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 April Newsletter

April 4th, 2012

Spring Greetings Scala Family, Friends & Lovers,

It’s almost April! March was a great month for all of us. As spring blossomed early, we made a few seasonal changes here at Cafe di Scala. From new and exotic wines (Falangina & Lacrima) offered by the glass, to Chef Phil Shires adjusting the food menu in anticipation of the bounties sprouting from our little garden, there’s much to celebrate here.

Flour + Eggs + Salt + Water = Love.
We created a quick little video that we think sums up what we do here. Check it out and let us know what you think. We take simple ingredients and do extraordinary things with them.

Join us for the Cafe di Scala Beatles Brunch on Easter Sunday, April 8 from 10-2:30

April Beatles Brunch.
No foolin’ around this month. We’ve moved Beatles Brunch to Sunday, April 8th from 10-2. As always, please contact the cafe for any reservations at 515-244-1353

No Corkage Thursdays.
During the of April if you bring your own wine, we will be waiving our corkage fees for dinner guests on Thursdays.

Spring Menu.
Please take a moment to browse over our Spring menu on our menu page and call us at 515-244-1353 if we can help make your weekend extraordinary and unique.


Tony and Scala Staff

Cafe di Scala Newsletter: Learn How to Make Pasta With Tony

February 23rd, 2012

Dear Scala Friends, Family and Sherman Hill Neighbors,

Spring is so close. You can feel it, right?

As I type this, I’m looking at a mama cardinal scavenge the ground for food here in Sherman Hill. As they build their nests and prepare to breed, a fresh late winter rain treats them with a shower of new life. We’re only a few weeks away from trees blooming, and next week, we’ll start some heirloom peppers and tomatoes from seed for the Cafe di Scala garden. Renewal feels awesome, doesn’t it?

Here are a few things coming up for you to keep on your calendar…

PASTA MAKING CLASS: Join me at Williams-Sonoma at Jordan Creek Town Center on Sunday, February 26 at 4:00 to begin their Guest Chef Technique Class Series with “Fast, Fresh, and Easy Pasta.” I will be teaching how to make basic pasta in addition to ravioli and combining with some great Williams-Sonoma recipes, which include Pasta with Eggplant. The class is free of charge but reservations are required. Call Williams-Sonoma at 515-225-6613 to save your place today. You also will receive 10% on your purchase that day if you attend the class (some restrictions apply). Hope to see you there!

BEATLES BRUNCH: Once again, we’re having our monthly Beatles Brunch on Sunday, March 4th from 10am-2pm. You can always find our Beatles Brunch menu up on our website. Call us at 515-244-1353 so we can save you a spot. Also, keep in mind that we are moving our April Beatles Brunch to April 9th to accommodate for some staff travel.

PRIVATE EVENTS: Everyone reading this knows someone having a baby shower, business lunch or a wedding rehearsal dinner this year. Please do us a huge favor and let your friends and co-workers know about us? We offer the entire Cafe exclusively for a private event Sunday through Wednesday for both Lunch and Dinner Events. Upon consulting with one of our staff, booking an event on a night we are open to the public (Th-Sat) may be an option depending upon the number of guests and budget. Learn morehere.

NEW WINES: 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 recently added a few gems to this list and wrote a blog post about them. Read about the new wines here.

DINNER AND A SHOW: Hoyt Sherman Place, our neighbors just to the east of us on Woodland Avenue, have a great lineup this month and into early Spring. I hope you all take advantage of this spectacular venue as often as you can! Take a look at their website:, and plan an evening with friends for a date night at Cafe di Scala and a show at Hoyt Sherman Place. We wrote about the lineup they wanted to share with you on our blog. Cheers!

NO CORKAGE FEE TONIGHT: Our Thursday no corkage fee deal is coming to a close tonight. Take advantage of this by bringing a friend in for a few laughs and good company.

Much love to you all!
Tony and Staff

P.S. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the most up-to-date information and special offers.

Scala Is For Lovers

February 2nd, 2012

Spring (I mean, um, Winter) Greetings Friends,

Whether your wrapping up a round of golf or finishing raking the leaves you thought you could put off until April, we’d love for you to join us. We have a few spectacular menus to savor after a day of basking in the February sun.

Scala Sunday Beatles Brunch. Get a jump start to your Super Sunday….

For The Love of Food
Grab a lover, grab a date, or grab a group of friends and experience Chef Phil and Tony’s five-course offering on Valanetines Day. Tony will be visiting the wine cellar and pulling out a few bottles of reserves to offer by the glass and serenade your palate a step further. Here’s the menu:

No Corkage Thursdays (In February)
Grab that special bottle of vino and head over the Cafe on a Thursday evening. Chef Phil Shires always runs a couple extra features on these laid back evenings..


