Mulberry Street Tavern, Ballet Des Moines, What Makes You Laugh?
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February 2, 2021  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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This 1966 home in Johnston received a national Project of the Year award for its kitchen remodel. The amazing design features a pop-up TV hidden in the counter, built-in saltwater aquarium, circular banquette, music area and lofted playroom.
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Brussels sprouts carbonara, topped with pancetta, pecorino cheese shavings and a soft egg, is one of the options on the Mulberry Street Tavern menu.  


Writer: Karla Walsh

If you’ve been lusting for a big-city getaway during the pandemic, you might find an escape much closer than you think. In fact, it's downtown, at the new Surety Hotel: Mulberry Street Tavern (206 Sixth Ave.).

Open since November, the Surety Hotel will make you feel like you’re in the Windy City or New York, with an art deco lobby and accessories from Liz Lidgett Gallery and Design. Turn left to enter the safely spaced dining room and prepare for a treat. Bartender Jacob Hamilton and executive chef Marque Collins have elevated the classics with style, fitting the hotel’s aesthetic. The menu feels both approachable and innovative.

On our first taste, we sampled the Preserved States tinned fish ($12), an oh-so Instagrammable tin of mussels bathed in a combo of chili oil, shaved fennel and fresh herbs. The shallot jam on the cheese appetizer ($15) was the standout, as was the punchy carrot-citrus vinaigrette on the arugula salad ($12).

My dining partner and I agreed that the true stars of the evening—in addition to thoughtful service and adherence to coronavirus safety guidelines—were our main dish and side choices. The remarkably juicy half chicken ($25) came served on a bed of subtly spicy Peruvian aji amarillo sauce. And the Brussels sprouts carbonara ($9) topped with crispy pancetta, nutty pecorino cheese shavings and a soft egg, practically screamed comfort food.

The Broken Dreams cocktail ($12), with Wild Turkey rye, Campari, St. Germain, Cynar, strawberry, Lillet blanc and anise, was fitting to wash down the wanderlust wishes until we can travel far and wide again.

Learn more and book a table at Mulberry Street Tavern here.
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"A Little Levity" is one of the three dance numbers Ballet Des Moines will perform on a virtual triple bill on Friday.
Photo: Ballet Des Moines


We're all familiar with virtual performances by now, but how about three in one night? Ballet Des Moines is broadcasting its latest triple bill, "Vision," as a part of its "Acts of Resilience" virtual season, at 8:30 p.m. Friday on Iowa PBS. Performances include "Sliding Figures," "A Little Levity" and "Fly Me to the Moon" (which features Max Wellman and his band).

Each show was performed and recorded at Iowa PBS' Maytag Auditorium. The works feature choreography by Serkan Usta, Ballet Des Moines' artistic director, and Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye, ballet master at the Oklahoma City Ballet.

"Vision" is free to watch on Iowa PBS. An encore presentation will start at 1 p.m. Sunday. Read about each show here.


“Schitt’s Creek,” “Derry Girls,” and “I Mom So Hard,” for starters. Given all that 2020 was and believing that a good guffaw is the best form of therapy, we asked community leaders what makes them laugh. Here’s what they told us.

Don Coffin
President and CEO, Bankers Trust

I love to laugh at silly things. The movie “Caddy Shack” comes to mind, or other mindless movies that many people don’t find funny. … I even find laughter in my own general clumsiness, which often happens in front of groups. For example, on a virtual call I spoke for more than three minutes while on mute, thinking that everyone waving was just cheering me on. That was fun. More recently, I spilled an entire pot of coffee during an in-person, socially distanced board meeting. I think the president of the board was more flabbergasted than me! I believe it’s good to find humor in these small moments.

Kristi Knous
President, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

I’m obsessed with the ladies from “I Mom SO Hard” (#imomsohard). I watch some of their antics on YouTube over and over again, especially the swimsuit, facial hair and Spanx episodes. (Check them out if you haven’t.) They are so real and vulnerable. I join them in laughing so hard snot flies and tears flow. What a great escape!

Marty Martin
President, Drake University

“Derry Girls” on Netflix and watching our dog’s daily battle to keep squirrels out of our yard—one benefit of working from home most days.

Read what makes additional community leaders laugh in our story from the January/February issue.
These paintings from six female artists are part of Moberg Gallery's "Contemporary Women Paint: Abstract Expressions" exhibition. Photo: Moberg Gallery


Moberg Gallery's first exhibition of 2021, "Contemporary Women Paint: Abstract Expressions," features six female artists from around the country. Open now until March 20, the display includes returning Moberg artists Johanne Brouillette, Dana James, Conn Ryder, Daniela Schweinsberg and Alayne Spafford as well as one first-timer, Alyson Khan.  

The gallery describes the works as "a/morphousness," which is "making marks in order to sometimes loosen and lose shape. Their forms draw and shatter boundary, and with that, also explode physical and psychical elements, energies."

Paintings are available to view virtually at Moberg Gallery's website or in person. You can watch a video featuring the exhibition here.
    Max Darwin's virtual show at 11 a.m. Saturday will show children how to perform magic tricks at home.


    Des Moines Performing Arts unveiled a lineup of virtual family-friendly shows through next month, designed to be interactive for young children and their parents. Admission ranges from $10 to $20 depending on the performance.

    "Virtual Magic Academy with the Amazing Max" kicks things off at 11 a.m. Saturday, teaching kids how to do simple tricks with objects at home. That's followed by "Mountain Goat Mountain"  Feb. 20-March 7, an audio-only show that allows families to create their own stories using paper. "University of Wonder and Imagination" March 19-21 caps off the series as an interactive Zoom performance dubbed as "Hogwarts meets virtual escape room."

    Find more information here.


    For more than 30 years, Souper Bowl of Caring has used one of the biggest sporting events for good. This year, the Des Moines Area Religious Council will join thousands of organizations around the country in fighting food insecurity on Feb. 6 and 7, the weekend of the Super Bowl.

    You can support the effort by starting a donation page in honor of your favorite teams competing in the big game (Kansas City Chiefs here and Tampa Bay Buccaneers here). Or you can set up a food drive on your own. DMARC will provide bins and drop-off/pickup options.

    Find out all the ways you can assist here.

    Iowa Stops Hunger is an 18-month-long Business Publications Corp. initiative to bring awareness and action to ending food insecurity in Iowa.

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