210 10th St.
Des Moines Iowa 50309United States
Midwest Living Recommends
French inspiration meets Midwest practicality at this brasserie in the Hotel Fort Des Moines.
Since opening in 2008, Django (pronounced JANG-go) has become one of the "it" places to dine in Des Moines. Its French-inspired menu makes patrons feel as though they're treating themselves to an adults-only night out in a dining room filled with smartly dressed professionals on their way to a show at the Civic Center. Entrees run $14-$30 and include pastas, steaks, seafood and French standards such as steak au poivre and duck cassoulet. But Chef George Formaro's menu also caters to simple palates wanting nothing more than a creamy, decadent macaroni and cheese or a hand-crafted hamburger with fresh-cut pommes frites. With that in mind, it's easy to control your tab. Cheese flights showcasing Midwest farms come served with flatbread crackers and olives and start at $3. A $35 three-course prix fixe menu includes an appetizer, entree and dessert, all generously portioned. Django offers an extensive wine list, but it also doesn't charge a corkage fee for patrons who want to save a little cash by bringing their own bottles. We've been to Django seven times since its opening, and the service and the quality of the standard menu items never disappoints. From time to time, the house-made desserts seem a little lackluster and the specials--such as a cream of asparagus soup in January--seem out of season. In an era of popular seasonal menus, it would be great to see Django shift its offerings a bit to offer regulars a few surprises. But even if the offerings remain the same, we're guessing you'll still always need to make a reservation on a Saturday night. Open for lunch and dinner during the week. Dinner only on weekends.