delightful) and glasses of the house pinot noir(enjoyable, more full-bodied than most) . Total bill was $125 before tip.
My husband was a bit miffed that even with a reservation we had to wait so long for our table and that the staff did not seem at all apologetic about this. If the food had been wonderful the overall impression would have been a positive one. However, since it was so hit and miss I'm not sure we'll be back anytime soon.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
40 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Expected Better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

I've been here only once and won't return again. The restaurant is small, so make reservations (if they accept them) on weekend nights. Our waiter wasn't attentive to our needs and it took a while to get ahold of him. Similar to Italy, the pop isn't refillable, which would be fine if they didn't fill half of the skinny glass with ice. You get free bread on the table, but it's just plain bread. I was expecting to get a plate of oil and herbs with the bread, but no such luck. The food was good. My boyfriend got the risotto, but it came in a small bowl and he was still hungry afterwards. I got the pollo and asked them to substitute regular potatoes for whatever the chicken was supposed to come with. The potatoes they brought me were oven potatoes, which were good but tasted exactly like the ones I make at home. Overall, I don't think it was worth the price.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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