All-Star Prix Fixe Dinner AND New Year's Eve at Cafe di Scala

Happy Holidays! Join us this month for these two unique events.

All Star Prix Fixe: December 21-23. Join us for this is a collection of some of our most famous dishes over the decade. four wonderful courses for $40.  

New Years: Come celebrate new beginnings with us on December 31st at the last day of Cafe di Scala before we evolve to Aposto. 

View the menus for both of these events below. CLICK the images to enlarge them. Reservations are required by calling 515-244-1353.

10 Year Anniversary, Special Prix Fixe Dinners

Cafe di Scala Des Moines Private Parties

Summer Greetings Scala Friends and Lovers!

At the end of July, we'll have celebrated ten years at our Sherman Hill home. Ten years means a couple more grey hairs, thousands of pounds of handmade pasta and countless new friends. It's been one fantastic journey, and we thank you all for being with us for so long. 

Here are a few things going on this month: 

* Cafe di Scala 10 year Anniversary Dinner: Join us as we celebrate 10 years on Wednesday, July, 22.
 5 courses | $60  | We will be opening up some special 10 year old red wines in addition to some unique Calabrian wines which will be offered as suggested food pairings. See the menu below this email. Call us at 515-244-1353 to reserve your spot. 

Special Prix Fixe Dinners:  We will be closed Friday July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th. However, the cafe will be open for a special 3 course prix fixe menu on Tuesday June 30, Wednesday July 1, and Thursday July 2Please see the menu below this email and call us at 515-244-1353 to be a part of these special prix fixe dinners. 

Beatles Brunch: We were going to announce Beatles Brunch for this month, but then realized that it's all sold out. Sorry. If you want to get in to August 2nd's brunch, give us a call soon. 

Private Events: We offer the entire Cafe exclusively for private events Sunday through Wednesday’s for both lunch and dinner events. Please contact Amy at for events inquiries.


We hope we're lucky enough to see you soon. 

Tony and Scala Staff

P.S. Here are the two menus for our special events next month.

Here's the Menu for the special Prix Fixe dinners on June 30, July 1 and July 2:

Here's the menu for the 10 year anniversary dinner on July 22:

10 Year Anniversary Dinner -- Cafe di Scala Des Moines

Valentine's Day Dinner and Special Coltibuono-Inspired Wine Dinner

Hello Friends,

The snow of the past weekend is a good reminder that winter will be around for a while. We're fine with it if you are. Here are a couple reasons to cozy up with a glass, some good friends and some food crafted with love and care: 

Private Events: Visiting Cafe di Scala is so much more than a place to grab a bite to eat. Our food is in the hands of a James Beard nominated kitchen and an all Italian Wine List which has attracted the attention of both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. All of this happens in a Victorian Mansion built in 1880, tucked away in one of the most unique atmospheres in the Metro. 

Working with our event planner along with one of our chefs, guests will have the opportunity to custom design their own meal. Regardless if you're looking for an intimate eight course feast paired with wines or a larger party of passed appetizers and creative cocktails, Scala can accommodate private events from 10 to 100. 

In addition to offering our gorgeous space for private events, the Scala team offers themed dinner, pasta workshops, Italian Wine tastings and audience participation during the filming of our culinary podcasts. We invite you into our home to be part of the magic!

Here are some of the other notable things happening here this month:

  • New Vino: We've added a bunch of great new wines on our reserve list and by the glass list. Check them out on our website HERE.
  • Special Dinners: We're doing two special dinners in the coming weeks. See the menu for each below the text of this email. You're invited:
    1. Valentine's Day February 8We'll be offering a prix fixe menu with some lovely stuff that Chef Phil and I have come up with. Reservations are required. Call us at515-244-1353.
    2. Coltibuono Dinner Sunday, February 22. Five course meal celebrating Tuscan wine producer Badia a Coltibuono in Tuscany. You'll have the chance to meet and eat dinner with wine innovator Roberto Stucchi Prinetti and experience his wines with a four course wine tasting dinner. This will also be a prix fixe menu and an extraordinary occasion to meet a wine producer and the food inspired by their exquisite cultivation. Please call us for reservations. 
  • Beatles Brunch: The band's getting back together. Our Beatles Brunch will be back this Sunday, February 8 from 10-2. Reservations required by calling515-244-1353

All the best and hope to see you all soon.

Tony & Scala Staff
644 18th Street
Des Moines, IA 50314

P.S. As promised, here are the menus for the special February dinners.


Menu for the Cafe di Scala Valentine's Day Dinner 2/14/15

Menu for the Coltibuono Dinner on 2/22/15:

Save Cleverley Farms! Help!

We need your help!

The Iowa DOT appears to be moving forward on a plan to build an interchange on the land currently owned by Cleverley Farms . The farm has been in his family since 1928 and we feel that there are alternatives to this interchange that the DOT must consider.

