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Eatery A makes a strong debut on Ingersoll

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Eatery A at 2932 Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines


Jason Simon's new restaurant, Eatery A, opened its doors at 2932 Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines back on April 22, and the restaurant has quickly become a fan favorite. The restaurant's beautiful interior, wood-fired pizzas, and tapas menu have been piling up positive Tweets and Facebook posts for weeks. Eatery A definitely has its strong points, but it still has plenty of room for improvement, too.

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Eatery A's menu is a blend of vegetable dishes, soups, salads, pastas, pizzas, farm meats, and seafood. Vegetarians will have a large number of dishes to choose from, and meat eaters will find options like lamb, guanciale (Italian cured pork cheeks/jowls), hanger steak, lardo (cured fatback) and Merguez sausage that are not commonly found on Des Moines menus. The wood-fired pizzas are excellent; they are, by far, the best value on the menu at $13. I especially enjoyed #4 (prosciutto, guanciale, and lardo on olive oil) and #11 (Italian sausage, braised fennel, and mushroom on red sauce). The Stuffed Calamari ($9) and Roasted Lamb ($14) were also tasty bites, although I found the portions for both to be a little small, even for tapas fare. The Salted Caramel Budino ($7) was fabulous, though, again, small for the money.

While, there are a number of extremely flavorful treats to discover on Eatery A's menu, there are also a few that got my hopes up, only to dash them. The Chicken Croquettes ($7) were dry and bland, while the ($14) Ricotta Cavatelli's seasonings were a little overpowering. Overall, though, Eatery A has the beginnings of a wonderful menu—one that Chef Nic Gonwa is already making subtle changes to improve.

The service at Eatery A is excellent. The servers know all the dishes, and they are very attentive, cordial, and hard-working. These are very important characteristics in a new restaurant when you have a large dining room, a bar area, a patio, and several private party rooms to cover as a service squad.

As mentioned above, the restaurant's interior is gorgeous, and it is kept immaculately clean. However, the dining room is very loud and hard to hold a conversation in when the restaurant is busy (which is pretty much every night). If you are looking for a romantic dinner out, the dim lighting, drink selection, and variety of the menu will be great assets, but you may want to reserve a private room if you plan on conversing with your dining partner.

Eatery A is definitely off to an excellent start. With a few tweaks, I think that the restaurant will have a long, successful road ahead. Knowing Simon's track record, I would say that his new restaurant will be around for a long time.