208 Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
Chef Andrew Meek serves up an eclectic menu of small plates and entrees at Sbrocco Wine (208 Court Ave.). After a career in Savannah, Georgia, Meek came to Iowa and wanted to see the same local food culture in Des Moines that he saw in Savannah.
“If I’m a local business and I want local people to eat in my restaurant, why don’t I support local business as well? If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk,” Meek says.
“I just thought it was kind of a no brainer,” Meek remembers. “There are things besides pork in Iowa.”
And Meek has definitely gone beyond pork at his restaurant. While diners can order a rich and succulent piece of Niman Ranch pork belly seared to perfection, Meek also offers local chicken, beef, lamb, duck and more. During growing season, he looks forward to spring garlic from Cleverly Farms and berries from Foxhollow Farm among other produce.
“Local foods just taste better,” Meek says. “I know who they come from. One of the duties I feel I have as a chef is to learn what all my suppliers do.”
Meek feels this personal relationship with farmers is one of the reasons he values local food.
“Other suppliers, you know, it’s a face with a tie on that knows as little about what I need to know as possible,” Meek explains. “If I wanted to see how Larry Cleverly is growing his spring garlic, I could drive up to Mingo and he’d dig one up and show me.”
Meek prefers to source food from local farmers, but he doesn’t shy away from the difficult side of the relationship.
“It’s always too something on a farm,” Meek says. “One day it’s too rainy, the next day it’s, ‘I can’t get in the field it’s too cold.’ You just learn to be content and patient.”
And that patience pays off. Meek has plenty of locally sourced food to offer. During growing season, diners can find a vast array of small plates featuring local produce from farms across central Iowa at Sbrocco Wine.