Bravo Cucina Italiana


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by nevesis

I've tried it three times now and found the food bland and uninspired. An upscale olive garden perhaps, but fine dining it is not. Service and atmosphere save it from 1 star.

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by A and D

Bravo Cucina Italiana

A and D have visited Bravo six times since its first day open, so the dining experience review should have a sense of overall continuity.

Both A and D consider this chain restaurant to be elevated well above all other Des Moines chain experiences. This is a well-run business and a well-run restaurant. From the reception to the good-bye, Bravo offers a caring, customer-centric attitude. Every employee hustles at this restaurant; the attempts to do the best possible job are evident from the wait staff, the bus staff, the cooks, the bar staff, and the hosts and managers. Bravo, as a business, is smart in having experienced adult, professional managers on the floor at all times; this is not a restaurant--like Applebee's and others--that leaves the operation in the inexperienced hands of inexperienced teen-agers while the absentee franchisee is off playing golf full time. This restaurant understands who is paying the bills.

Bravo's a la carte menu offers excellent choices at varying price points. The drink prices are reasonable and the wine selection is good. Dinner ranges from $10 to $23 with most entrees at the $15-$20 level.

The preparation of the dishes is excellent. The kitchen features fresh ingredients prepared with good recipes and a deft touch with spices. Somewhere there is a Corporate Executive Chef who knows what she is doing. Presentations are beautifully done and portions are more than ample. The open area kitchen serves a generally packed restaurant handling over 100 diners with only 4 chefs and one or two expediters. Service is generally fast, but can slow when the restaurant is full.

The wait staff is well-trained, well-dressed and semi-transparent. Things happen as they should without the scripted nonsense and the constant "How is everything?" At Bravo, they check on you, care for you properly, but also leave you alone to enjoy your meal.

The Italian dishes are the showcase, but the seafood and steaks are equally well executed. Salads are fresh, crisp, exciting and very well-dressed. The Caesar is superb, especially at $3.99.

Ambiance is very tasteful. It has a faux Etruscan decor with columns of ancient ruins and worn plaster walls done is Tuscan pastels. It is not 'kitch' and feels quite comfortable. Seating is well-spaced and chairs are without arms so today's plus size diner can sit comfortably. The table service is white linen and napkins. The crockery is elegant and service dishes and plates are oversized and come in a variety of interesting shapes. One could say it is as elegant as any of Des Moines' better restaurants, even if it is a formula. And the restaurant is clean and sparkling; the rest rooms are spotless.

A and D have given Bravo six opportunities to reveal its nature and its capabilities and shortcomings. We are unable to find shortcomings of any kind. We are impressed with the staff training, enthusiasm, and professionalism at every level. We find the chefs talented and creative; the recipes are well-developed, consistent and produce superb flavors.

Bravo Cucina Italiana exemplifies what a corporate restaurant can do when it is well managed and when it has a primary focus on the customer. How nice it is to dine here, especially when compared to the silliness and low quality of Joe's Crab Shack next door, the mundane quality and operation of PF Chang's on the other side, the total desultory result at Champ's, the over-the-top obsequiousness of Cheesecake Factory, or the over-priced, self-inflation of Fleming's. Jordan Creek has a number of restaurants, but it has only one so far that rates a recommendation of "Excellent": Bravo Cucina. Well done in every way. Top value in every visit.

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by Pepe

Delicious food. Clean, pleasant atmosphere. Service was excellent! Definetly worth a visit!

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by wink

Ate here for the first time last weekend and thought it was a nice restaurant with decent but not great food. My wife had a steak and it was under cooked (medium should not be bloody) and her potatoes were so bland she thought for a moment that they were instant. I had mahi mahi and it came out tough and overdone. The drinks, bread, and dessert were all very good and our service was adequate. The decor is better than average for a chain restaurant but I find non-chain restaurants to have better ambience. We'd return but doubt we'd make it a point to go there again if it's just the 2 of us.

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by Lady Sehkmet

We have eaten at this restaurant twice and enjoyed it both times. The appetizers that we got (in the antipasta trio)were better than average (the squid was overcooked and very chewy, but the brochette was very good, as was the cheese ravioli) and the bread for dipping in olive oil was also good. The pastas themselves were about a B, I had the Mediterraine Penne-they were not very strongly flavored, which makes sense in a chain operation since the goal is to please as many palettes as possible, which means blanding it up. I expected more. My husband had the sea bass, which I tasted, and it was also about a B-good, but nothing to brag about. My girlfriend and I split the chocolate cake and vanilla gelato desert and it was excellent-and I am a big chocolate lover and this was truly excellent!
The service was really friendly but spotty, and he kept forgetting parts of our orders (water for the table, bread for the table, another beer, etc). Definately worth a trip!

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by mrsisaac

This place is great! 5 stars all the way. Their service is out of this world. Maybe a little slow but the best I have ever seen. So friendly and so professional. The food was great.

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by Shannon

My friends and I LOVE to go out to eat at Bravo! We had a similar experience with the service, however, other servers stepped up to help out and keep our drinks full and bring more of their excellent bread. Their sun dried tomato olive oil is amazing and we only had good things to say about their homemade lasagna and brick oven pizzas.
Kids seem to enjoy Bravo! because they get to make bread dough and see it cook in the oven. Its a nice way to give parents some time alone and distract kids for a while.
We also had a birthday and they brought us this amazing gelato. They do charge for bday desserts, which, from experience, patrons often expect birthday desserts to be on the house.

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by Jill

I love Bravo! The food is wonderful and it has a fabulous atmosphere! Great service and amazing food! I suggest the meditteranean shrimp pasta...go there!

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Tips for Bravo Cucina Italiana from foursquare users

Cynthia K.

Phone ahead to get your name on the waiting list. Cuts down the time in the lobby!

2 people have done this and 3 others want to

Jase W.

The Cosmos are delicious as is the Fra Diavolo Campanelle!

1 person has done this

Being an italian restaurant in the Jordan Creek Town Center and having a bocce ball pit screams "yuppie" but this place thoroughly impressed us. I mean, how often can you play bocce ball while waiting for your food?

The decor at Bravo is fairly cliche italian - dim lights, earthy colors, and fake bricks painted randomly on the walls. However, the food definitely stood out. The salmon, seabass, and chicken dishes we tried were all excellent, plus they have wood grilled pizzas.

Now for a little lesson in customer service that every restaurant should listen to... During our visit to Bravo our waitress was helping a huge party of women (who were demanding a lot), so our service was definitely not up to par. I found my water glass empty a few times, our food took forever, and 1 person's plate came out 15 minutes after the rest of of them. However, due to our conversations, we hardly noticed, so it wasn't a big deal. BUT, at the end of the meal the store manager thoroughly apologized, explained that their restaurant doesn't operate that way, and completely covered our bill. This was no small bill either, it was a dinner for 7 with wine and martinis.

So, will we be back? Most definitely. Outstanding customer service, and great food.

The entrance and a view of the patio at Bravo