Feb 2, 2023 - Food and Drink

Hot new restaurant: Oak Park in Ingersoll

Ian Richardson

Chef Ian Richardson. Photo courtesy of Oak Park

One of the most anticipated new restaurants in Des Moines this year is Oak Park, set to open in Ingersoll's newest Block 39 development.

State of play: The modern American restaurant is expected to seat nearly 100 people.

  • It's meant to resemble a home, with a wrap-around porch helping it to blend into the neighborhood.

Driving the news: Ian Robertson is the executive chef of Oak Park and a graduate of Roosevelt High School.

  • He went on to work in kitchens around the world, including Australia, Paris, New York and, most recently, Chicago.

We chatted with Robertson to learn more about him and the new restaurant:

🏡 Returning to Des Moines: Robertson, who has three kids, said he's ready to return home and share the city with his family.

  • He also says id appetites have changed in DSM the city since he left in 2005 and people are now more willing to eat a diverse array of food. that he's excited to bring back.

👨‍🍳 What's changed since you left? The restaurant scene, especially downtown, was primarily steakhouses and "simple restaurants."

  • But now its "grown drastically" with more chef-driven restaurants and smaller boutique locations with niche plates, he says.

🥗 Food on the menu: While specifics haven't been determined, Robertson says gnocchi is one of his favorite dishes to make.

  • The restaurant will also have a charcoal grill for barbecues outside, as well as an extruder to make fresh pasta.

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