01. About Us

Splash Seafood Oyster Bar & Grill is Iowa and Des Moines’ premiere Seafood Restaurant. Our award winning wine list is perfectly paired to compliment our extensive seafood selections. Our jet fresh seafood is flown in daily from coast to coast, including seaports in Boston, Seattle, Key Largo, and Honolulu.

The idea for Splash was given birth on the water in 1998 by an avid Key’s fisherman, Bruce Gerleman. His fishing expeditions took him all over the Florida Keys where he discovered exotic meals cooked by the ‘locals’. Inspired by the varied styles and flavors of the food, he began gathering recipes from Key West, Islamorada and Key Largo. In the tradition of this island-style cooking, Splash was created.

Local artist and designer, Saley Nong, was commissioned to interpret undersea life in a mural art form. Her colorful and playful, abstract work is a striking contrast to the 9 large saltwater aquariums full of beautiful coral and tropical ocean fish.

02. Reservations

Reserve Online

Splash Seafood Bar & Grill
303 Locust, Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 244-5686

Oyster Bar Lunch
Monday to Friday 11:30am to 2pm
Dining Room
Monday to Saturday 5pm to 10pm

If you wish to inquire about large parties or receptions, please contact us by email. Special requests, questions or comments are welcome.

04. Oyster Bar

The Splash Oyster Bar has the largest selection of cold-water oysters in Iowa. We serve only fresh, live oysters from the cold, clear, clean waters of the Pacific Northwest and the coastal bays of New England.

The Splash oyster bar is open daily Monday thru Friday, serving our quick and flavorful lunch and charcuterie menus from 11:30am to 2pm and dinner Monday thru Saturday serving our full Splash menu 5-10pm.

05. Charcuterie & Cheese

Splash is proud to serve a fantastic selection of artisanal meats and cheeses. Our platters are perfect as a meal starter or to cap off a wonderful dinner with one of our hand crafted cocktails. Create a combination platter to suit your own taste or try the delicious Iowa platter comprised of locally produced meats and cheeses.

06. Wine & Cocktails

The Wine Spectator Magazine award winning wine program at Splash is founded on two fundamental principles: 1. To offer high quality wines from around the world at a low mark-up to provide our guest with incredible value. 2. To provide expert care, our two Certified Sommeliers will help create a fun wine experience for you, our guest, while you learn, experience and drink our delicious varieties.

The Deathbed Confession (Iowa Restaurant Association 2014 Cocktail of the Year)

Maraschino Luxardo, Pearl Vodka, Green Chartreuse

Andy Crounse Splash Sommelier

Andy Crounse

General ManagerCourt of Master Sommeliers, 2010 Certified Sommelier

Andy has been a restaurant professional since 2000.  Crounse has a passion for food, wine, and making memories.

Ben Nelson Splash Seafood Bar and Grill

Ben Nelsen

Wine DirectorCourt of Master Sommeliers, 2012 Certified Sommelier

Ben has traveled the wine regions of Europe and California extensively.  Through these travels, Nelsen has become Iowa’s foremost Oenophile.

Rex Shulze - Splash Seafood Des Moines

Rex Schulze

Lead MixologistSWE, Certified Specialist of Spirits 2011

Rex has been crafting cocktails and concoctions since 1989.  Shulze was the Iowa Restaurant Associations mixologist of the year in 2014.

07. Wine Education Series

Join us for our Splash Wine Education Series the last Tuesday of every month, 6:00pm -7:30pm. We will discuss and taste wines from around the world and pair them with light appetizers created by Splash Executive Chef Dominic Iannarelli.

January Ribera del Duero February Loire Valley March Piedmont
April Burgundy May Germany/Austria June Rioja
July Greece August Tuscany September Sicily
October Douro November Languedoc-Roussillon December Emilia-Romagna


Presented by Ben Nelsen, Certified Sommelier $40 / Person (+Tax & Gratuity) Advance Ticket Purchase and Reservations Required (515) 244-5686


08. Press

Still Making A Splash

Wini Moranville
DSM Magazine

A sharp focus on an enduring mission keeps this longtime venue firmly at the top of its game…

Read more here.

Three great affordable (and ambitious) wine lists

David Elbert
The Des Moines Register

Take advantage of the expertise of two Certified Sommeliers, Ben Nelson and Andy Crounse. When I asked Nelson for his under-$10 picks, he enthused about two Italian reds chosen specifically to go with seafood: the “elegant, earth-driven” Brancaia Tre ($9), a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Sangiovese, and the Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti ($8), “the fruiter of the two.” With dessert, try the fruity, lightly sparkling Castello del Poggio Moscato ($7)…

Read more here.

Splash wines the charcuterie arts

Jim Duncan

Des Moines has become a serious charcuterie town. Ten years ago, Des Moines delicatessens typically sliced cured meats from industrial purveyors like Hormel. Antipasti trays in Italian restaurants here resembled Hy-Vee deli platters more than those of restaurants in Italy. Then suddenly the city became Parma on the prairie…

Read more here.

What The Wine Pros Know

Wini Moranville
DSM Magazine

Splash Seafood Bar & Grill offers one of the most ambitious and extensive wine lists that Des Moines has to offer. Ben Nelson, the resident Sommelier at Splash, has continued the tradition of wine at splash and has helped the restaurant win the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator for the last 14 years…

Read more here.

09. Awards

CV Best of DM 2015
Splash Seafood Des Moines Owner Bruce Gerleman

Bruce Gerleman

Owner2012 Restaurateur of the Year, Iowa Restaurant Association

Splash opened September of 1998 in the historic Homestead Building in the heart of downtown Des Moines. An avid ocean fisherman, Gerleman’ goal is to bring the highest quality “Jet Fresh” seafood to Splash.  Flown in fresh daily from Hawaii, Alaska, Seattle, Boston and the Florida Keys, Bruce’s commitment to quality and detail is unsurpassed.

Splash Seafood Executive Chef

Dominic Iannarelli

Executive Chef2014 Chef of the Year, Iowa Restaurant Association

Dom joined Splash in 2003 with a vision and commitment to create a fine dining seafood experience which rivals any restaurant in the country.  Never afraid to push the culinary envelope, Iannarelli enjoys introducing people to innovative cuisines and styles while always maintaining his roots of the culinary classics.

10. Contact