In addition to being a great friend of the Cafe di Scala staff, Larry has been our go-to farmer for years. Many other establishments like ours, and hundreds who buy from him at the Farmer's Market rely on his beautiful and unique produce. If you believe, like we do, that this would be a tremendous loss to our community, please stand up for Larry and Beth and do the following:

1) SIGN this petition. These signatures will be sent to IDOT. Link: -->>
2) SHARE this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
3) GET INVOLVED -- There will be opportunities for action to save Cleverley Farms, so when you sign, make sure you sign up for updates from them.

Thanks for listening. Together we can save this farm. -->>


Holidays at Scala [With NYE Menu and New Pasta Podcast Project]

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

As many of you know, it's been a tough year for my family. This Holiday season I mean this sincerely in that we couldn't do this without your love and support this year. So thank you. I really can't say that enough.

Here's a virtual hug for ya.  <<hug>>

On to happier things, we have lots of fun and exciting new things happening here this season. I hope we're lucky enough to see your beautiful face in here soon. (Yes, I'm talking to you. You're beautiful and we like you). Some news:

  • Pasta & Wine Works Shops and Pasta Podcast: Early 2015, I will be offering themed workshops for couples and small groups in my personal kitchen. In addition to the classes, I'll begin filming episodes for my new Pasta Podcast themed show. Guests will vary from some of my closest chef friends to Italian winemakers that will be visiting the heartland. Themes will range from Regional Italian dishes to pasta creations inspired by travels. Additional Details for both of these projects will be shared after the holidays.
  • New Year's Eve Dinner: We're doing our New Year's Eve menu this year. Click here to view the NYE menu. Reservations fill up fast, so call us at 515-244-1353.
  • Holiday Parties: We always have room for your holiday party. You can reserve the entire cafe or book a special room in the Cafe. (See the photo above). Make your company or family party memorable and unique. Contact our Events Planner Amy here
  • Gift Card Giveway: Our 5th Annual gift card giveaway is happening FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19 from 4:00pm -- 6:00pm. The deal is a $50 gift card for $40, or a $100 gift card for $75. Pretty great deal, but it's only happening during this window. Tomorrow on Facebook and Twitter, we'll be giving away 5 gift cards throughout the day as well.  Please stop in to the cafe  at this time and we'll hook you up (644 18th Street, Des Moines, 50314). 
NYE Menu

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays!


Tony & Scala Staff

2014 Fall Menu

Cafe di Scala Lemmo Family Photo

Fall Greetings Friends!
The leaves are turning.
One last glance at the petunias. 
Final harvest from the garden.

As I reach for my favorite wool sweater, I'm reminded how the Scala Fall menu is holds a special place in my heart. From roasted butternut squash and braised meats, to a couple new inspired dishes  my mother loved to create, there's definitely something everyone to enjoy.  I'd like to invite you into my home to cozy up with some friends and loved ones and celebrate with family crafted food and wine.
On that note, I also want to thank each and everyone of you for the cards, thoughts, flowers and hugs over the past couple months in honor of my mother who passed away this summer. While her Guantis cookies will no longer greet you at the host stand after meal, her inspiration and love will carry on.  
Scala Holiday Private Parties

If you refer a private party of 15 or more people to us, we'll give you a $100 gift card. Pretty simple, just encourage your boss or office party planner to have your private party here and we'll give you a $100 gift card as a note of thanks. Learn more by clicking HERE
New Menu

Our Autumn menu is here. That means mom's pita cu sardi pasta, David Ryan's Cappellacci, a couple appetizer favorites and Lou Lou's mini donuts. Check it out below the text of this email. 

New Wines: 

Click here to take a peek at our new reserve list that we just put up on our website as well. 

Autumn Blessings,

Tony & Staff

Des Moines Register article from 5/13/14: "Cafe di Scala chefs Lemmo, Shires a culinary dream team"

There was a nice article from Carlos Acevedo in today's Des Moines Register. 

Lemmo describes the partnership as an "amazing synergy." Lemmo brings his passion for the Italian cuisine of southern Italy and, of course, all the heirloom recipes passed to him through the generations. Meanwhile, Shires brings the polish of formal training and a "zen simplicity."

This dynamic is apparent throughout the menu.

Read the rest of the article HERE. 

Big News! Cafe di Scala Receives 4.5 out of 5 stars from the Des Moines Register Datebook!

Photo Credit: Kelsey Kremer, The Des Moines Register,

Big news! The Des Moines Register Datebook just reviewed us and gave us 4.5 out of 5 stars! We're very proud and humbled to receive this praise and thank all of you for keeping what we do here alive.

Some of our favorite quotes: "...bonkers-good," "The pasta, stuffed with fresh tomato and ricotta, seemed to melt in my mouth," and "His new spring menu is a smor­gasbord of fresh Calabrian delights."

Read the full review here: -->>

(Photo credit to Kelsey Kremer, The Des Moines Register)