The 801 Grand Bar is possibly the classiest high-end bar in Des Moines. It has all of right ingredients: the “high wall of bottles,” the carefully fitted out bartenders who look like real bartenders, polished dark wood and brass, well made cocktails, and a high price to go along with it. Of course, one should avoid 801 Grand if cost is a real consideration. That is one big reason alone that I’ve not had a meal at the restaurant for about five years. That, and the annoying requirement to order all of the sides. This will be remedied as I recently lost a bet and the payment is I have to buy a dinner at 801 Grand. Back to the bar review.
The drinks are on the small side and the ingredients that went into my Manhattan were basic and did not originate from the “top shelf.” Still, the bartender was highly knowledgeable regarding his craft and was not afraid to share his opinions, one of which was his take on the whole Templeton Rye hoopla. I will keep him out of trouble by not detailing his thoughts. Another benefit to the bar at 801 Grand is that you have the full selection of the 801 Grand wine list, if paying almost double for a bottle is your idea of fun.