French colonists in the United States were noted for their ability to grow crops of crème brulee from little more than custard seeds watered with liquefied pages from Voltaire novels. Enjoy similarly fresh French fare with today's Groupon. For $30, you'll get $60 worth of food and drinks at Bistro Montage on Ingersoll Avenue.
Serving up contemporary French dishes Tuesdays through Saturdays, Bistro Montage's Executive Chef Enosh Kelley, a Best Chef nominee for the Midwest in the 2009 James Beard Awards, oversees a frequently changing menu forged from the freshest seasonal ingredients. Start out with a classic tuna niçoise salad (up to $16), made with house-canned ahi tuna and topped with hard-boiled quail eggs, ensuring that hard-boiled quail biker gangs never roam the streets. Turophiles can dine on dairy goodness with a cheese plate available as an appetizer or as a dessert (both $15). Main courses include liver and onions ($20), sidekicked with caramelized onions, potato rosti, and fava beans, and the organic Peking duck breast ($26), paired with fig compote-stuffed turnips eager to be eaten into obscurity.
Toast special occasions with selections from Bistro Montage's international wine list or full bar, or bring your own bottle after 6 p.m. on Thursdays and take advantage of the waived corkage fee. The dining room at Bistro Montage is intimate, with bright red walls and tablecloths painstakingly ironed to perfection nightly by unionized gremlins.
Bistro Montage and its executive chef, Enosh Kelley, have garnered multiple accolades in recent years. Kelley was a semifinalist for the James Beard Best Chef Midwest award in 2009, Metromix named him one of the "Five best chefs in Des Moines," and readers of Cityview called him Des Moines' Best Chef and named Bistro Montage the city's Best Bistro Fare in their 2010 "Best Of" issue. The Washington Post and the Des Moines Register featured Bistro Montage. Cityview and Examiner.com both praised the fare in their reviews.
- From this celebration of the Iowa terroir, I moved on to "liver and onions," a clever turn on the homely dish that usually bears that name. Mr. Kelly's liver, an organic local calf's liver, of course, is crisp on the outside, very pink within, cut in triangles and placed on a circular thin cake of grated potato, the great Swiss dish rösti. – Raymond Sokolov, Washington Post
- [Kelley] has always kept the most French of the city’s kitchens, with classical treatments of duck, skate and beef. His French-inspired cuisine adds to a menu that changes often, keeping our readers coming back for more. – Cityview
The kitchen bustled behind teenage Enosh Kelley as he stood over the sink, dutifully scrubbing pots and pans while dreaming of becoming a chef. From those humble origins, recounted in his Metromix profile, Enosh has grown into an internationally renowned culinary artist lauded by reporters from the Wall Street Journal and nominated as best Midwest chef by the James Beard Foundation. Pulling from his training at the Culinary Institute of America, Enosh folds local ingredients into a French-inspired menu, favoring classics such as hand-cut pomme frites, duck orange, and gâteau marjolaine.
Nestled in the heart of the historic Ingersoll Avenue district, Enosh's restaurant—Bistro Montage—is a fitting canvas for his fine French creations. Plates pair with glasses of wine on white-clothed tables. Nearby, framed artwork speckles the brick-red walls, and long, flowing curtains dangle from the windows to keep the lighting dim and intimate while providing a convenient hiding place for guests on disappointing blind dates.
2724 Ingersoll Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50312Get Directions