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The Continental: an East Village treasure

Posted December 18, 2014 in Community Featured, Email blast, Downtown


The Des Moines East Village is home to many of the best restaurants in the area; some of which you wouldn’t know existed unless you were looking for them. Fitting into both of these labels, The Continental, located on East Locust, serves tapas-style food in a modern upscale setting.

The Continental bar features a long list of handcrafted specialty cocktails. Right: The Puerco Pibil Tacos explode with flavor. Photos by Marc Bailey.

The Continental bar features a long list of handcrafted specialty cocktails. Right: The Puerco Pibil Tacos explode with
flavor. Photos by Marc Bailey.

I walked into The Continental on a cold Saturday evening, curious to try the food and drink I had been hearing about. Dimly lit and lined by the building’s original brick walls, the atmosphere was instantly a comfort. My guest and I sat ourselves and were promptly greeted by a friendly waiter.

The Continental has an impressive array of handcrafted specialty cocktails served from a well-trained bar staff. Each of the cocktails are backed by a long selection of wine & craft beer. I reviewed the appetizers and settled on the pomme frites, while still deciding on my main course. The appetizer list alone housed all the handcrafted plates a patron would ever need.

Our appetizer arrived quickly, along with a winter seasonal ale from Michigan based Bell’s Brewery. The pomme frites were outstanding. Crispy fries topped with a garlic white-truffle oil drizzle, soft egg, sea salt and a side of Sriracha ketchup.

The food list ranged from small plate tapas, sandwiches, salads and a few large plate choices. Our waiter was extremely helpful with any questions we had about the food. The great thing about the tapas options were the variety in cuisines. Seafood, Italian, Spanish, Middle-Eastern and many others were represented.

I set my sights on the Puerco Pipil Tacos. Slow roasted pork marinated in citrus, achiote & patron tequila served on warm corn tortillas and topped with pico de gallo. The three tacos that arrived exploded with flavor. The tender and juicy pork was complimented by the warm corn tortillas; which were slightly grilled to provide a crispy contrast.

The Puerco Pibil Tacos explode with flavor

The Puerco Pibil Tacos explode with flavor

My guest chose from the sandwich selection and ordered the Chicken Caesar Pita. Seasoned chicken breast on a bed of spring mix greens, tossed in Caesar dressing, topped with grated parmesan and then housed in two warm pitas. Sampling the pitas, I found the same level of flavor and care as was with my dish.

Maybe it was the cold winter weather, or perhaps the glowing holiday lights that made The Continental so inviting. Thinking back on it, it really was the atmosphere, the drinks and the food.

The Continental
428 East Locust
Des Moines, IA 50309

11am – 12am

11am – 2am

Happy Hour every Monday – Saturday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm for discounted small plates

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