Tony and Scala Staff

P.S. Please continue the conversation with us by “liking” us on our Facebook page:

Happy Scala New Year!

January 6th, 2012

Tony and Phil Want You to Try Our Beatles Brunch

Dear Friends,

We welcome in the new year with promises of a new beginning — a fresh start on all that we wish to become and gratitude for all that we are. We hope you can welcome in the new year by joining your friends at our cafe with some hand crafted Calabrese-style cuisine, a glass of wine and a promise of renewed friendship.

BEATLES BRUNCH: Join us this Sunday, January 8th from 10am-2pm for our monthly Beatles Brunch. Reservations are recommended by calling us at 515-244-1353. View the menu here (the link to the brunch menu is in the first paragrah).

CITYVIEW “BEST OF DES MOINES:” We usually don’t like to toot our own horn too often, but once per year, Des Moines Cityview Magazine does it’s annual “Best of Des Moines” competition and occasionally we liked to be liked. Last year, we were fortunate enough to win “Best Wait Staff” and earn the distinction of Runner-Up for such prestigious categories as “Best Chef” and “Best Restaurant.” This year, we’d like to win the “Best Restaurant” and “Best Chef” competition. Please take a minute of your day today to vote for Cafe di Scala for “Best Restaurant,” “Best Wait Staff” and Chef Phil Shires as “Best Chef” if you feel we deserve this honor. Please click on the logo below to vote or click here.

VALENTINES DAY: Keep an eye out for our Valentine’s Day menu which will be posted in the next week or so on our blog. We encourage you to get your reservations in early by calling us at515-244-1353.

PRIVATE PARTIES: So we hear you, your friends or a family member got engaged? That’s great news! Congrats! Let us take care of the rehearsal dinner for you. Check out our private parties page on our website for more information by clicking here. So think of us the next time you plan a baby shower, office party, wedding shower, rehearsal dinner or anniversary party. Email our event planner Lisa Hutchins ( if you have questions.

Thanks to all of you who made 2011 our best year ever, and many blessings to you and your family for a safe and healthy 2012!

Have a Blessed New Year!

Tony and Scala Staff

P.S. Please continue the conversation with us by “liking” us on our Facebook page:

Join us this Holiday Season!

December 2nd, 2011

Dear Friends,

It’s been a great year here at Cafe di Scala. We hope you can join us this month for a toast with friends, a bowlful of homemade pasta or just to stop in to say a warm hello. Here are a few things to keep on your radar this month.

BEATLES BRUNCH: Join us this Sunday, December 4th from 10am-2pm for our monthly Beatles Brunch. Reservations are recommended at 515-244-1353. View the menu here (the link to the BB menu is in the first paragrah).

GIFT CARD SPECIAL: 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!

HOLIDAY PARTIES: Would you like to make a big impression this year by having your office/family/friends Holiday Party here at Cafe di Scala? There are still a few dates available for you to choose from. Check out our private parties page on our website for more information by clicking here. Keep in mind that our cafe is always available for your office Holiday party. We’re offering you an incentive to ask your boss to hold your company’s party at Cafe di Scala.  We’re offering a $50 gift card to you if your company ends up having their Holiday party at Cafe di Scala (for parties 20 or more). It’s a big incentive, but a huge thank you to you for spreading the word about us. So think of us the next time you plan a baby shower, office party, wedding shower, rehearsal dinner or anniversary party. Email our event planner Lisa Hutchins ( if you have questions.

HOLIDAY HOURS: The Week before Christmas, we’re going to be open on Wednesday the 21st, Thursday the 22nd and Friday the 23rd, but we’ll be closed on Christmas Eve.

NEW YEAR’S EVE: You’re invited to a special prix-fixe menu on New Year’s Eve at Cafe di Scala. It’s a four course menu that Chef Phil and Tony created which includes a sparkling wine toast. View our menu for this event below the text of this email and call us at 515-244-1353 to save your spot.

Have a blessed Holiday season!

Tony and Scala Staff

P.S. You can view our menu for the New Year’s Eve event below:

Fall Cappellacci Love

November 3rd, 2011
Fall Greetings Friends and Scala Family!

It’s truly my favorite season considering the colors, flavors and landscapes. The Scala kitchen drops 30 degrees (which after a hot summer is a welcome relief), ovens work overtime filled with roasted vegetables and braised meats while the dinning room becomes romantic by six as the sun fades faster to the west.

Fall also requires an additional hour in the pasta room crafting one of our most sentimental dishes. Our butternut squash cappelacci was the mastermind of our late and dear friend/chef David Ryan. Six falls ago David and I descended into the pasta room to lay the ground work  for what our guests would deem the most beloved dish on our seasonal menu. Every year I voyage down to the pasta room I’m reminded to slow down and reflect on how fortunate I am to be surrounded by incredible family, staff, friends and patrons. It’s always that time of the year I look forward to spending holiday hours in the kitchen with family or warming up with a bottle of wine with friends over a dinner table. I invite you to celebrate fall a few different ways at Scala.

