I went to Sam and Gabes on a Thursday night and absolutely loved the experience! They had live music in the lounge that was very entertaining and the lounge staff was amazing! The girls in there really seemed to work as a team and the bartender made delicious drinks for us all. I would highly recommend Sam and Gabes to all my friends and family! Thanks guys!
I was really looking forward to this place, but service was incredibly slow. Looking at the reviews it looks like all the good ones are from years ago
We just returned from a very disappointing meal at Sam & Gabe's. It were shocking since we had pleasant experiences on prior occasions. Perhaps our mistake this time was in ordering the specials. Both specials were poorly prepared. The veal chops did not taste like veal and was overcooked. The grilled sea bass was tasteless and served swimming in a watery flavorless brown butter sauce. The fish also looked very unappetizing sitting alone in a pool of water with no sides. Service was also disappointing. Maybe they do better sticking with their regular menu items. Unfortunately, this restaurant comes off our list of favorites and goes on our list of places to never revisit. Overall value - poor.
We had dinner reservations for 3 people for 5:30 on a Friday night. When I arrived at the restaurant and gave my name, I said that we were not in a rush to eat. The hostess immediately informed me that they needed our table at 7:30, which I found to be an odd greeting. We visited with the bartender a moment discussing wines and then were seated at 5:45. We ordered an appetizer and our three meals and had some wine as well. We finished eating and submitting our credit cards by 8:00, at which time, one of the owners came over to us and in an abrupt, rude manner told us that they needed our table and we would have to leave. His tone was unbelievable and really put a shocked look on all of our faces. The gentleman at our table just looked at him in disbelief and the co-owner asked him if he had a problem to which my friend responded that he had never been in a restaurant anywhere in the world where he had been asked to vacate the table before ready to do so. After all, we were paying customers and weren't sitting there idol except to wait for our check. The co-owner then boldly, and without sincerity, told us we COULD go to the bar and he'd buy us a drink. He then accused us of not having reservations which I cleared up immediately since it was HE who had taken my reservation days before over the phone - identifying himself as Jerry. I told him that basically what he was telling us was that in all of the restaurant at 7:30 that night, ours was the ONLY table he had to offer to another patron....he stood there speechless but nonetheless, unapologetic and rude. We rose to get our coats and engaged in a little more discussion telling him of our disbelief that a restaurant owner would treat a paying customer the way he just had done - rude, unprofessional and giving the feeling that we weren't welcome there (after we had just paid a hefty bill). Upon leaving we told a couple entering the restaurant that we would never be back. We will also tell everyone asking for restaurant recommendations to avoid Sam and Gabe's. By the way, we all work for the same large company in the Des Moines area which has patronized this establishment over the years. It is our goal to correct that and help Mr. Tallerico have his empty tables going forward.
We tried Sam and Gabe's for this first time and were very pleased overall. Although our pate' appetizer was disappointing, our entrees were very good. The veal saltimbocca was exceptional, the best veal dish we have seen in Iowa. Topping off dinner was a wonderful espresso chocolate silk torte with a rasberry sauce. This restaurant has a nice atmosphere and the service was excellent. Prices were a little on the high side but fair considering the food quality and overall experience. We will return.
Great atmosphere. Great steak. Amazing Italian Nachos. Love when they have live jazz. This is my favorite spot to take a date or sit in the bar before a night out.
Sam and Gabes is a restaurant that truly understands Des Moines. They have rich food, hearty portions, and traditional Italian cuisine, but with a noveau-American twist. When business partners are in from out of town, this is where we head to show them that Des Moines dining is not just sandwiches and beer.
First off, they have a fantastic wine list, comparable but smaller than the Greenbriar. The menu is reserved, covering a lot of traditional Americanized takes on northern Italian cooking, and with a focus on Italian steakhouse selections. This is a nice change from the tomato and over-cooked semolina noodles dishes of Des Moines traditional south-side community. The appetizers are fantastic, and the "Italian Nachos" are a kitschy name, but a must-have.
