Cafe di Scala - A fine Des Moines area restaurant, Calabrese-Style, in the heart of Historic Sherman Hill. 644 18th Street, Des Moines, IA • Reservations by phone only: 515-244-1353
 
 

cafe di scala

Cafe di Scala Valentine’s Day Menu

January 17th, 2014

As promised, here’s our Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe menu! This year, since Valentine’s Day is on a Friday, we’ll have our prix fixe menu the whole weekend. This means Thursday, February 13, Friday, February 14, and Saturday, February 15.

This is the most popular day of the year in here for us, so reservations are required. Please call to save your spot at 515-244-1353.

Des Moines Restaurant Cafe di Scala Valentine's Day Menu

Des Moines Restaurant Cafe di Scala is offering a Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu for February 13-15. Call 515-244-1353 for reservations.

 

Spring Greetings from Cafe di Scala!

May 2nd, 2013
Spring Greetings Friends!
Well… Sorta. As I write this, snow is falling in Sherman Hill. (Snow?!). But let’s pretend for a second that you’re here in sunny Calabria, looking up at my ancestral hometown of Scala Coeli.
Ahh… feel better? Good. Me too.
New Menu
We’re excited to debut our new spring menu at Scala today. As the winter squash cappellacci pasta and braising pans have been tucked away until next fall, still there is much too look forward to. Chef Phil and Tony have been honing this menu for the past few weeks. From a new style of pizza crust, a couple divine pastas or a lovely fennel salad that embodies everything spring, we invite you to Scala for a dinner and celebrate an evening with friends. As an added bonus, our wrap around porch is ready for alfresco dinning and we updated our all Italian wine list with some new gems. The menu is posted on our website HERE or attached to this email below.Beatles Brunch
Come grab a seat for our always sold out first Sunday of the month Beatles Brunch. Get your reservations for brunch today by calling 515-244-1353Private Gatherings at Scala
From rehearsal dinners to baby showers to business gatherings, make Scala your home for your special event. Check our private parties page on our website if you’d like more info.

No Corkage Fee Thursdays
As always, we welcome you to join us on Thursday and bring in a bottle or three. We’ll gladly waive your corkage fee.

Cheers!
Tony & Scala Staff

Cafe di Scala

644 18th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Open 5-10 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the rest of the week for private events

P.S. Check out our all new menu at Gusto Pizza Co and check out a new gourmet hotdog project I’m working on with friend James Bruton called Hotshots. As promised, below is our new menu. 

Cafe di Scala Spring Menu

Cafe di Scala New Year’s Eve Dinner Menu

December 21st, 2012

Cafe di Scala Sherman Hill Restaurant Winter Photo

 

Seasons Greetings Friends!

With snow on the ground, Santa’s packing up his sleigh and a New Year is in the making. Blessed Holidays to all of you.

New Years Menu at Des Moines Restaurant Cafe di Scala: We’re offering Five wonderful courses for $60. Check out the menu at the bottom of this post. Reservations are required and seats are limited. 515-244-1343

Scala Gift Card: Don’t just buy that special someone a dinner… give them an experience to remember.  Our seasonal menu, award-winning wine list and our charming old victorian are sure to please a friend or relative looking for something unique.

Beatles Brunch: Come rock out to Phil and Tony’s breakfast show! Our next first Sunday of the Month Brunch will be held January 6th from 10-2.

 A la Carte:
–No Corkage Thursday’s every week at Cafe di Scala. Bring in your own bottle and we’ll waive our usual corkage fee on Thursdays.

–We’d be humbled if you’d vote for Scala for Best Chef (Phil Shires), Best Italian and Best Restaurant. Click here to vote for us: Cityview Best of Des Moines Awards.
Cheers,
Tony & Scala Staff
Cafe di Scala
644 18th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Open 5-10 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the rest of the week for private events

P.S. Our New Year’s Eve Menu is below as promised:

Cafe di Scala Des Moines Restaurant New Year's Eve Menu

Holiday Parties in Des Moines Shine at Cafe di Scala

November 30th, 2012
Here's the picture of a beautiful marriage proposal on Thursday night here at Scala.
Holiday Greetings Scala Lovers!

Autumn colors fade as the next round of holidays approach us this busy season.  As you look for a place to entertain your family and friends over the coming weeks, consider us for a romantic dinner, a rockin’ Sunday Beatles Brunch or a private dinner experience unparallelled in the Metro. Our expert staff, 100% Italian-award winning wine list and kitchen look forward to providing an abundance of Holiday cheer and Smiles over the coming weeks.

