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“DEFINITELY TOP 5 IN DES MOINES!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Alba

Alba
524 East 6th St., Des Moines, IA
(515) 244-0261
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Ranked #20 of 500 Restaurants in Des Moines
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“DEFINITELY TOP 5 IN DES MOINES!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012 via mobile

So, my girlfriend and I dined at Alba during restaurant week and we absolutely loved it. We are both foodies and we loved the whole experience. Our waiter was spot on!! Answered all our questions and made excellent suggestions. Sure, the portions were not huge or as large as most restaurants, but the food was so satisfying there was no need to overeat or have leftovers. Besides, I think as mid-westerners we are used to over sized meals. I had the heirloom tomatoe salad with homemade ricotta, the pork loin with chorizo(best thing I've eaten for a long time), and bread pudding(best I've ever had). All for $25 since it was restaurant week, but felt like it was worth even more, since it was so delicious!! I cannot wait to go back for more and I am shocked this place is rated so low on TP!! Definitely, top 5 in Des Moines.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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56 reviews from our community

82% Recommend
    30
    16
    6
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Fairfield, Iowa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“great food, tiny portions, noisy room”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

After looking online at the menus of all participants in the recent Des Moines Restaurant Week, we thought Alba's looked like the most interesting. The three-course prix fixe dinner was delicious and beautifully presented, but stingy with the portion sizes. The appetizers were practically amuses bouches, and the entrees (imaginative salmon and barramundi recipes) were lunch-size portions. The peach clafouti for dessert was pretty amazing, though, and contained more calories than the rest of the dinner combined.
The room was simply too loud. If they're trying to attract a "younger" crowd with this ambience, it isn't working -- practically everyone there was over 50. Lastly, the server was inattentive to a fault: we had to flag him down simply to order coffee. Bottom line: We chose Alba primarily for the food and were pretty much delighted with it, except for the portion sizes. Service and ambience alone would rate two stars.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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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
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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!
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  • Visited June 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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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
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