There are downsides. Des Moines is famous for great Italian restaurants in offbeat locations, just look at perennial favorite Baratta's. But I've never enjoyed the strip-mall atmosphere and a struggle to find "the front door" like at Sam and Gabes. Also the restaurant it too dark. I know it's "that way" when you go for the upscale crowd, but the real Mediterranean is very, very bright. I like to see my darling when we are talking. Also the deserts are just a little bit boring. They taste great - but Des Moines has a surprising number of innovative desert chef's, and Sam and Gabes offerings are what I can get anywhere else.
If you live in Des Moines, and haven't tried Sam and Gabes yet - you need to.
My favourite restaurant in the Des Moines area. Perfect for a night on the town or a date with significant other. One time I ordered a pecan-crusted whitefish that was out of this world. All the food is wonderful.
The food at Sam and Gabe's has always been quite consistent in it's presentation and flavor which each of our visits. The menu is packed with good quality items to choose from. The three things that keep this from becoming a regular dining spot for us however are:
1. The salt content in the food. Wow, insane. Really needs toned down.
2. The prices. Much of their food is way over priced.
3. LOUD! Live music in the bar often and the dining room sounds WAY more crowded than it actually is.
Give it a whirl though.
Previously I've considered this one of our favorite places to go. But tonight, I've just come home with a different view. If you go, and they try to seat you in the basement, refuse. It is worth the wait to sit upstairs. The basement is freezing, the service SLOW, and the atmosphere as special as McDonalds. Unless you are getting with a large party (then the basement would be most comfortable), you will leave pissed off, as we did tonight. We will probably go back to S&G, but we will make it a point to make reservations or wait for the booth we want.
I hate putting in a negative review for Sam & Gabe's because I LOVE their food and the service is wonderful. So you ask why I only rated them a 2.5 stars. I had to take a star away for everytime they raised thier prices. Another thing I found out last night was they don't offer the side pasta anymore which is very disappointing - that is now a la carte!!!!! The higher priced eaters are a la carte which we are not big fans. BUMMER!!!!! No one in the office will eat there again :(
Fairly average food and atmosphere.
This is a top notch restraunt. Great service and classy setting. The food was excellent. I got the duck, and it was as good as any I've had. Prices are higher but justified. Great place for a special occasion. Also has a nice bar to wait at.
I visit Sam and Gabes on a regular basis now. The only gripe I found before their move to Urbandale was the small dinning space which would descourage me from frequenting the restaurant. Now with the new space in Urbandale that is no longer a problem. The food wine selection and service is top rate and though the price might seems slightly high you will know why once you eat your main course. The food rivals any restaurant in any larger city. Believe me I know.
I went there a few weeks ago with some friends for the first time. The live jazz near the bar was fabulous, adds to the overall ambiance, of course. The food was really good, however, a tad bit over priced, and the way the dishes were presented to us was a little deceiving. The waitress gave us our options, but failed to tell us that certain side choices were extra and we all had little surprises when the bill arrived. Other than this, it was a pretty good experience, but nothing extraordinary.
I had heard so many good thing about Sam & Gabe's.. and I can't say that I was really that impressed. Don't get me wrong, the food was pretty good and the service was decent.. but I just can't say that there was anything that really struck me -either way, good or bad- about this restaurant. Would I go there again? Possibly, but only if it is because someone else is set on visiting.
This Friday was my first time at Sam and Gabe’s. It came highly recommended and I was told to have the Chicken Aisago. The place is large, classy and very clean. The menu was impressive, offered a lot of interesting dishes. I ended up with the Chicken Asiago, salad with homemade Italian vinaigrette and a side of pasta with white and red sauce. And the verdict:
The salad was good boarding on great.
The Chicken was slightly overrated, but still good
The pasta with white and red sauce was absolutely wonderful
And I had dessert:
White Chocolate Bread Pudding that was complete heaven in my mouth.
Our water glasses were never empty, which I really like. The wait staff was slightly flaky, but not too bad. All in all it was pretty good, I would like to try it again and get something else. I also heard Sophia’s Café, (which is Sam and Gabe’s name at lunch), is really good.
Hands down the best Creme Brule!!
try the chocolatini, its amazing!