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
 
 

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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

New Reserve Wines at Cafe di Scala!

February 8th, 2012

Cafe di Scala is proud to offer three new Barolo's from Italy's Piedmonte region.

At the café, we like to find as many unique Italian wines as we possibly can so that you can have an experience like nowhere else in Iowa. We offer almost 100 wines on our reserve list and pour 14 by the glass. Every couple months or so, we like to add a few fresh bottles to our reserve list.

We know our Italian wines. We’re immensely proud of our by the glass selections, but our wine list won awards of distinction from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines for a reason.  Take the time to ask your server for a good recommendation from our reserve list, and they’ll find something that can appeal to your palate or pair with your food. There are over 20,000 grape varietals in Italy… We’ve only just begun!!

Below is a look at some of the bottles that we added in February with some tasting notes. We hope to see you soon!

We have one new addition to the white wine reserve list and the rest are reds.

CHARDONNAY Umbria IGT – “Cervaro“ Castello della Sala 2009

Yellow gold color with medium forming legs and aromas of grapefruit and apple. It’s balanced and has flavours of grapefruit, pineapple, melon and lemon with a light/medium body. Bright texture with a long finish – I am not a great fan of whites but for every rule…..excellent, full flavored but subtle and bright. the Grechetto adds much diminution to the Chardonnay. Wonderful blend!

RIBOLLA GIALLA  Colli Orientali DOC -  “Rosazzo” – Le Vigne di Zamo – 2009

Zamò’s Ribolla Gialla (yellow ribolla) gives a definite textural impression, probably due to the skin contact involved in the wine’s vinification. Very complex notes of lemongrass and fennel with bracing acidity. Ribolla’s fame goes back to written documents in 1289, when even then the wine was celebrated for its quality. Now Ribolla Gialla accounts for only about 1% of vineyard area in Friuli and neighboring Slovenia. About 16,000 bottles produced.

AGLIANICO Taurasi DOCG “Terre del Vulcano” – Lava – 2003

From Aglianico grape variety. Really dark yet youthful color for a 6 year old wine. Blackberry, minerals, this wine tastes like a volcano with hints of cedar, smoke, leather, dust. In the mouth perfectly balanced with great depth and complexity. Very long, rich, subtle, textural finish.

GAGLIOPPO Ciro Rosso DOC – “Liber Pater” –Ippolito 1845  – 2009

The power and elegance of Gaglioppo, a native grape of Calabria, have found concrete expression in this wine. Characteristics: ruby red with purple hues, the nose is intense and persistent with hints of berry fruits supported by hints of spice. With very fine tannins, the palate is full bodied, velvety, well-structured. Tips: red body, it goes well with red meats, cheeses and pasta dishes well seasoned cheeses.

THREE NEW BAROLO’S!

Vietti's Barollo Castiglione

Found this interesting piece of Piedmont wine history on CellarTracker.com:

The wines of Piemonte are noted as far back as Pliny’s Natural History. Due to geographic and political isolation, Piemonte was without a natural port for most of its history, which made exportation treacherous and expensive. This left the Piemontese with little incentive to expand production. Sixteenth-century records show a mere 14% of the Bassa Langa under vine — most of that low-lying and farmed polyculturally. In the nineteenth century the Marchesa Falletti, a frenchwoman by birth, brought eonologist Louis Oudart from Champagne to create the first dry wines in Piemonte. Along with work in experimental vineyards at Castello Grinzane conducted by Camilo Cavour — later Conte di Cavour, leader of the Risorgimento and first Prime Minister of Italy — this was the birth of modern wine in the Piemonte. At the heart of the region and her reputation are Alba and the Langhe Hills. This series of weathered outcroppings south of the Tanaro River is of maritime origin and composed mainly of limestone, sand and clay, known as terra bianca. In these soils -located mainly around the towns of Barolo and Barbaresco — the ancient allobrogica, now Nebbiolo, achieves its renowned fineness and power.

