If I'm honest, when Iowa came into view as a recent destination state, it was because we had some time on our hands moving south before we needed to be in Missouri for warranty work on Miranda. And because Iowa makes our 46th state since we began full-time travel. I had never been to Iowa, Melanie spent time in Des Moines in 1986-87 when she was traveling in support of her university sorority before law school. So, you know, why not?
After spending a great couple of days in Bettendorf, Iowa, we moved west to Des Moines. Along the way, as we were taking in more corn fields and wind turbines than we'd previously seen anywhere in the U.S., Melanie mentioned she'd found a restaurant in Des Moines that had been nominated for a James Beard award and they were open and accepting reservations. After settling in at our Corp of Engineers campground, I got online and made a reservation for Harbinger.
Upon arriving on a Friday evening masked up, we signed in with our names and a phone number for contact tracing purposes and the person, who would be our server for the evening, took our temps before we were seated. The tables were nicely socially distanced. At no time were there more than 12 people dining around us in the high ceiling restaurant, something both comforting and not a little sad.
I told Melanie I missed a crowded restaurant on a Friday night with diners enjoying each other's company and a great meal. Sitting in Harbinger was more like being at a private dinner party. I asked her to remind me I'd said that once we have the pandemic behind us and restaurants begin to fill again.
During pandemic, Harbinger offers two seven course menus, flora and fauna, with optional wine parings with each course. We both choose the fauna menu, both of us had the wine parings. After the first couple of courses, chef, Joe Tripp, delivered the remaining courses, and described the ingredients and preparations. Interactions with chef Tripp were a nice touch in these times.
Our meal was truly memorable and we highly recommend Harbinger to you.