Des Moines East Village’s Dobré tasting room brings old dishes to life

A new type of restaurant opens in the downtown East Village this month, reviving centuries-old recipes from around the world.

Dobré tasting room will open on July 9 across from Wooly’s in the former space of Jett & Monkeys dog shop at 501 E. Locust St., with a menu of small plates, bespoke sodas and sodas and a modern approach to hospitality.

Building owner Loyd Ogle, in partnership with David Hayden, a restaurant consultant from Kansas City, Missouri, has eclectic plans for the restaurant, drawing inspiration from a patchwork of kitchens. Ogle’s wife is from the Czech Republic, where the name Dobré (in Czech for “the good”) comes from.

“The idea is not to limit it to one nationality, but rather, all of these dishes would have been served somewhere 200 years ago,” said Hayden. “What we do is use different techniques and different methods so that we can add a new twist to very traditional dishes.”

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Executive Chef Brandon Persaud places cucumbers in a vacuum chamber to make pickles at the Dobré Tasting Room in the East Village of Des Moines.  The restaurant will focus on small plates with historical influences instead of specific cuisine.

These techniques are anything but ancient. Dobré’s kitchen takes up minimal space, with no grill or fryer. Executive Chef Brandon Persaud will work primarily with a sous vide, vacuum chamber and dehydrator to recreate recipes from the past.

In the vacuum chamber, food and liquids are placed in a sealed plastic bag and are compressed until all air is removed, allowing the food to absorb added liquids such as brine for pickles or rum and spices with fruit.

The process creates a concentrated explosion of flavor in the finished product. Sous vide fruits like pineapple and melon take on the appearance of fish fillet, but don’t worry – the finished product is juicy, chewy, and not at all aquatic.

While sous vide dishes only take seconds to produce, sous vide delicacies cook for hours in a water bath at a low temperature. This provides a controlled environment for precise baking and baking, and at Dobré the result is deliciously silky jars of cheesecake, crème brûlée, and jar of chocolate creme.

Executive Chef Brandon Persaud slices compressed watermelons at the Dobré Tasting Room in the East Village of Des Moines.  The restaurant will focus on small plates with historical influences instead of specific cuisine.

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Dehydrated fruits will be used to flavor sodas and custom sodas. While seltzer will have a typically light flavor, soda will have an added acidic bite of lime juice and simple syrup.

Other drinks include Dobré’s version of an 800-year-old Roman refreshment called Shrub. Punchy soda includes vinegar and looks like kombucha.

Another unusual creation is the milk punch, which dates from the 1720s. Benjamin Franklin was a big fan of the cocktail, as was Charles Dickens, who left bottles of the product in his wine cellar after his death. Hot milk is added to the alcohol (and any spices the mixologist wants to include) and left to curdle. When strained, the resulting elixir comes out clear and is infused with the essence of all included ingredients.

In this tasting room, dishes will vary in size and price, but most will be between $ 6 and $ 12 and are meant to be munched on.

“The concept of a tasting is that we want to be able to make a menu small enough that people can choose two or three things that look good and create different flavors,” said Hayden.

The freeze-dried fruit is used in handmade seltzer at the Dobré tasting room in the East Village of Des Moines.  Executive Chef Brandon Persaud slices compressed watermelons at the Dobre Tasting Room in the East Village of Des Moines.

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The deals are great for relaxing with an after-work happy hour or for grabbing a bite to eat before dinner. The kitchen will remain open until 11:00 p.m. for those looking for a late-night snack.

The menu will be constantly evolving, depending on ingredient availability and cooking experience, but some of the first offerings to watch out for include homemade pickles and cheese, Georgian cheese bread called Khachapuri, candied tomatoes. and Dobré’s interpretation of s’more: marshmallows, Nutella and graham crackers, all homemade, wrapped in a thin phyllo dough and baked to the maximum oozing.

History buffs will be able to tap into the past of their choice via the online menu ordering system. Giving up on paper menus, Dobré will provide the tablets with hyperlinked history lessons on significant dishes.

Hayden said he trains staff to be hands-on and ready to share the history of the building (one of the oldest in the East Village) and the experience the restaurant is aiming for. For inclusiveness, expect questions about allergies or dietary restrictions and suggestions on how to prepare your meal.

Candied tomatoes and whipped ricotta with pesto at the Dobré Tasting Room in the East Village of Des Moines.  Freeze-dried fruit is used to make handmade seltzer in the Dobre tasting room in the East Village of Des Moines.

Just over 40 people will find their place in the intimate dining room, decorated with artwork by Czech painter Alphonse Mucha and wallpaper designed by British textile artist William Morris.

“There are a lot of places you can go for a picture of Jameson in this neighborhood, or a cheeseburger,” said Hayden. “We want to do something different.

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Elle Wignall covers meals for the Register. Reach her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @ElleWignallDMR.

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