Winchester Pub Features Elevated Bar Fare

The pear and walnut flatbread from Winchester Pub “hit all the tastebuds,” food contributor Karla Walsh says.

Writer: Karla Walsh

Cheers to even more culinary options in Valley Junction!

Winchester Pub—formally the Winchester Public House—opened in the heart of Valley Junction during summer 2019. The original menu included a diverse cocktail lineup, a mix of local and global beers, an ample wine selection, a beautifully designed wood bar, and a few snacks like nuts and cheese boards for nibbling.

But a few weeks ago, the newly expanded space at 224 Fifth St., West Des Moines, added solid pub fare, too. Featuring plenty of vegetarian choices and a welcome amount of fresh herbs, produce and international inspiration, the food options go far beyond typical wings and nachos.

On our first visit after the food menu launched, a friend and I shared the perfectly seasoned Ssambap, Korean lettuce wraps fully loaded with rice, ground chicken, carrots, cilantro, cucumbers and Gochujang sauce. (For the uninitiated, Gochujang is a fermented chile paste that’s spicy, with a hint of being sweet and almost meaty in a delightful way.)

The tomato- and pesto-topped seared polenta offered a preview of summer flavors, and the slivered almond garnish lent a lovely little crunch. The pear and walnut flatbread with fig jam, shallots, arugula, goat cheese and candied walnuts was plenty for two and hit all the taste buds: sweet (pear, jam, nuts), salty (cheese), spicy (arugula) and bitter (shallots). And the strawberry mascarpone-slathered vanilla bean ricotta cake was the icing on top of a delightful feast.


I can’t wait to see and savor what the Winchester Pub kitchen dreams up next. If this is a preview of coming events, I’ll be there early and often this summer. Who’s up for a Valley Junction dinner crawl?

Visit winchester.pub to see the menu and for more details. Winchester Pub is open 2 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

You May Also Like

Mama Laura Is Part Of Des Moines’ Culinary Duo

Laura Rodriguez, mother of Proof’s executive chef Diego Rodriguez, created her own food concept, ...

Trailside Tap Will Draw You To Uptown Ankeny

The carrot appetizer at Trailside Tap features chile-lime marinated char-grilled carrots with XO sauce ...