While I'm on the subject of Iowa restaurants, I thought I'd give this place a post. I was fortunate to happen across a brief mention of their dinner offerings in Des Moines's local paper. Prior to that, I'd believed they were strictly a local bakery.
And La Mie *is* a bakery -- up front is a pastry case, coffee shop, etc., & there's a long chalkboard full of dozens of breads (& other carbs) they bake themselves in the massive ovens downstairs. But there is a long room with counter-type booths in the back where they offer a lovely French-inspired dinner menu.
The atmosphere is -- as mentioned above -- low-frills & loud due to all the "hard surfaces" if it's busy. But it's a full-service sit-down establishment with an interesting (if limited) wine list, enough entree choices to satisfy most people, & a pleasant European bistro feel. My dining companion, who has spent some time in France, commented that La Mie did remind him a bit of places he'd been to there. The windows in the back were open, fans going, etc.
Most of the dishes are French-inspired, by preparation if not by actual item -- the traditional accompaniments were an especially nice touch, fluffy scrambled omelette-type eggs, so many capers I was in heaven, sauces, things like that. I had trout meuniere, my compaion had ahi tuna on a bed of nice egg noodles -- both were fresh, light, & good. Entree portions were nicely-sized.
My only real complaint would be the appetizers, which sounded more delicious than they tasted -- here, the portions were too small (even for two people who don't insist on large portions), & both were served on a bed of greens that became a bit monotonous.
La Mie's prices are pretty reasonable... what you sacrifice in atmosphere you gain on the dollar-side... & service was friendly & efficient, not pretentious but professional. As I said, sound carries -- we dined with two rather large parties across from us that created quite a bit of noise -- but somehow the "hustle & bustle" fit the feeling of La Mie. And as we left, we were even offered the customary loaf of bread as the last customers!
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