New West Des Moines Spot Perfect For Summer

Anna Dolce Ristorante’s Casa Nostra pizza is available on its happy hour menu and is good enough that food writer Karla Walsh would “make the drive from my downtown apartment for a slice.”

Writer: Karla Walsh

Have you met Anna? Anna Dolce Ristorante, the newest eatery in West Glen Town Center, first welcomed guests April 30 in the former Blue Toro space (5585 Mills Civic Parkway #110, West Des Moines). And I love it already.

A friend and I popped in at 5:45 p.m. last Wednesday—and discovered we were just in time to order off their impressive happy hour menu. From 3 to 6 p.m. daily, all pizzas and appetizers are 50% off. House wines are also $5 per glass and shared cocktails (a fun option to consider post-vaccination) are $20—a $10 discount—if you’re in the mood for pairing.

The extensive menu, designed by Joe McConnville (who is behind the menu at El Guapo’s Tequila + Taco in West Des Moines and the Breakfast Club in the East Village), is full of classics with slight contemporary twists. For example, the Fragola Salad ($9) featured springy fresh arugula, spinach, strawberries and balsamic vinaigrette topped with delightfully flaky, creamy and just-salty-enough, pastry-wrapped goat cheese.

On the happy hour menu, the Casa Nostra Pizza ($8.50, marked down from $17) was more than enough for the two of us. It was perfectly cooked part-New York, part-Neapolitan-style crust, topped with red sauce, fennel sausage, pepperoni, pepperoncini, red onion and dollops of fresh mozzarella. I’d make the drive from my downtown apartment just for a slice—or two.

“West Des Moines has been waiting decades for a locally owned Italian restaurant that focuses on casual Italian cuisine paired with creative cocktails and a diverse wine selection—we have 18 by the glass,” says Tony Lemmo, who co-owns the new restaurant with McConville and Josh Holderness (his partners at Gusto Pizza Co.) as well as Tom and Annie Baldwin (who operate the Dark Side of the Spoon restaurants, including Wellman’s Pub).

It’s worth the wait, but I, for one, am glad the wait is over. Welcome to town, Anna.

Anna Dolce Ristorante is open Monday through Saturday from 3 to close. See the menu and learn more at Keep up with the latest news and specials at

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