Etc… PRIVATE PARTIES: We’re now taking reservations for office, friends and family Holiday Parties at the cafe. Please get your reservations in soon, as space is filling up. Call us at 515-244-1353 or click here for more info:… NO CORKAGE FEE THURSDAYS: On Thursdays this month, bring in your own wine and enjoy it without a corkage fee… BEATLES BRUNCH: The next Beatles Brunch is November 6th from 10-2. You can find the menu on our website,

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: As always, we would love to have you join us on Facebook and Twitter. While at the cafe, make sure to check in on Foursquare for a free dessert with your meal. To reserve your next table, call us at 515-244-1353.

See you soon!

Tony & Family

Join us for Cafe di Scala’s September Beatles Brunch

August 31st, 2011

Many of you have asked about the September Beatles Brunch, so we thought we’d do a little post about it.  Because of the Labor Day holiday, we’re moving it to Sunday, September 11 from 10am-2pm.  Click here to view the Beatles Brunch menu. Hope you can join us!

Join us for the September Cafe di Scala Beatles Brunch on Sept. 11 from 10-2.

Cafe di Scala Spring Menu & Sunday Beatles Brunch

April 28th, 2011
Spring Greetings Scala Friends & Family!

Tulips are sprouting, the Scala garden is taking shape and the first pitch as been tossed which means we’re ready to announce a new lineup of our own.  Our spring menu is back! From Chef Phil’s braised pork belly and goat cheese ravioli to Tony’s baked polenta cakes and citrus panna cotta, rest assured spring happiness awaits upon your visit.

We’ve added a few spectacular wines on our by the glass lists: A gorgeous white (Pecorino) from Abruzzo, a silky, spicy red (Aglianco) from Campania, a petite red  treasure (Valpolicella DOC) from the Veneto region and a new Grappa (Barbera) from the northern stretches of Piedmont. In addition to our by the glass list, you will find a few more unique whites (just in time for the warm patio weather) from the North East and some new expressions of the native Sicilian Nero D’Avola grape.

If you’re in town for the Drake Relays, we’d love to have you.  Please visit us during normal dinner hours (Thursday through Saturday from 5-10), book a private lunch-dinner event or celebrate your morning this Sunday as we host our monthly Sunday Beatles Brunch (10-2PM).

Tony & Scala Family

P.S. Please join the fun with us on Facebook and Twitter.  View our our spring menu here!

Beatles Brunch Sunday, February 6th

February 6th, 2011

Once per month, we celebrate the Beatles with a Beatles themed Brunch.  The next Beatles Brunch happens Sunday, February 6th from 10am-2pm.  Happiness is a warm brunch.

Cafe di Scala February Newsletter: Scala is for Lovers

February 3rd, 2011

Dear Scala Friends and Lovers,

Here at Café di Scala we’re humble about most things, but when it comes to the art and craft of romance, we’re boastfully overconfident. We’ve been called one of the most romantic spots in the metro for a reason, and we’re not afraid to flaunt it. On Valentine’s Day this year, we’re going to show you some of that good lovin’ with a prix-fixe menu that’s snuggle-worthy.

VALENTINE’S DAY: Here’s the prix fixe Valentine’s Day menu. Give it a smooch and click it to enlarge it:

Cafe di Scala Valentine's Day Menu

Cafe di Scala Valentine's Day Menu: Click to Enlarge

BEATLES BRUNCH – Once again, we’re having our monthly Beatles Brunch this Sunday, February 6th from 10am-2pm. You can always find our Beatles Brunch menu up on our website. Call us at 515-244-1353 so we can save you a spot.

Cafe di Scala Beatles Brunch

The Cafe di Scala Beatles Brunch is Sunday, February 6th from 10am-2pm

UPDATED WINE LIST – We’ve updated our wine list a bit. There are no glaring changes, but we’ve updated a few vintages. Take a minute to view our award winning 100% Italian wine list. … We took some space up on our blog this week to discuss two wines that might be strange to some, but they’re worth checking out the next time you dine with us. You don’t need to speak Italian to drink Italian wine, but as one of our Facebook fans, Heather Nandell mentioned this week, “I can personally attest to the fact that you can speak Italian better after having a glass or two of Italian wine.”

NO CORKAGE FEE THURSDAYS: Finally, keep in mind that we’re keeping our no corkage fee Thursdays alive for the month of February for people who purchase entrees. Bring your bottle and your good looks. This was so popular in January that we’ve decided to extend it to see if people still enjoy this free corkage feature on Thursday. Just make sure to tell your server about the offer.

Much love to you all!
Tony and Staff

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