We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice place” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Alba

Alba
524 East 6th St., Des Moines, IA
(515) 244-0261
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #29 of 501 restaurants in Des Moines
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Nice place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

I'd rate this place as excellent except I didn't love the big open room, and our entrees were both rather over-salted. Service was good once it began (waited a few minutes) and the beet and haricot verts salads were exceptional. We did not try any of the burgers. The gnocchi and tagliatelle were very good although as mentioned, oddly salty. We had salted caramel creme brulee (yes, we ordered salt for dessert!) and it was lovely. Nice wine list! I'd go back.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

54 reviews from our community

81% Recommend
    28
    16
    6
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Des Moines, Iowa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Better eat before you go to Alba”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

While I generally think the serving sizes at most restaurants are too large, Alba is the extreme opposite - unbelievably small. The drinks are quite small too, and it was difficult to tell if there was any alcohol in them whatsoever despite the charge of $9.50 for a small specialty drink. The atmosphere and service were good, but otherwise Alba is so not worth the money!
.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Des Moines, Iowa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“aMAziNG! Favorite Restaurant in Des Moines. Period.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2012

It doesn't get much better than this in Des Moines. My friends and I visited for dinner several months ago, and I have been back three times since (2 lunch, 1 dinner)! Among the things to love:

1) Creative seasonal menu which changes frequently. (Note: The kitchen relies on fresh and organic ingredients that can change daily so one of our servers suggested that we call ahead if we really wanted to know if a specific item was being served for dinner.)

2) Their website is really fun. The sample of menu items and prices was helpful. albadsm.com

3) Friendly and professional staff.

4) Try a martini. Although they are a little pricey ($8-$10) they are super strong and ridiculously tasty.

5) Dessert: Lava cake is hands down the best dessert I have ever had in Des Moines. Must try it! Must.

Obviously I am a little obsessed with this place and it has quickly become my favorite restaurant in Des Moines (sorry Baru!).

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A new favorite!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2012 via mobile

Tool my wife and had an excellent time start to finish! Great atmosphere with neat artwork and perfect lighting, indoor tempature was perfect. Seated right away by politeful hostess....it's amazing how many places we go that have rude hostess.....very good first impression at Alba. Had great window table on east window with view of Capitol building dome. Server Ben was prompt , polite and very knowledgable and provided flawless service all while still serving an 18 top party next to us and me may have had another table or two as well. Had great martinis and excellent extensive wine list. The " east village" Dirty Ketel One Martini with spicy goat cheese stuffed olives was perfectly done! We got chorizo fries which were very tasty...what a great idea~ fries with sautéed chorizo and chives plus it was a large portion which surprised me because some other reviews I read complained of portions....everything we got was more than big enough portions and we left very full. She got the butter nut squash gnookie which was good and not too sweet like we thought it may be. I got the Gunniess braised shirt ribs which were really a top ten all time meal for me! Perfectly done. Very tender with great favors of veggies and egg noodles mixed in and the best part was the sauce which was very flavorful. Moved to bar for desert and wine. Bartender Shannon was very helpful in deciding on wine and desert. We got pineapple upside down cake bread pudding which was very good with Sauvignon blanc she recommend . The bar area got liitle steamy and smoky from Kitchen but they said theyre working on a vent system to help minimize that. We'll definitely be back.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Alba - good quality food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2012

I've eaten at Alba probably 10 times, usually for lunch. I do NOT do fast food or typical "American" fare of burgers fries and the usual, so the fact I'm a repeat eater at this place is a good indicator of quality food. In the summer you can eat outside, which I prefer. Their indoor seating is very good too, with nice wood decor and lots of windows so if you wish you could be outside but can't, it's a good choice. Food is good quality ingredients, good unique recipes, no huge portions you can't finish. I love their fritatta, spinich salad, soups. It can be a lttile noisy inside if the place fills up - good to be there a bit before or after the rush hours. Service has always been good - prompt and friendly. Absolutely worth a try.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Alba also viewed

Des Moines, IA
Des Moines, IA
 

Been to Alba? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Alba, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.