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“Hard To Rate”

Riccelli's Restaurant
Ranked #364 of 573 Restaurants in Des Moines
Cuisines: Italian, Steakhouse
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
216 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Hard To Rate”
Reviewed May 14, 2014

This is a hard restaurant to rate... The decor and overall feel of the place is very aged, and the service can be spotty, but the food--and value--remain strong. Each dinner gets soup, salad, bread, and a spaghetti appetizer--which means a lot of table visits by the wait staff. On a busy night all those table visits can translate into slow service... At a recent visit the salad was blah, but the soup (Italian Wedding) was outstanding, and the sweet red sauce on the spaghetti was delicious. We also got a small order (which is a really large portion) of very good house-made onion rings. Entrees at our table were generous and well prepared, but it was sadly noted that the veal was ground rather than a full piece of meat (tasted good though).

Will we go back? Yes as the food is good and the value is high. Will we wear our glasses when we go back? Likely not as the place is nothing to look at.

Also, consider bring tip cash as you pay the check upfront on the way out.

A final smile is that the place still sells peppermint patties at the cash register just exactly like it did 40+ years ago when we used to come here with our parents. Not much change here, but some times that isn't a bad thing.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank NewStart78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
152 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Traditional Italian”
Reviewed May 13, 2014

The restaurant has been on Indianola Ave for a number of years, but I remember when it was still on Fleur Drive. I finally had a meal here about a month ago and have been back twice since then for dinner.

The meals are reasonably priced and most include a salad and a side of spaghetti. All the meals have been delicious and the service has been good to excellent, depending on the server. A lot of the servers appear to have been here for years and use carts to bring out their food and serve. It's still a family business and sometimes the hostess will yell into the kitchen or holler at one of the servers about a meal or an issue.

If you're into "fine dining" - this is not the place for you. The pictures are old and the place is very retro - but from the original days! Some of the ceiling tiles in the main dining room are stained and starting to drop a little. But if you just want a good meal at a good price, this is a place to try. I'm looking forward to going back on one of the prime rib nights soon.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kathy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
1 review
“It takes an open mind and patience”
Reviewed March 19, 2014

When you walk in the door you are in the 1960's so don't bring any preconceived notions of what a restaurant should be, you're on their terms. The food is good for the price but be prepared that its not what you are going to get at other places. Never come here if you are in a hurry. I would say its worth a try and if you like it come back and if you don't there are plenty of other places to go.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
122 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“An unknown treasure”
Reviewed September 20, 2013

Riccelli's is one of Des Moines secrets. Has been in business for many years, doesn't advertise. Great Italian food at very reasonable prices. A long time favorite. Steaks and pasta - you can't go wrong here.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mitchdsm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa, United States
1 review
“Food Good, Service Horrible”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We had reservations for a large group, so the restaurant knew we were coming. It took a good 20 minutes to get water and pops. The pops were never refilled. We had to beg for water refills. Soup comes with the meal, but when asked why we did not get the soup, the waitress said that for groups over 10 they dont give the soup. Almost every meal gets a side of spaghetti with the meal. Only 5 of the 19 got their spaghetti. The entire meal without dessert was over 3 hours. The waitress explained that they add 18% tip on for large groups, but she always does 19%. That was the last time they could tip themselves for terrible service to us again. They have lost a long term family customer!!!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Judy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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