Holiday Parties
We are available for both lunch and dinner private events. Put simply, you can enjoy both the entire Cafe and a custom tailored menu for a minimum of $400 for lunch and $1,500 for dinner. We can accommodate up to 60 guests for a sit down dinner and 100 guests for appetizer and wine  themed gatherings. Packages ranges from $25 to $90 dollars for a wide variety of courses and offerings. Email our event planner Amy for more details: Eventplanner@CafediScala.com, or visit our private events page of our website by clicking here.

Sunday Beatles Brunch
Our Beatles Brunch is this Sunday, December 2nd from 10-2pm.   Chef Phil and Tony will be crafting their magical brunch menu consisting of everything you expect in a musical culinary paradise. Call for a reservation for this nearly sold out brunch. 515-244-1353. You can find the Beatles Brunch menu at the bottom of this message.

A la Carte:
–No Corkage Thursday’s every week at Cafe di scala. Bring in your own bottle and we’ll waive our usual corkage fee on Thursdays.
–Our New Years Eve menu will be announced soon. Stay tuned!
–We’d be humbled if you’d vote for Scala for Best Chef, Best Italian and Best Restaurant in the Cityview Best of Des Moines Awards.

Cheers,
Tony & Scala Staff

Cafe di Scala
644 18th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Open 5-10 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the rest of the week for private events
P.S. Our Beatles Brunch Menu is below as promised:

This place smells like brown sugar sage butter sauce. (The Scala November Newsletter)

November 1st, 2012
Good Afternoon Scala Friends! Hope you’re all doing well. This place smells like brown sage butter sauce. Here are a few things going on around here:
NO CORKAGE FEE THURSDAYS: Bring in a bottle or three, grab your friends and visit us on Thursdays. We never charge corkage fees on Thursday nights. 515-244-1353 for reservations. We also added some cool wines to our wine menu. Check our wine list out here.NEW FALL MENU: Yes, the butternut squash cappelacci, truffled brussel sprouts and squash panna cotta are back. Take a look at our current fall menu.Cafe di Scala Beatles Brunch
BEATLES BRUNCH: The Scala Band will be at it again this Sunday, November 4th for our Beatles Brunch, open from 10-2.  Call for a reservation to secure a seat for this one of a kind show featuring Chef Phil Shires in the kitchen and his counterpart Tony up front keeping the mimosas flowing. Space is tight, so call 515-244-1353 for reservations. I’ve also attached the Brunch menu below.

HOLIDAY PARTIES: We are starting to fill up for holiday events. Book a party, and you can have the entire cafe exclusively Sunday through Wednesdays and lunch gatherings any day of the week. Check out our Private Events page on our website.

Cheers!

Tony L.

Updated By The Glass Wine List

October 15th, 2012

Hey Friends–

We haven’t told you about our by the glass wine list here in a while. We thought we’d let you know about some of the selections we’ve added to our wine list. We’re very proud to say that we still have the only 100% Italian wine list in Iowa.

Here are a couple of the wines that we’ve added to our list:

Vermentino Maremma IGT – Aia Vecchia – 2011 — 100 % Vermentino from Tuscany- a clean & medium bodied whitehints of freshly cut grass and grapefruit.

Barbera D’ Alba DOC – Podere Ruggeri Corsini – 2010 – 100% Barbera aged in oak barriques with mediumrich, ripe fruit with hints of plum underlined by spice

Langhe Rosso DOC – Stefano Farina – 2007 — 40% barbera, 40% nebbiolo & 20% merlot grapes from Piedmontfirm, yet elegant body with dark fruit that’s aged in oak casks

Ciro Rosso Reserva DOC – “Duca San Felice” – Librandi – 2009 100% Gaglioppo (think merlot) grown by Calabria’s most celebrated winery — aromas of figs, tobacco and fresh cherries followed by an earthy finish… This has been on our list for a while, but we like it so much we thought we’d remind you that we have it.

Rosso IGT Venezia Giulia – Le Vigne di Zamo – 2010 — cabernet, merlot & refosco make up this sexy red from Friuli ( northeastern italy) — gorgeous notes of vibrant berries-sturdy finish as this gem is aged six months in oak… We added this in March, but it’s worth showcasing again. This is agreeable with most people and we’re lucky to be able to pour it by the glass.

Below is the rest of our list. Please take a look at our reserve list as well and as always, don’t be afraid to ask your server questions if you need help or if you need to be pointed in a general direction. We’re happy to help!