BAROLO DOCG – “Castiglione”  – Vietti – 2007

The 2007 Barolo Castiglione deftly balances the open, radiant personality of the vintage with considerable underlying structure. Warm, dense and full-bodied, the 2007 Barolo Castiglione flows effortlessly across the palate with generous fruit and fabulous overall balance. It is another overachieving wine from Vietti and a bottle that is exceedingly fairly priced.

BAROLO DOCG “Cannubbio” – Francesco Rinaldi & Figli  – 2005 and 2007

Nebbiolo Prima shows liquory red fruits, sweet but nor fruity, a bit floral some herbal notes, broad with a nice mineral freshness, acids are integrated but really help freshen the palate, nice wild amarena cherry fruit, rosehips, sandalwood, nicely fresh and aromatic in the mouth, nice ripe tannins, good length, nice fruit on finale.

BAROLO DOCG –“Brunate” -  Andrea Oberto – 2007

Full garnet in color with delicate orange highlights. Wide, clean but complex aroma with scents of dried flowers and red berries. Well-integrated oak with toasty notes of coffee and leather linger in a perfect balance between elegant body and concentration.

FOUR NEW NERO D’AVOLA AND NERO D’AVOLA BLENDS

From the foothills of Mt. Etna in Sicily, Graci's Etna Rosso

NERO D’AVOLA Sicilia IGT  ”Rossojbleo” -  Gulfi – 2010

Grapes: 100% Nero d’Avola. Young red, minor structure, which intends to propose a particularly approachable Nero d’Avola, Sicily’s south-east, while retaining the full expression of varietal and territorial identity. It also lends itself to the combination with appetizers and meats and fish dishes with a slightly aromatic seasoning. Finally, the intriguing pairing “Autumn” with chestnuts roasted on the grill. Recommended serving temperature between 14 and 16 degrees.

NERO D’AVOLA/FRAPPATO BLEND Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG – Gulfi – 2010

Tony’s Favorite!! Cerasuolo di Vittoria is an Italian wine DOCG of Sicily, covering the intensely colored red wines from the eastern end of the island’s south coast. Introduced in September 2005, it was the very first DOCG in Sicily, having also been one of the first DOCs on the island when it was granted that status back in 1973. The quality of Cerasuolo di Vittoria wine showed marked improvement during the 1980s and 1990s, hence the promotion in 2005, and it is now the most consistent showcase of modern Sicilian wine. 60% Nero D’Avola and 40% Frappato.

NERO D’AVOLA Etna Rosso DOC- Graci- 2009

From the heels of Mt. Etna, Graci’s Etna Rosso is a wine that is incredibly aromatic with scents of wild herbs and barley and an abundance of dried cranberries. The palate is as unique and expressive as the aroma. First you will find smoke with a flinty mineral quality followed immediately by layers of pomegranate, overripe cherry, and cranberry blended with subtle arid spices of paprika and white pepper. This is a gorgeous red with a split personality: on the one hand it’s very expressive, but it’s also refined and almost elegant at the same time. It may sound like such a simple thing for a wine to be enjoyable, but it’s much harder to accomplish than you might think.

NERO D’AVOLA AND FRAPPATO BLEND Sicilia IGT – Daino Azienda Agricola

100% organic/biodynamic Nero D’Avola. Herbal on the nose. The palate is flush, full and very rich. Balanced though. Sweet raisin on the nose. Named after cork oak, Nero d’Avola with a clone called Frappato, and a touch of something else that resembles Grenache. This could technically be DOCG but right now, with 800 cases being the total production, its not there…yet.

BRUNELLO: Sangiovese Grosso  (Brunello)  Brunello di Montalcino DOCG   – Conti Costani – 2006

This pure Sangiovese is fermented in stainless steel with 3 weeks’ skin maceration, then aged 18 months in tonneaux of French oak and another 18 months in 30-hl. Slavonian oak barrels, previous to a year’s bottle age (totaling 3 years in wood, 1 in bottle). Brilliant ruby in color, intense, ripe aromas of berry fruit prelude a lush, full-bodied palate.

2 Hour Gift Card Special!

December 16th, 2011

So you’re looking for a great gift to give to your boss, co-worker, your kids’ teacher, etc., right? Well, here’s your chance to get a good deal on a Cafe di Scala gift card.

