Tursi's Latin King

Write a review for Tursi's Latin King

by nevesis

Start with giant mozzarella sticks. Have the Chicken Spiedini entree. Top it off with homemade tiramisu. It'll be one of the best meals you've ever had; I guarantee it.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Ross

I know the Latin King has the best of everything, but have you ever had the cheeseburger? That's right cheeseburger. They have the best one in the city of Des Moines...no kidding!!
Go for onion rings and burger sometime, you won't be disappointed.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by rosa

it was the best tihg u could eat but waiters were very lazy!!

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by quietriot

Despite being on the East side, the Latin King is over-the-top wonderful. It is a true dining experience with wonderful Italian food and other American-Italian favorites.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Lady Sehkmet

This is where my husband and I take out of town friends for dinner. We have never had a bad meal there-actually, we have never had anything less than a superb meal there. My husband is loyal to the Steak De Bergo, which I also enjoy, but their pastas and regular steaks are to die for also. This restaurant is labeled Italian, but it has something for everyone-even my vegetarian sister!
And as another poster said, the Tira-Mi-Su is the best I have ever had and is the gold standard for me.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Tony

Nice setting. Good service. Great menu options. As good an italian restraunt as you'll find in Des Moines. New addition is a little cheasy if you ask me. I would prefer a darker, more romantic setting. But that's just my preference. Gets 3.5 stars only because I got the spaghetti and meatballs and the meatballs were bland.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by A and D

Tursi’s Latin King

Where to begin? The beginning, of course. “A” and “D” went to the Latin King for the first time for dinner on a Saturday afternoon about 5 P.M. We had been there previously for lunch (which was delightful) and wanted to experience dinner before writing a review.

The large, almost always crowded parking lot at the east side location tells you this is a popular and successful restaurant. The entrance, a courtyard design with a long ramp invites you through the overhead vines to the main door. The moment you are through the door, the greetings are profuse and sincere. These are real people who are genuinely pleased that you have come to their restaurant. The owners, Bob Tursi and his wife, Amy Tursi, are there with a friendly smile and a warm invitation to the table. Tursi has a sparkle in his eye that reflects hospitality and tells you he loves being a restaurateur; it also absorbs everything that is going on in the restaurant. As “A” and “D” were being escorted to the table, Bob was heard to say in passing to a member of the staff, “A little spill on the family’s table over there” and it was immediately attended to with speed and precision. Bob seems to be in every room of the restaurant and in the lounge, always making sure the customer is comfortable, served and happy. The Tursi’s honor the title of ‘Host.”

Comfortable tables and chairs; the booths are fixed to the floor and those of us with more girth (most of Iowa) probably will not be able to adjust the ‘table-to-tummy’ distance. The décor is authentic Italian family history, not the faux-Italian nonsense in places like the Bucca de Beppo’s. You know this restaurant has stood for something for a long time and it is proud of its heritage. The restaurant has a variety of different rooms, some large, some intimate. The lounge is spacious and has tables for dining, if desired. A fully-stocked bar and lots of attentive bar service is provided.

As soon as we were seated, the quiet, totally professional services began. Water glasses were filled with a friendly smile, and never were allowed to empty; yet, the service is unobtrusive and seamless. The very engaging wait person—a true, experienced professional—welcomed us and took our order for glasses of Chianti which arrived almost immediately. Other servers were waiting in their sections for diners to arrive and, interestingly, were observed to endlessly straighten napkin placements, arrange the shades on the table lamps, align glasses, and otherwise take professional pride in their tables. These are older, experienced professionals and it is clear that service means something and is important at Tursi’s Latin King.

The menu is large and intriguing with a sufficiency of choices for anyone. It includes an array of appetizers and features the house specialty, Antipasto, along with an interesting Shrimp Angela. Both are excellent, prepared perfectly and generous. Choices include a large variety of dishes in main categories of Pasta, Veal, Beef, Fish and Seafood, Chicken, House Specialties, Salads, and Desserts. There is also a Family Menu that offers full-dining combinations for larger groups and parties. The menus are ‘fully-furnished’ to say the least.

