September 16, 2014
Chefs Mike Rastrelli and Tristan Kao of Rastrelli's Restaurant in Clinton.

Build a Culinary Tour Plan 

By Wini Moranville


When you hear about a notable restaurant in another city in our state, wouldn't it be nice to know if it were truly worth a drive or an overnight stay? Here's your chance to find out about a few select venues: On Sept. 25, the Iowa Restaurant Association will hold the "Dine Iowa" Grand Tasting Gala, where you can taste creations from Ferrari's Ristorante in Cedar Falls; +39 Restaurant, Market and Cantina in Ames; Rastrelli's Restaurant in Clinton; and Bev's on the River in Sioux City.

Greater Des Moines will be represented as well, with Trostel's Greenbriar, Dos Rios Cantina and Tequila Lounge, AJ's Steakhouse at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Tally's Restaurant, Bar & Catering.

The association invited the selected restaurants to participate. "For our out-of-town picks, we chose restaurants that are worth a drive," said Jessica Dunker, the association's president and CEO. That way, she says, food lovers can "build a culinary tour plan of Iowa."

All restaurants are competing to take home the top honor in a competition in which the chef uses beef and soy in enticing, original ways. The event will feature samples of each of the dishes as well as wine and beer, live music, and dessert and appetizer salons. Splash Seafood Bar & Grill bartender Rex Schultze, who recently won the Iowa Restaurant Association's Top Mixologist honor, will be on hand to showcase samples of a signature craft cocktail.

The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Capital Square in downtown Des Moines; tickets cost $50 and are available on the Dine Iowa website or by calling 276-1454.


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Local artist Tina Dahl tries on
the original hand-knit sweater
she created for the Fashion Fair Luncheon raffle Sept. 17.
Read more on the luncheon here.

View From the Vault 

By Belle Du Chene


We've been giving you the insider's view as we cover all the Art Meets Fashion events on our Facebook page. The festivities are well underway, but the biggest events are yet to come, including the Sept. 18 opening of "Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede," the blockbuster exhibit focusing on Andy Warhol and clothing designer Halston, and the Sept. 20 gala at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

If you missed out on screen printing your own T-shirt at 8|7 Central during last weekend's Window Dressings kickoff in the East Village, you can at least still purchase them at the Des Moines Art Center's Museum Shop or at 8|7's online shop. The windows in the East Village will remain on display through Sept. 27. The limited-edition charm by jewelry designer Ann Au will still be for sale at the museum as well. While the opening of Eliel's Closet was last night, there are still many racks with clothes and accessories up for grabs. Check out the Art Center's Facebook page for updates.

In case you need reminding, details about the gala, exhibit and other Art Meets Fashion events were covered in dsm's July/August issue. Find those stories here.  -B.D.
The Des Moines Symphony
at its home at the
Des Moines Civic Center.

Des Moines Symphony Goes
to Great Measures


More Central Iowa youths will experience the joy of classical music, thanks to an initiative launched by the Des Moines Symphony. The program makes tickets available to youths to help them gain exposure to the arts. Last year, children and their families who participated in programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa, Camp Fire Heart of Iowa, Children & Families of Iowa and the Oakridge Neighborhood Association used 88 tickets. The program in part contributed to a 161 percent increase in student attendance at regular season concerts.

Here's what Sophia Ahmad, the symphony's director of marketing and public relations, has to say about the initiative:

What do you think is the biggest advantage for young students in gaining exposure to the symphony?
Research shows that music, and more specifically, making music, transforms the brain in "positive and permanent ways." And we also know that musicians who start training before the age of 7 reap the most benefits of brain resilience and nimbleness.

What is a goal for next year?
We want to make sure that every child in Central Iowa has the opportunity to experience a great live concert, so we are reaching out to as many groups as we can. You never know what will spark a child's imagination, whether it's playing a musical instrument or experiencing a live orchestra for the first time.

What performance in this year's lineup will kids like the most?
This year is our fifth partnership with the Chicago Symphony in a special multimedia presentation called "Beyond the Score: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony" (Nov. 15-16). During the first half, the audience learns about the piece through actors, a giant screen above the stage and the full orchestra playing excerpts of the work, including its famous four-note opening. Then, the orchestra performs the complete symphony in the second half.

The Des Moines Symphony's 77th season begins with Des Moines Symphony Week (Sept. 22-28), a week of events leading up to the Sept. 27 and 28 opener featuring Stravinsky's "Firebird." For a complete concert schedule and to purchase tickets, click here. -B.D.
Iowa International Center Executive Director Judy Conlin shows her support of cultural understanding.

Iowa Is Welcoming


The Iowa International Center (IIC) will recognize immigrants and refugees who make the state a better place to live for all of us at the 2014 Passport to Prosperity dinner on Sept. 27 at the Olmsted Center at Drake University. The honorees will share stories from their journeys as guests dine on a menu representative of the honorees' native countries.

This year's honorees include Tej Dhawan, originally from India and the principal of StartupCity Des Moines; Li Zhao Mandelbaum, originally from China, who is the president of China operations for China Iowa Group; Aiddy Phomvisay, originally from Laos and now the principal of Marshalltown High School; and Claudia Schabel, originally from Brazil, who now works for DuPont Pioneer.

Proceeds from this year's event will support the Ray Resource Initiative to build continuing multilingual and educational resources for immigrants and refugees in Iowa.


RSVP by Sept. 22. Tickets are $50 per person and event sponsorships begin at $100. Purchase tickets here or by emailing IIC Executive Director Judy Conlin at Event updates will be posted here, and questions can be answered at 282-8269, ext. 15. -B.D.
Learn how you can tour Italy with Connie Wimer and Frank Fogerty
at an informational session on
Sept. 22.

dsm Presents...


Everyone has been talking about Reflections of Italy, the luxury guided tour May 25-June 3 that Connie Wimer and Frank Fogarty will be hosting in partnership with Collete Vacations. The tour will take sightseers to Rome, Assisi, Sienna, Florence, Venice and Milan, among other destinations.

In preparation for the big trip, a free informational session Sept. 22 at 5:30 p.m. will be held at Business Publications Corp. Inc., 100 Fourth St. (in the old depot building) in Des Moines. The presentation and question-and-answer session will last about an hour. If you have questions or would like to attend, please contact Jeanne Hammerstrom,, 288-4582; or Laura Stegemann,, 288-4585.

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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