A Scala Server’s Reflections on His Last Day

October 7th, 2012

Cafe di Scala’s Tony Lemmo with Phil James

Last night I worked my final shift at my homey Tony Lemmo’s Cafe di Scala. I worked six of the seven years it’s been open. With all my life changes this month, I figured it was time to move on.

And today I’m sad.

Scala never felt like work. Sure it was great to have the extra money, but it was always a safe place for me to enjoy the company of a tight group of loving people. Back when I was a drinker, I got to experience some of the best wines on earth for free. And then there was the food of creative people doing cool shit with simple ingredients. Being around Chef Phil taught me about the intricacies of pan searing salmon and the revolutionary act of a hand hug.

Back in 2005, my old roommate Tony bribed Nicole and me (using slices of Centro pizza) into helping him paint the place. We weren’t professionals, but we survived those hot July nights on music from KUNI, paint fumes and promising conversation of what was to come. And then he conned me into working for him. I thought I’d just work a month or two and then let someone else take over. But it was too fun.

Tony built something fantastic. He turned a 120 year old Victorian home without any parking into a successful place for people to get their romance on. He did everything people tell you to avoid when you start a business, but there’s a good reason that it works. It IS what true art should be. Some people desire a lot of money and to build an empire of restaurants, turn a profit and work yourself to death… Nothing wrong with that, but what’s the fun in that if you don’t have something that truly lasts? What’s the joy in doing anything you do if you don’t put 100% of your love into it?

I think that’s why Scala always attracts such a great staff of friends. People work there for the same reason people eat there — to experience something that’s right with the world. Friendship. And love. And art.

And Cafe di Scala is right. Thanks, friend.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss

Written by Phil K. James

Summer Turns to Fall at Cafe di Scala…

August 30th, 2012

Greetings Scala Friends and Lovers!

Fall has almost arrived, Friends. That means football, golden and amber leaves. Our roasted butternut squash cappellacci is just around the corner. Enjoy the last couple weeks of our summer menu on our patio, or cuddled up at a table for two indoors. Here are a couple notes this month…

Restaurant Week Thanks… First, a warm thank you to all of you who joined us for Restaurant Week this year! We set many records for attendance. More than that, it was great to meet so many new people who were trying us out for the first time. If you have a friend who hasn’t tried us out, don’t keep us a secret!

MISC…

No Corkage Thursday
Grab a bottle. Grab a friend. Grab a lover and visit us on Thursdays for dinner.
We are officially waiving corkage fees on Thursdays permanently!

LouAnn’s Italian Specialties
My mom LouAnn Lemmo is the inspiration for the majority 0f what we do here at Cafe di Scala. It was in her kitchen were I learned much of my cooking craft… If you have a big event coming up and want her to make some wandas, love knots or even an Italian Wedding Cake, give her a call at 515-282-4951.

Private Events
Let Cafe di Scala be the venue for your next event. If you have an anniversary, baby shower, wedding rehearsal dinner, business lunch or dinner, we’d love to talk with you. We let you create your own menu and choose your own wines. Give Cafe di Scala Event Planner Amy Carrell a call at 515-244-1353 or email her at events@cafediscala.com.

Sunday Beatles Brunch
It’ll be back on Sunday, September 2nd from 10-2. Happiness is a warm brunch. Call 515-244-1353 for reservations.

Cheers!
Tony

Cafe di Scala
644 18th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Open 5-10 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the rest of the week for private events

Cafe di Scala Turns Lucky Seven!

July 23rd, 2012
7th Anniversary Coursed Food & Wine Dinner
This Wednesday July 25th, Chef Phil and I will be crafting a five course meal paired with wines to celebrate seven years of Cafe di Scala. We’d be honored if you could join us. We still have slots available for this special evening. A small reception starts at 6:30 with dinner commencing at 7PM. Cost is $75 per person plus tax and gratuity. Please call the cafe 515-244-1353 as reservations are very limited.

First Course

roasted fennel puree and orange zest on crostini
marinated olives, soppresatta mortadella and pickled banana peppers
adami “garbel 13” prosecco

Second Course
calabresse vegetable minestrone
librandi “ciro rosso”

Third Course
angel hair with anise, olive oil and peccorino romano
librandi “efeso”

Fourth Course
beef braciole over a roasted pepper and potatoragu with peccroino and basil
librandi “magno megonio”

Fifth Course
walnut and honey pound cake with citrus and mascarpone mousse
vignia del papi  “vin santo del chianti”

MISC…
No Corkage Thursday

Grab a bottle. Grab a friend. Grab a lover and visit us on Thursdays for dinner.
We are officially waiving corkage fees on Thursdays permanently!

