August 12, 2014
Spanish pork tenderloin brochettes will be on the Restaurant Week menu at Cityscape Lounge.

Wini's Choices for Restaurant Week

By Wini Moranville


Restaurant Week starts this Friday (Aug. 15), and it's time to make some tough decisions-not whether to go out, but where. We have 32 restaurants to choose from, and some of the best venues in Greater Des Moines are taking part.

Flipping through the menus-available online is a little bit like armchair traveling on Expedia or Travelocity, except that wishful thinking can become a reality for a song: All participants will offer two lunches for $25 or one three-course dinner for $25.

After spending a major chunk of time perusing the menus, I've come up with the top three places and dishes I'm looking forward to trying (as long as my co-diners agree!). Here they are:

  • Table 128 certainly isn't stinting on this fabulously priced meal! Choices include a four-ounce beef tenderloin filet with blue crabmeat and a sweet corn salad. For dessert, try the lavish chocolate and caramel tart, complete with a touch of shaved edible gold.
  • At Splash Seafood Bar & Grill, I'm eyeing the shrimp ravioli with sweet corn fondue and Cleverly Farms greens. A lovely house-made sorbet for dessert sounds like a mighty refreshing finish on a summer night. 
  • I've never been to Cityscape Lounge at the Holiday Inn Downtown, but the great thing about Restaurant Week is that you get a chance to try something new without a major investment. The menu looks great (hello, Spanish pork tenderloin brochettes with Gorgonzola risotto!). Another draw: The chef is Kris Van Tuyl, who made a name for himself at the former Luna Bistro.

Restaurant Week runs through Aug. 24. Check out this short video to get even more fired up. Enjoy, everyone, and be sure to let me know what great finds you've scored! Join our discussion on Facebook at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville.



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Art 'Talk'

By Belle Du Chene


Steven Vail Fine Arts will unveil a new exhibit, called "Dialogues," at an opening reception Aug. 23 from 5 to 8 p.m. Authentic African tribal art will be displayed in tandem with works from contemporary artists, including Mitchell Squire (Ames) and Phillip Chen (Des Moines). The title "Dialogues" comes from the way the modern works seem to play off the tribal pieces.

"When you put these (contemporary) artists' works next to the tribal works, you start to see a connection that is really interesting," says gallery owner Steven Vail. "It's almost like they are having a dialogue between them, and it's extremely unexpected."

For more information on this event and other exhibitions, click here. Find the gallery at 500 E. Locust St.; 309-2763.

Chris Steele and Steve Kostianis
of Johnny's Italian Steakhouse.

Mixin' It Up


Congratulations to Chris Steele and Steve Kostianis from Johnny's Italian Steakhouse on Fleur Drive for winning the top honor at the Iowa Restaurant Association's regional mixology competition, held recently at Voodoo Lounge. They are joined by runners-up Amanda Schreiber from Crème Cupcake and Rex Schulze from Splash Seafood Bar & Grill. They all bested six other mixologists for slots at the statewide championship, which will be Aug. 27 at Americana Restaurant & Lounge.

In addition to our local top seeds, nine mixologists selected from five regional competitions across Iowa will compete. Guests can sample all 24 competition cocktails alongside hors d'oeuvres and also cast a vote for People's Choice Award. Tickets cost $30; get them here. For info on more food-related events this month, check out my blog post here-W.M.

In the Know


Plan now to attend the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines' (CFGDM) professional development and informational sessions during August and September: 

  • Learn how to take an idea from birth to fruition at "OnTrack - Kickstart!: A Workshop to Fast Track Your Innovative Idea" Aug. 28 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Junior Achievement building, 6100 Grand Ave. Stacy Van Gorp will lead this hands-on workshop. The cost is $30; find out more and register here.
  • Wade A. Den Hartog, the Community Foundation's director of affiliates and charitable partners, will lead Endow Iowa Informational Sessions Sept. 10, 11, 16 and 18 at various times. He'll explain how donors to your organization can receive up to a 25 percent state tax credit in addition to federal deductions on gifts made to endowed funds at qualified community foundations. The sessions will be held at the Community Foundation's offices, 1915 Grand Ave. To learn more about these free sessions and to RSVP, contact Den Hartog by email or by phone at 244-0020. -B.D.

Mark Your Calendar 


Join us for the next dsm unveiling party, Aug. 26,
5-7 p.m., at Silent Rivers Design + Build, 9205 Swanson Blvd. in Clive. Valet parking, a car show, art and inspiration await. Oh, and the new issue of dsm too! The issue has stories and knockout photographs that you'll tell all your friends about. We promise!  


Last week's dsmWeekly contained the incorrect date for the Science Center of Iowa's 16th Annual Fundraising Event and Auction. The event will be held Aug. 22. For more information on the event, click here. We apologize for the error.


Belle Du Chene is senior editor of dsm magazine.

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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