Restaurant Week: Baru 66

I love Des Moines for a lot of reasons…and one of those reasons is the great local restaurants. While we don’t have as many as, say, Minneapolis, KC, or Omaha, the ones we do have are absolutely amazing. Alba, Cafe di Scala, any of George Formaro’s restaurants…they can hold their own with any top restaurant in another city, hands down. What’s even better than having great restaurants is having those restaurants participate in Restaurant Week once a year. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Restaurant Week is a full week dedicated to some of the great restaurants around Des Moines. The restaurants offer special “Prix Fixe” (fixed price) menus, with three courses (typically) for $25. If you’re like me and can’t afford to go out to eat at nice restaurants every week as much as one would like, Restaurant Week is something to look forward to (and salivate over for a month leading up to it!). The restaurants post their specialty menus well in advance so that you’re able to pick and choose your favorites, and then you simply make a reservation, select your courses from the fixed menu, and boom! An amazing dinner for $25!

Now, obviously, some of the restaurants participating in R.W. really aren’t worth $25…but if you choose right, you get an amazing deal. And let me tell you, Max and I chose right. We decided on Baru 66, one of my all-time favorite restaurants. We’ve been once before and have been dyingg to go back. Situated in Windsor Heights, most would drive past and not notice the small, unassuming French eatery. Right on the corner, Baru had its front door open, letting the summer breeze sweep through the bar into the rest of the dining area. I prefer smaller venues to gigantic, 100+ seat places, since I know my food won’t be prepared in an assembly line and warmed up in the microwave. Here at Baru, you know your food is brought out the minute it is finished cooking, delivered piping hot to your table. The servers are knowledgeable about the menu items, and all of the menu items are well-explained, actually coming out how they say they will (which sometimes isn’t the case!). So, without further ado, our delicious choices from Baru 66’s Restaurant Week menu:

How cool are their hand-painted plates!? The artist painted each one a different location in France. And he did all the wall artwork in the restaurant, too!

MAX’S CHOICES:

First course for both of us: Roasted corn-potato gnocchi with chevre, rosemary, and toasted almonds. The gnocchi was sweet (Max described it as tasting like Honey Bunches of Oats cereal) while the chevre and almonds added a tangy flavor, balancing out the sweetness. The gnocchi melted in your mouth. Delicious.

Second Course: Sake-marinated smoked pepper beef with wasabi potatoes and ginger-pickled market vegetables. The wasabi potatoes were AMAZING. They looked like little cheese balls and exploded with flavor when biting into them. Just enough zing from the wasabi to still be able to enjoy the other flavors. My only complaint: Only three wasabi-potato balls 😦 The beef was tender and perfectly marinated, and the veggies were, well, ginger-pickled…kind of a weird taste, but paired well with everything else!

Final course: Pineapple ravioli with mascarpone-honey mousse. Definitely the most unique course, the raviolis were actually MADE out of pineapple. So neat! Instead of using dough, the mousse was sandwiched between two super-thin slivers of pineapple. The perfect dessert for Max, who isn’t a huge dessert fan. Nice and light!

NATALIE’S CHOICES:

Since we both started with the gnocchi, I’ll start with my second course 🙂

Second course: Lemon-butter poached salmon with chilled peach chutney and coconut-green curry slaw. I love all fish, and this was no exception. The salmon flaked perfectly, and the flavors from the slaw and chutney jazzed up the dish to complement the fish. No complaints 🙂

Final course: Bacon-chocolate bread and butter pudding with toffee sauce. Yummmm. I love chocolate, toffee, and bacon, and putting it altogether is a dream come true. Sprinkled with pistachios and finished with a delicious vanilla-bean ice cream, this little delight was as tasty as it looked. The perfect finish to an amazing meal.

All in all, Baru 66 was a HUGE success. The portions were the perfect size, and we both left satisfied but not stuffed. Thank you, Des Moines Restaurant Week, for giving us the opportunity to try such awesome places at a fraction of the cost 🙂

Where are you making sure to try for DSM Restaurant Week?
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3 thoughts on “Restaurant Week: Baru 66

  1. I love your post. My husband and I are headed to Baru66 tomorrow night for dinner. We are both really excited as it is our first time there. All of the courses sound delicious!

  2. Pingback: Friday Funs « Let Them Eat Cake

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