Bistro Nomad

4.2
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61 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
Located across the Pappajohn in downtown Des Moines, Bistro Nomad brings you the richness and colors of the Mediterranean cuisine.
What 61 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Des Moines
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is all fresh ingredients beautifully prepared. The service is impeccable and atmosphere has a European feel.

OT
Raleigh
114 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Before we sat down the waiter told us the seafood truck hadn’t arrived so they had no salmon, and two other dishes . I found something else on the menu that I thought I would like and that too was sold out and no longer available. My sister is a vegan and only one dish on the menu. A crab pasta, was what she had decided to settle on. However, once we asked about the dessert menu and learned that everything had milk or cream in it, we decided to eat elsewhere. I’m lactose intolerant and had expected that a Mediterranean restaurant would have had baclava offered as a dessert.
We ended up leaving and thoroughly enjoyed our meal next door.

CS
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Nice place and will probably come back. The noise level was a little loud due to the concrete floor. Some sound reducing measures would help this. Overall it is a good value.

CC
Des Moines
27 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and our server was wonderful. Knowledgeable and attentive without being intrusive.

D
St. Louis
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Get the seafood paella! Chef was excellent. Restaurant was empty on a Wednesday night dinner time which means more people need to try this great place. We were visiting from out of town or this would be a regular stop for us. We look forward to returning sometime in the future.

KS
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent. Everything about this place is wonderful. Even got to meet Chef Marco.

OT
Des Moines
8 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Our waiter was delightful and very helpful in explaining the menus. We sat out on the patio which was lovely.

HC
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unbelievable service, fantastic paella and cocktails, wonderful patio. We will return!!

MW
Des Moines
3 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The whole experience start to finish was amazing. The staff was exceptional, friendly and made you feel completely welcomed. The chef came and greeted us, made dinner suggestions and talked about to origin of the foods. Now the food itself... to die for; exceptional flavors and quality. Highly recommend the seafood paella with an octopus addition! We will be coming back!

OT
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really phenomenal food. Very authentic Spanish food. The Moroccan couscous was wonderful. My wife had a whole grilled red snapper, delicious. The goat cheese mousse was lush and a bit piquant. Salads were light and fresh. I will say dessert wasn't fantastic, merely good. The new chef Marco, from the Basque region of Spain has not gotten to updating that part of the menu.

He came out and talked to us for a good 10 min. Brilliant chef. We asked him why he came to Des Moines. His answer was simple, it is one of the easiest, nicest best places to live in the world. We agree. This place isn't cheap, with wine, drinks, appetizer, 2 a la carte salads bill was about 160. Generous and well earned tip brought up to just shy of 2 Ben Franklin's. Worth every penny.

Marco said the seafood Paella (the national dish of Spain) was the best thing on the menu. My wife makes it herself (she lived overseas for a while) her host family in Grenada made paella every other week. Marco was willing to put his up against a Spanish mother's home cooking. That takes confidence and a surety of what he and his cooks are doing in the kitchen.

This is the best newer restaurant in Des Moines now. The energy and quality of food is as good as any I've ever had. I lived in New Orleans for several years and visit my family there frequently. I've eaten at some of the best restaurants in Chicago, Minneapolis, Ohama, Madrid (Spain, not the little town in Iowa), Grenada, Havana, Houston, Denver, Columbus and numerous clubs and vacation destinations. This meal was top 10, maybe top 5. For surprise value in what we were expecting and what we experienced, it is an 11.

OT
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been here a few times and the entire staff is so welcoming. The food is top notch! This place is great for getting together with friends or for date night.

NJ
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was really impressed by the interesting and delicious food. The basic style is Meditteranean, yet the dishes were not just standard hummus and tabbouleh. The chefs created interesting and unique flavor combinations for nearly every dish. The Curried Zucchini Gazpacho was spectacular: the curry was subtle, adding a feeling of warmth, the zucchini flavor was fresh and accented by bright feta crumbles. So delicious! We had red wine sangria (daily special for only $5 for a big glass!) which was both earthy and citrusy without being sweet. The Goat Cheese Mousse was great, but needed more than one slice of bread. The only disappointment was the fresh tomato was a tasteless grocery-store roma...this is tomato season (August) and, for the price, they need to use real, fresh, local tomatoes or just skip it. Overall, the restaurant looked great, the service was solid, and I had a really fantastic meal!

JD
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bistro Nomad is fabulous! I would highly recommend the paella! Amazing wine and cocktails, too! Our server, Matt, was fantastic!

OS
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fantastic. We will definitely go back!

CV
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exquisite food, outstanding service and a simple yet warm decor that complements the experience. We plan to go back often to enjoy all that the menu has to offer.

d
San Diego
18 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed our dining experience. Appetizer tray to share is delish! Kabobs perfectly prepared and of course paella is must!
Excellent service and kudos to chef Marco!

AV
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Celebrating my sister’s birthday and her move to Iowa was made extra special by dining here. The hummus appetizer set the tone for the seafood paella, which was wonderful. We finished with two luscious desserts. What a great dining experience!! Our server Kayli was superb.

We will be back!

OT
Des Moines
3 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for my husband's 40th birthday. We enjoyed an amazing foodie experience. We felt like we were transported back to Europe. Our waiter, Walter, was very attentive, knowledgeable, and kind. We will be back!

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef dropping by our table for a delightful chat then sending the falafel out from the kitchen as a compliment was a gracious touch. The salmon and kebabs were executed to perfection. Suggesting a more liberal aperol spritz pour. Otherwise can’t wait to experience the paella when we return sooner than later.