LouAnn’s Italian Specialties
My mom LouAnn Lemmo is the inspiration for the majority 0f what we do here at Cafe di Scala. It was in her kitchen were I learned much of my cooking craft… If you have a big event coming up and want her to make some wandas, love knots or even an Italian Wedding Cake, give her a call at 515-282-4951.

Private Events
Let Cafe di Scala be the venue for your next event. If you have an anniversary, baby shower, wedding rehearsal dinner, business lunch or dinner, we’d love to talk with you. We let you create your own menu and choose your own wines. Give Cafe di Scala Event Planner Amy Carrell a call at 515-244-1353 or email her at eventplanner@cafediscala.com.

Sunday Beatles Brunch
It’ll be back on August 5th from 10-2. Happiness is a warm brunch.


Host and Gusto Pizza

As most of you know, I’m also partners on two other downtown eateries and I wanted to thank you all for your business there. Host is happily open for lunch downtown from 11-2:30. Until the end of August, get a free fountain drink or a free Iowa brewed beer if you mention this email. At Gusto Pizza Co., during the entire month of August, print off this email or show it to us on your phone, and we’ll honor it for a buy one pizza, get the second pizza 1/2 off. (August 2012 only)

Cheers,
Tony

Help us celebrate seven great years!

July 11th, 2012

Celebrate 7 years with us on July 25th!

Happy Summer Scala Family & Friends!

Cafe di Scala is celebrating our seven year anniversary this month. Seven years! Amazing, huh? Four executive Chefs, 50 thousand pounds of homemade pasta and dozens of successful marriage proposals later, Scala has been one epic journey.

It’s astounding to think back to those final days leading up to Scala opening our doors on that hot and steamy Friday night  back in 2005.  Good pals Gabe Lueders, Mike Webster and I sawed boards, swung hammers and updated light fixtures for what seemed like an eternity of 15 hour work days. The late David Ryan, one of my best friends and greatest chefs to find inspiration, collaborated on a dinner menu.  Justin Berkley and Kevin Fazio fine tuned the beer and wine lists.  My parents (Tony and Lou Ann) worked on reconfiguring the dinning room space and tidying up things. (As my mother later admitted, the place was truly a “diamond in the rough.”) Throw in a couple dozen friends (Nicole & Phil James, Carlos Garza, Rob Jesmer,  a couple other Phils and many more, — apologies for not mentioning you) who helped landscape, brush on paint, sample food and provide moral support, that twenty-six year old kid (me) would have never been able to achieve the recognition and success without being surrounded by those wonderful people who championed my vision.

And we couldn’t have been here without the many thousands of customers like you. Bless you for being a part of what we do.

Visit the Cafe and celebrate the month of July with us!

7th Anniversary Coursed Food & Wine Dinner
On Wednesday July 25th, Chef Phil and I will be crafting a five course meal paired with wines.
A small reception starts at 6:30 with dinner commencing at 7PM. Cost is $75 per person plus tax and gratuity. Please call the Cafe (515.244.1353) as reservations are very limited.

First Course
roasted fennel puree and orange zest on crostini
marinated olives, soppresatta mortadella and pickled banana peppers
adami “garbel 13” prosecco

Second Course
calabresse vegetable minestrone
librandi “ciro rosso”

Third Course
angel hair with anise, olive oil and peccorino romano
librandi “efeso”

Fourth Course
beef braciole over a roasted pepper and potatoragu with peccroino and basil
librandi “magno megonio”

Fifth Course
walnut and honey pound cake with citrus and mascarpone mousse
vignia del papi  “vin santo del chianti”

MISC…
No Corkage Thursday

Grab a bottle. Grab a friend. Grab a lover and visit us on Thursdays for dinner.
We are officially waiving corkage fees on Thursdays permanently!

Private Events
Let Cafe di Scala be the venue for your next event. If you have an anniversary, baby shower, wedding rehearsal dinner, business lunch or dinner, we’d love to talk with you. We let you create your own menu and choose your own wines. Give Cafe di Scala Event Planner Amy Carrell a call at 515-244-1353 or email her at eventplanner@cafediscala.com.

Sunday Beatles Brunch
It’ll be back on August 5th from 10-2. Happiness is a warm brunch.

Cheers,
Tony

Cafe di Scala
644 18th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Open 5-10, Thursday-Saturday and the rest of the week for private events

 
Cafe di Scala - A fine Des Moines area restaurant, Calabrese-Style, in the heart of Historic Sherman Hill. 644 18th Street, Des Moines, IA • Reservations by phone only: 515-244-1353