7 Restaurant Week Items for Your Must-Try List

The Salmon Panzanella, available at Aposto during Restaurant Week, consists of seared salmon served over bread and tomato salad tossed with basil vinaigrette.

Writer: Karla Walsh

Back for its 15th year, dsm’s Des Moines Restaurant Week is just days away. Mark your calendars for Aug. 19-28 and make your reservations ASAP. You won’t want to miss your chance to sample the season’s best at 33 of our city’s top restaurants.

Even though the lunch and dinner prix fixe menus are all available at a discounted rate (dinner specials are $40 to $80, and lunches are $15 to $25), the chefs aren’t skimping one bit on the creativity and care for each dish. To wit: Malo’s regional Mexican delights, all inspired by staff members’ home recipes; Django’s Julia Child-inspired feast; and HoQ’s farm-to-table in freshest summer form.

But those are just three of dozens of thoughtful Restaurant Week menu options. After taking a thorough look at all of the menus, I can confirm you can’t go wrong by booking a table at any of the 33 hot spots.

Here are seven dishes in particular that caught my eye.

  Aposto: Order the ultra-summery Salmon Panzanella, seared salmon served over bread and tomato salad tossed with basil vinaigrette. It’s an ideal time to enjoy at a table on the wrap-around porch.


  Harbinger: Roasted Stuffed Peppers come filled with Iowa tofu, smoked tomato dashi, pickled cabbage and caramelized oyster mushrooms—one of many meatless standouts on the menu.


  Allora: A perfect-for-lunch starter of Italian Gazpacho soup is a pure celebration of local garden produce.


  District 36: Rosé Crab Cakes are a wine-lovers delight. The main dish features crab marinated in garnacha rosé wine mixed into fritters with roasted corn and paired with a rosé-infused aioli.


  Alba: For those craving comfort food, don’t miss the Chicken Roulade with silky risotto, bitter greens and chicken skin “cracklin’.”


  Splash: Come hungry for the Prime New York, a generous 18-ounce bone-in prime New York strip steak served with your choice of two house sides.


  Bubba Southern Comforts: Savor a big platter of Southern flavors with the Old Bay Seared Bay Scallops, which come with an Anson Mills grit cake, spinach, bacon-apple chutney and Carolina mustard-cream sauce.

Follow @dsmrestaurantweek on Instagram for more menu reveals, and show us your favorites by tagging images on social media with #dsmrw2022.

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