One of the signature dishes is Chicken Spiedini featuring marinated pieces of chicken breast, char-broiled with Amogio, a special, Latin King marinade. “A” and “D” had both had this dish for lunch previously and can recommend it absolutely.

The variety of dishes is planned to meet almost all tastes—there are, for example, three chicken liver dishes which are almost never seen; also, for the non-explorer diner, there’s fried chicken. The fish and seafood dishes include a number of shrimp dishes, as well as walleye pike, salmon, and orange roughy. Veal dishes abound! And, of course, there is a Steak DuBurgo.

“A” ordered the Chicken Sorrentina and Filet Mignon Marsala. It was accompanied by a unique potato croquette, crispy outside and moist and flavorful inside, an imaginative addition. The chicken breast is done with Prosciutto and a light tomato sauce with melted mozzarella cheese. The filet mignon was perfectly prepared, a precise medium-rare, and the beef was full of flavor and tender. “A” gave the dish great compliments and rated it as high value for $20.

“D” ordered the broiled Walleye Pike with fresh vegetables. This produced a flaky, delicious, large 10-ounce filet, broiled to perfection and exquisitely flaky and moist. The broccoli was vibrant green, al dente, and excellently prepared. Superb dish for about $16.

Dessert had to be Tira-Mi-Su and it is decadent and delicious. Our server deftly sold us on trying it and she was right: the best in Des Moines! Large portion, perfect for two people with some left over. Also, cappuccino and espresso are served.

Service is absolutely professional and flawless; experienced and solid. Everywhere you turn, the smiles are genuine and the warmth is real, not scripted or rehearsed.

Rating this restaurant requires that we accept it for the class of restaurant is in and not for how it compares to other boutique restaurants, such as Sage or Mosaix. This is a large, family-oriented, high volume restaurant that does not pretend to be gourmet or bistro-like. Among its restaurant type, it is head and shoulders above the rest and is a Five Star from beginning to end. Whether a large gathering, dinner for two, lunch, or a stop in the bar for a glass of wine and a sandwich, you won’t find better than Latin King.

Rating: 5 Absolutely!
Quality: Top quality
Service: Top quality
Value: Top value
Recommended: Absolutely!

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by SloppyDog

That nicloe lady in the previous post knows what she's talking about. This place is seriously good. The staff is great and the food is glorious. I like the bar area too. This has to be my favorite italian spot in the city. who would think there's good food on the east side?

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by NicoleK

A Des Moines classic, Tursi’s Latin King and there is a reason it has been successful, delicious food and good service. First and foremost it is located on the east side where fine dining is sparse, it is actually across from the AE Dairy Plant, but after a much needed remodeling the exterior has been transformed to a quaint, Italian villa look. The interior takes that same role, very cozy and warm.

The food, two words: Chicken Spiedini (served with the Amogio). It is outstanding. I also hear the steak is wonderful, but I can never bring myself to try something new. I really don’t think you could go wrong with any of their selections.

If you can forget about dining on the Westside or Downtown then venture to the Eastside where you can experience a wonderful dinner, served by a friendly experience wait staff in a charming environment, but they don’t take reservations so make sure to get there early on the weekends or be prepared to wait because it’s no secret how popular this restaurant is.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion
Tips for Tursi's Latin King from foursquare users

joni l.

Mmmmm chicken spedini...

4 people have done this

Daniel F.

This is my "seal the deal" restaurant. Great food on every line of the menu. I'm a sucker for their fried chicken livers, but it's a great pasta joint.

2 people have done this and 2 others want to

cheryl n.

Their wine recommendations are reliable.

2 people have done this

Mike S.

When in season, the Strawberry Shortcake is a MUST. It's BIG, so plan to share w/a friend.

1 person has done this

joel m.

Call Joel @ 971 5635 for great deals on Mediacom cable services!

1 person has done this
A section of the front of Latin King The side of the Latin King The entrance to Latin King

View all photos