Food For Thought – Riccelli’s

3803 Indianola Avenue
Des Moines, IA

Lori Campisi has returned to her place of residence and reporting to her Washington, D.C. contact, John Hundt.


Mr. Hundt,

In my continuing effort to keep you ‘entertained’ by my activities here in Des Moines, I write this missive regarding my dinner earlier this evening.

I joined three of my colleagues at Riccelli’s. It is an Italian restaurant that offers more than just traditional Italian food.

The building is unimposing from the outside, but inside is filled with photographs of actors and actresses from the era that included Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Marilyn Monroe, and Clark Gable. Since this was Saturday evening, the parking lot was filled and there were people waiting in the lobby.

The hostess, who also doubled as table cleaner/setter, and who never smiled, kept bustling back and forth from the cash register to the dining area. No wait time was given, or party names accepted, but the crowd was courteous enough to express who was next up to be seated.

When we were shown to our table I noticed that there were more tables empty than I had thought. Many of them hadn’t been cleaned and reset for the next diners. I realized that either the establishment was short-handed in staff, a bit unorganized, or a combination of the two.

The menu was extensive with a limited number of appetizers, but many entrees, a selection of wines, and desserts. The meals ranged from fried chicken (one of my coworkers ordered this and received four large pieces), Ribs, Chicken Livers, Orange Roughy, several steak selections, plus the standards like Veal Parmesan and Ravioli with Meatballs. Prices were not outrageous. $9.75 for simple spaghetti to $39.50 for Filet with Lobster tail. Most items stayed within the eleven and twelve dollar range with some of the steaks a bit more.

I should insert here that while waiting for a table I saw at least two take-out orders.

We ordered our drinks, then upon the waitress’ return, our food. I chose the broiled catfish.

Our meals were delicious. The catfish was tender, the salad seasoned just right.

My only concern was the wait time for the food. Our bread came after we were done with our salads and for the entrees, we sat for at least half an hour. The waitress faulted a malfunction in the kitchen and apologized. She didn’t mention if the malfunction was mechanical or human.

Save for the lengthy wait, the food was good, and I’d recommend visiting if you’re in town.

Until next time, have a good evening.



Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Food For Thought – Riccelli’s

  1. marta chausée

    There was/is a magical restaurant in Omaha that sounds similar to Ricelli’s– Mr. C’s.

    Now I’m hungry.

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