January 27, 2015
Local author Tom Formaro encourages singles to do more than lick their wounds on
Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day--Not Just for Couples  

By Wini Moranville


In Tom Formaro's novel"The Broken Heart Diet," lovesick chef Dante Palermo chooses to do more than lick his wounds on Valentine's Day. Instead, he hosts a special evening at his restaurant for people not in a relationship.


"The event was a chance for singles to have a little fun, a great dinner in a romantic setting and meet new people," says Formaro, a local author. "It was a way to celebrate singleness with joy. Alone doesn't have to mean lonely!"


This Feb. 14, truth will mirror fiction as Formaro teams up with his brother, George Formaro (a real-life chef-about-town), and Centro chef Derek Eidson to put on "FoLoLi, Festa di Sera Rosso" (Feast of the Red Evening), an event to celebrate food, love and life. The event will be held in Centro's private dining room, with communal-style tables that seat 10 to 12 people together.


The menu kicks off with an arugula salad with goat cheese and orange vinaigrette, then moves on to hand-cut pasta with Pecorino Romano, butter and black pepper. The entrée will be chicken saltimbocca, and for the finale, guests will enjoy an affogato, vanilla gelato with espresso chocolate sauce, and a biscotti.


Relationship-readiness coach Janet Tingwald of Ready to Find Mr. Right will be on hand, passing out dating-tip cards for those who want them.


Dinner costs $55 per person, with early-bird pricing at $45 a ticket through Jan. 31. Tickets are available through Eventbrite. Centro is at 1003 Locust St.; 248-1780.



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fyi: Mark Your Calendar   

  • Des Moines Performing Arts will present Tony Award-winning "Kinky Boots" Jan. 27-Feb. 1. The show follows the story of a struggling shoe factory owner who gets help from Lola, an entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, to turn his business around. Showtimes vary; visit

    for more details. Tickets cost $35-$126 and can be purchased here.


  • Are you a movie buff? Or want to be? The Academy Award nominations for short films were announced earlier this month, and the Des Moines Art Center will host a series of films that made the cut for 2014, including documentary, animation and live-action shorts. The screenings start Jan. 30 and will continue on various dates throughout February. See the calendar here. The event is free to the public but reservations are necessary; reserve your place here.
  • Moberg Gallery opens an exhibit Jan. 30 featuring 20 large works (over 5 feet tall) by artists including James Ellwanger, Chris Vance, Pamela Staker, Tom Jackson and Benjamin Gardner. The exhibit runs through March 14. For more details, visit
  • Listen to world-renowned pianist Andre Watts Jan. 31 at a concert presented by Civic Music Association in the Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.; tickets cost $20-50 and can be bought here.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa (BBBSCI) will host the kickoff for the 2015 Bowl for Kids' Sake Jan. 28 at 3 p.m. at Plaza Lanes Family Fun Center (2701 Douglas Ave.). Participants can expect laser bowling and complimentary appetizers. Register your team of four here to be included in the kickoff night or one of 11 other BBBSCI bowling nights. Each participant is asked to raise $125 to bowl and will receive two games of bowling, a T-shirt, shoe rental and a chance to win prizes in return. For more information, visit

Reynal has a fresh and energetic decorating dynamic. 
Photo by Rick Lozier

P.S.: In Living Color


When interior designer Amanda Reynal moved back to Des Moines from London eight years ago, she got the scoop on a house that wasn't on the market yet and persuaded the owner to sell it. Reynal bought the house and began to make it her own by incorporating vibrant colors, lush fabrics and customized details to rejuvenate the residence with a wash of color.  


Interested in reading--and seeing--more? Pick up a copy of the January/February issue of dsm or click here.   

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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