AUGUST 23, 2016

This grandly set table at the 2015 Flashdine took best-dressed honors. Cheers!

By Wini Moranville
If you love big, splashy parties with great food and well-dressed people, but no one in your crowd feels like throwing such a bash, take a look at Flashdine Des Moines, this year Sept. 4.
Now in its sixth year, this grand fête takes inspiration from the Paris-based Diner en Blanc (dinner in white), an annual event in which Parisians, dressed in white, arrive at a public location and unpack a sumptuous dinner to be enjoyed in the presence of others doing the same. The location is always kept top secret until just before the event. The first Parisian Dîner en Blanc took place in 1998; since then, the concept has spread to cities around the globe.

Flashdine Des Moines follows suit: Diners are encouraged to wear white; everyone brings their own everything--tables, chairs, utensils, tablecloths, centerpieces, food, wine, etc. Note, by the way, that this is not a potluck; although sharing of food and wine always happens when food lovers gather, you're basically responsible for your own meal.
According to co-organizer Rachel Formaro, the Des Moines event has grown from about 50 attendees when first held in 2011 to around 200 last year. Past venues have included the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, the Principal Riverwalk and Cowles Commons.
The Sept. 4 event will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Be sure to get there on time; in my experience, part of the fun is watching scores of people dressed in white descending on a beautiful spot in Des Moines. Oh, and make it pretty: A prize will be offered for the best-dressed table and the best-looking food.
The exact location will be announced on the day of the event via Facebook  and Twitter.
A family of 6 gets some breathing room. By eliminating an extra bedroom and bath, we created over-the-top functionality and kitchen amenities galore!
Be among the first to see the rest of this cover revealed and get a free copy today.

Every unveiling of a new issue comes with a swell party hosted by friends of dsm magazine. Today's event, for the September/October issue, will be a doozie.

Our hosts this evening, from 5 to 7 p.m., are Chaden Halfhill and his creative team from Silent Rivers Design + Build. Our party site is a former Sherman Hill neighborhood grocery, the Green & Main building on the northwest corner of 19th and Center streets. Silent Rivers is revitalizing the building as a women's clinic.

It's free, it's fun, and with valet parking, it's easy. In addition to old and new friends, you'll see art shows on all three floor levels, with catered food and bar offerings in the adjacent courtyard as well as wine and desserts on the second-floor level. And the unveiling of our new magazine cover at
6 p.m.? Expect something big. Big. We hope to see you after work.
RoCA chef Aaron Holt's homemade pesto and RoCA's proprietary cream sauce are the stars of this luscious dish featured during Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week continues to satisfy Des Moines' appetite for great food at a special price. It started last weekend, continues through Sunday, the 28th. Participating restaurants are listed here, and each has created enticing meals, apart from their regular menu fare, just for this limited-time event. The deal is the same everywhere: $28 for a three-course  dinner; the same price, $28, buys lunch for two.

Also, the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau will have a drawing for $600 worth of fine dining and beverages. To be eligible, you need Restaurant Week receipts from four participating restaurants. Staple the receipts together with your name, address, phone number and email address, tuck them in an envelope and mail or bring them to dsm magazine, 100 Fourth St., in the Old Depot building downtown.  Winners will be notified by email by Sept. 9.
If you missed the roaring '20s, you had another chance Saturday. Missed that, too? The style of the era returns in a year or two, dedicated to maintaining iconic Salisbury House.

By Wini Moranville

At last Saturday night's Gatsby Gala, the terrace and gardens of the Salisbury House sparkled with 220 partygoers decked in sequins and fringe, feathers and pearls, bow-ties and tux tails, all reveling underneath centuries-old trees that had seen it all before.
The Gatsby theme paid homage to the history of the 42-room estate, which was built in the 1920s by cosmetics mogul Carl Weeks. Guests gamely dressed the part; with vintage gowns alongside more fun and frivolous flapper-style getups, the scene exuded a merry mix of Downton Abbey elegance and West Egg whimsy.
A carefree opulence abounded: Revelers sipped dashing coupes of golden Champagne cocktails amidst a decor of white roses and hydrangeas and gilded candelabras. Gentlemen (and some ladies) smoked cigars and played croquet on the lawn, and dancers whirled and bobbed to the music of the Max Wellman Quintet. Highlights of the plentiful dinner buffet included lush lemongrass shrimp from Splash Seafood Bar and Grill, a lavish seafood manicotti by Christiani's VIP Catering and Events, and a stately party cake by Crème Cupcake and Dessert.
A fundraiser for the Salisbury House & Gardens, the Gatsby Gala was held annually from 2005 to 2014; after a two-year hiatus, it came roaring back. Kit Curran, Salisbury House executive director, wasn't sure whether the event will occur annually or bi-annually moving forward. Either way, watch for its return. It's quite the bash.
Welcome home, Leach. We've missed you. (Leach was her nickname at Roosevelt High.)

Des Moines native Cloris Leachman is back home this weekend. A genuine star of film and television, Leachman will be back on the boards at the Des Moines Community Playhouse Saturday, Aug. 27 at 4 p.m., where she and lifelong friend Eddie Rissien started their careers and will now join the ranks of Playhouse Legends. The event includes an hors d'oeuvres reception, cash bar and a glimpse of history. Click here for $25 tickets.

Across the street from the theater, Leachman and Rissien will join in a free public conversation at Roosevelt High School Sunday, Aug. 28,  at 1 p.m., hosted by John Busbee, the host of KFMG's The Culture Buzz. They'll discuss their  long friendship and their different perspectives on the entertainment industry -- Leachman's as an actor and Rissien's as a producer.
Finally, at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Des Moines Social Club,
Leachman will be the guest of honor at the second annual ceremony of her namesake prize: The Cloris Leachman Excellence in Theatre Awards. The awards recognize on- and off-stage talent and promote local theater. The event is free and open to the public. For details, click here.
Detail from the photograph ""Jean-Marie," by Larassa Kabel and Ben Easter. It's part of the exhibit, "UpSpeak," that opens Friday at Moberg Gallery.

We're looking forward to what promises to be an intriguing -- and exceedingly provocative -- exhibit opening this Friday, Aug. 26., at Moberg Gallery. Featuring the works of nine local and national female artists, "UpSpeak" focuses on the complex experience of being a woman today.

The exhibit will undoubtedly jolt you out of your comfort zone, as the artists' photographs, sculpture, drawings, mixed-media pieces, video and works in other mediums address difficult issues that affect women, such as domestic violence and sexual abuse. Des Moines artist Larassa Kabel, who has become well-known for her fascinating and often disturbing drawings and paintings exploring sex and death, is curating the exhibit. She'll also show new work; her "Security Blanket Project" uses "our most basic form of shelter to uncover the strangely visible reality of sexual violence against women," she says.

Artist Dasha Medvedeva's graphic-novel-inspired drawings explore the horror genre from a feminine perspective, while Heidi Wiren Bartlett's sculpture, video and live performance address race and gender issues in the United States. Additional featured artists include Heidi Bragg, Samantha Barbour, Jennifer Buchkowski, Jessica Pleyel, Virginia Traxler and Taylor Yocom.

The opening reception Friday is from 5 to 8 p.m.; the exhibit runs through Oct. 9. For more information, go to Moberg's website.

Iowa Pork Producers Association - Des Moines Restaurant Week 2016

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