Thursday, December 29, 2005

Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant and Bar
5810 Merle Hay Road
Johnston, IA
Phone: 515-253-0124
Dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Lunch is served daily from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Twilight menu 5-6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday

Trostel’s Greenbriar is one of those great restaurants where you can go comfy or to celebrate a special occasion wearing your best bib and tucker. The menu offerings include the usual line up of steak, chicken and prime rib as well as fish, pasta and seafood. Trostel’s also has escargot en croute, elk, rack of lamb and duck a l’orange as a welcome addition to the more traditional line up of fare. Table settings at the Greenbriar always include crisp, white linen table cloths and napkins, fresh flowers on the table and very nice levels of lighting throughout the restaurant. Seating during the summer months is also available on the very pleasant patio.

While our review is limited to our dinner experiences, Trostel’s also has a complete lunch menu offering meal sized salads, chicken, beef, fish entrees and sandwiches.

The biggest problem you will have at The Greenbriar is deciding which of the many offerings to try. Appetizers include the aforementioned escargot en croute in addition to seared ahi tuna, smoked pork tenderloin with chipotle cream, crab stuffed mushrooms with béarnaise sauce and chili pomegranate barbeque beef short rib, just to name a few.

All dinners are served with soup or salad, vegetable, bread and choice of baked potato, garlic mashed, rice pilaf or steak fries. Most entrees are in the $15-18 range with the menu topping out at $43 for the filet mignon and lobster combination. Most of the steaks, rack of lamb and prime rib are $18-30. The bread basket is always a surprise with an unusual artisan loaf included with the sourdough or boule. Salads are generous, crisp and beautifully arranged on cold plates.

“A” is particularly fond of Trostel’s beef dishes. Steaks and prime rib are superb, thick, well trimmed cuts full of flavor and almost fork tender. This is another restaurant that cooks its beef to the correct level of doneness so the diner does not have to second guess whether medium rare is going to arrive rare or medium – it will be a beautifully pink medium rare, as requested. The duck is also excellent, as is the rack of lamb. Trostel’s tempura fried shrimp are among the best “A” has ever enjoyed anywhere. Shrimp are also available charbroiled or Cajun style.

“D” enjoys the Broiled New Zealand Orange Roughy as well as the filet of salmon served with Hollandaise. Fish is beautifully prepared – always moist and flaky and full of flavor. Greenbriar also has grilled halibut steak served with a lemon dill cream sauce as well as a potato crust baked salmon served with saffron chive butter. Both are excellent dishes.

For those wishing to spend less and eat a lighter version of the full menu, Trostel’s offers their “Twilight Dining” menu, Monday through Thursday from 5-6:30 p.m. Most of the entrees on the Twilight menu are in the $14-16 range.

The presentation of all the food is among the best in Des Moines, but the desserts are artistic masterpieces of the almost too pretty to eat variety. However, the awe is short lived when either chocolate, tiramisu or crème brulee is involved so dig in.

All of the wait and bus staff at Trostel’s are seasoned professionals who go about their jobs without intruding at all on your dining experience. Meals are well paced so you do not feel like you are being rushed, nor are courses presented at too slow a pace.

The only word of caution we would offer regards the lounge area. If you have to wait for a table and the smell of cigar smoke bothers you, you may wish to wait for your table elsewhere. Whether it is an impromptu dinner out or a special occasion, head for Trostel’s Greenbriar for one of Des Moines’ most pleasant and delicious dining experiences.

Rating: 4 Absolutely!
Quality: Top quality
Service: Top quality
Value: Top value
Recommended: Absolutely!

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