JG
Des Moines
19 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

The food was not great. It had no flavor at all. I had read all the reviews and was excited but disappointed. The falafel was good but the entree (octopus and prawns and the lamb and chicken dish) was not flavored at all. The drink special was alright the margaritas were just blah and the prices were high for what you got. I thought I’d come back for the shared dish but it looks like the same rice dish I had with octopus.


Sucks that it wasn’t good. We won’t be returning though.

OT
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have nothing but great things to say about this place. Not only were we met with excellent customer service, but they proceeded to take care of us as customers and go above and beyond. We were able to learn about the back story of one of the partners and were so pleasantly surprised by the cultural background that they bring to Des Moines.

OT
Des Moines
5 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was good. Service was superb!

S
Des Moines
11 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

First time visit. Very appealing to the eye with the decor. Waitress very friendly. Wait time was quite long once we ordered. She came over to tell us our order was after a 9 top was put in. Ok no problem. We were visiting.
Food came. It was all ok but we were disappointed in the temperature of the food. It was a bit expensive.

DT
Des Moines
11 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

We have a group that tries to get together on a monthly basis and try new restaurants for lunch. Having been to Bistro Nomad for dinner which was delicious, I recommended we try the lunch. The food and atmosphere were awesome. The service was not what I expected based on the dinner experience. A little slow and inattentive. We didn't get asked if we would like desert! I would still highly recommended this restaurant. The food and location are awesome.

SJ
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We are on the patio during 80/35, so had entertainment, too. Service was good. The menu is interesting. The beef in the kebabs was very tender and the gorgonzola sauce was terrific. My dining mate enjoyed her salmon, too. Prices tend to the high side.

CA
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We greatly enjoyed our first visit to Bistro Nomad and think it will rapidly become one of our go to places. The food was excellent and service was top notch, with both our waiter and the manager being engaging and helpful. We ordered champagne for our anniversary, but when the restaurant didn't have what we ordered, without a hitch they brought a vastly more expensive substitute. Everything from the shrimp appetizer, the lamb dish I ordered and my wife's Moroccan couscous dish with chicken, lamb and sausage were superb! A uniquely presented tres leches cake topped off a perfect evening.

c
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was fantastic food and the most attentive staff

KH
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Paella rice was undercooked and the overall dish had no flavor. Vegetable was charred and that was unfortunately, the flavor of dish. Chicken was dry, I don’t think thighs were used which is typical in this dish. It was very underwhelming which was a huge disappointment.

TK
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely Birthday Lunch with a friend on Saturday afternoon! Beautiful restuarant 💜 elegant relaxed ampnosphere. I had the Mediterranean bowl with salmon & Quinoa...I would definitely order that again! I am eager to try more options & recommendations! Love the music also...goes so well with the Medditeration Vibe!

JJ
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Liked the food very much.
Our party of 6, seated at 5:15 when there were very few other diners, all thought that the service was inexplicably and exceedingly slow. There seemed to be plenty of staff so this was difficult to understand.

HD
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The food and service were good, but overpriced for what you actually get.

MP
Indiana
6 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a overall good experience! Interior has been improved from +39. Plan to return in the future.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

We were seated, received special information from server. Had to wait 20 minutes before server returned to take drink order. We gave her drink, starters and meal order at that time. The rest of the evening the service was good. Food was excellent.

B
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our anniversary and they seated us with a great view of the park. I was a little worried when I saw the price of the food that it was going to be closer to a tapas style and I would be hungry when I left. I am happy to report I left full and very satisfied with the meal.
I am giving them 4 stars mostly because I chose Nomad to try the Branzino and they did not receive any that day off the truck. They did offer me a free drink for this which I gladly accepted. Our drinks were both great we had a Gin Tini and a Manhattan.
We started with the mussels which were served with pepperoni ina delicious broth. Then my wife and I both end up selecting the ahi tuna. This came out on a bed of fresh vegetables and potatoes. The tuna was perfect and the grilled vegetables were very filling. The tuna wasn’t on the regular menu yet but they should definitely make this an everyday option. We ended the night with raspberry cheese cake it was the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

g
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Poor service at the front door. They tried to sit us on a terrible table when the restaurant was almost empty. We asked for another table and she said all the other four we asked for, were reserved. After half and hour people who arrived later and didn’t like the ugly table they also offered to us, were sat at the table we asked for when we arrived. The manager nor even came to excise this behavior . Food was not good either.

SH
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

IF the friend has all the time in the world to wait. Only one server so perhaps there was a staffing issue.
I asked for "bread" - baguette or whatever to have while I sipped wine and waited for friend....that bread came after the main course. Not particularly clever. But then Des Moines has curious serving inadequacies at other restos. There are so many other great places to dine...nearby. So will I return? Probabably not. Felt sorry for the server trying to attend to the other tables (not that many were occupied however) and dash back to the kitchen. Pity.

I
Des Moines
24 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Great paella with crusty bottom rice, enough for 4. Iberico ham with tomate bread, similar to my experience in Spain last month. Wine list needs better wines, maybe 2 or 3 Spanish and not very good. Wine by the glass are basic 10 dollar a bottle type. Very friendly staff, nice atmosphere

DG
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

The evening began with promise - a tasty charcuterie plate and a prawn small plate. But our three entrees seemed to get lost. We waited an hour to receive them. Our waiter said it was a computerized order mix-up and offered complimentary desserts or drinks. Instead, we pressed and received one complimentary entree. The manager/chef's attitude about the whole thing was arrogant and rude. Such a disappointment.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Matt is a superstar! Thank you!

DE
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

A new favorite. Shared plates for a date with my wife and had the hummus, olives, fries and grilled vegetables. She had the gin martini and I had the manhattan. Everything was great. Looking forward to exploring the rest of the menu.

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