Since it’s the holiday season and all, we’ve decided to give back.  This time, with a fist full of gift cards. We’re going to be super generous, and for two hours only, we’re going to let people purchase a $60 Cafe di Scala gift card for only $50, or a $120 gift card for only $95. We’re only doing this from 4pm-6pm, on Friday, December 16th.  One day only. So if you work downtown, stop in before you head home and pick up a few gift cards.  To sweeten the pot even more, we’ll hold a drawing for a $25 gift card for anyone who shows up to buy a gift card on Friday. You can also call us during that time and we’ll take your gift card offer over the phone. You can use it yourself if you want, or you can give it to your friends, employees or co-workers. See you Friday the 16th and spread the word to your friends and family!

If you can’t make it in person, just give us a call at 515-244-1353 from 4-6 and we’ll do it for you over the phone.

In the meantime, check out this killer Christmas tune from Sufjan Stevens.

Remember Cafe di Scala for Holiday Parties!

October 27th, 2011

As the Holidays near, keep Cafe di Scala in mind as you decide where you’d like to celebrate with your office, family or friends.

As always, the cafe is available for private lunch and dinner events outside of normal hours. From a casual three-course lunch to an evening appeitizer and cocktail party, our event planner will assist you in planning for that special dinning experience. Reminder that if you refer us to your company and they decide to hold their Holiday party with us, we’ll reward you with a $50 gift card and a high five. Visit our private party section of our website for more information.

Yes, this stock photography isn't something that we're proud of, but it was just so... adorable! (right?)

Sherman Hill Home Tour: Join Scala For Lunch!

September 14th, 2011

Once again, our neighbors in Sherman Hill have come through with a very enriching set of homes they’re featuring in this year’s home tour. We’re very excited for the 7th consecutive year to be able to serve lunch from 11-2 on September 17-18 and 24-25. Below is the menu for the Home Tour service followed by some information about the home tour cross-posted from Patrick Van Nice’s Blog….

Menu for the Sherman Hill Home Tour Lunch

Alchemilla House in the Sherman Hill Neighborhood of Des Moines, Iowa

DesMoines, IOWA (September 12) – Sherman Hill, one of Des Moines’ oldest neighborhoods, announces the 35th Doors to the Past walking tour of historic homes Sept. 17-18 and 24-25. New to this year’s walking tour is Hilltop Talents at the Mickle Center! It will feature live music and items created or collected by Sherman Hill residents, including art, antiques and other specialty items. The Des Moines Women’s club will be providing brown bag lunches and beverages so you can sit, relax, and refresh.

The tour has become a Des Moines’ staple, featuring 10-12 historic homes built in the 19th century. The walking tour allows visitors to tour homes at a leisurely pace as homeowners and volunteers guide walkers through homes, describing the history and architecture of each structure. The homes are in various stages of restoration, giving visitors a unique view of the neighborhood.

A district rich in history, Sherman Hill has evolved dramatically from its beginnings in the early 1870s. An initiative to restore the area and many of the buildings back to their original glory began in the 1970s, and Sherman Hill was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Districts in 1982.

Sherman Hill Home Tour Poster

Today the restoration continues, as many of the buildings are still being rehabilitated to their original forms. Sherman Hill is home to more than 150 homes and apartment buildings, representing Victorian, Queen Anne, Italianate, Classic, Stick and Flemish styles of architecture.

Dates:                                     Sept. 17-18 and 24-25
Time:                                      10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets:                                   $15/weekend or $20/both weekends
Students: $5
Children 12 and under: FREE
Advance tickets are available at a discount price of $10/weekend or $15/both weekends: Purchase tickets at www.HistoricShermanHill.comor at the advance ticket locations listed below.
*Group discounts are available.
To purchase advance tickets, visit the following locations:

Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave, Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Gateway Market, 2002 Woodland Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312-4922Dahl’s, 3425 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312-3976

Dahl’s, 1819 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310-3899

Dahl’s, 5003 Ep True Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50265-2852

During the tour, tickets can be purchased and picked up at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave. For more information, contact Kim Pfannebecker at 636-443-3347 or kim.pfannebecker@gmail.com.

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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