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Utilizing Wright’s Usonian concept, architect George Russell designed this gem on a grid of equilateral triangles. Carefully updated in 2012 by the Silent Rivers historic preservation team, it was recently showcased on the Midwest Modern Home Tour. ...
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Magazine launch parties are always great fun, drawing a lively crowd. The next is today, Oct. 1, for our statewide magazine, ia.


We do enjoy nice parties, and some of our favorites are dsm’s own new issue launch parties. We have a special one today —Tuesday, Oct. 1—the launch party for our annual statewide publication, ia magazine. It’s everything you’ve come to expect from dsm, but covering topics all across Iowa.

Please join us for this once-a-year celebration, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Elements at Prairie Trail, 1380 S.W. Vintage Parkway in Ankeny. We’ll enjoy food, drinks and socializing, plus brief comments and distribution of this special edition at 6 p.m.

Everything is better in pairs. Salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly. Bert and Ernie. But one of the best pairs is burgers and beers. When you’re in the mood for a hearty burger and a cold brew, here are the top five places in Edina. ... Read more »

The Thai chicken crunch wrap at Curbin' Cuisine.


By Wini Moranville

Last week, I reported on Dam Pub, a new eatery moving into the site formerly occupied by Reed’s Hollow. In other Beaverdale news, Curbin’ Cuisine is planning to take over the former GoodSons Pizzeria spot, just a stone’s throw away from where Dam will land.

Currently a food truck operation, Curbin’ Cuisine is owned by wife-and-husband team Misty and Jarrod Fontanini. Having made regular appearances at festivals and office parks since they fired up the truck’s stoves in 2015, the duo is now selling the rig and transitioning to bricks and mortar, with hopes to open in early November. Jarrod, who previously sous-cheffed at Briarwood Golf Club in Ankeny and the former Mojo’s restaurant in Johnston, does the cooking, while Misty works on marketing and other behind-the-scenes tasks.

Their plan is to feature crowd-pleasing items from the truck’s globally inspired menu; these include a Jamaican jerk chicken sandwich with pineapple-mango slaw, a Thai chicken crunch wrap and "PB&J" fries – golden-crisp fries drizzled with Thai peanut sauce and raspberry-chipotle jelly. They’ll also make good use of the pizza ovens left behind by GoodSons, but with their own signature thin-crust pies. Specialty combos include a Mediterranean pulled-pork pizza and the "Hawiowan," a Hawaii-meets-Iowa mix of pineapple, pulled pork and bacon with homemade cilantro barbecue sauce. Traditional toppings will also be available.

While the venue won’t serve alcohol, patrons can bring their own beer and wine. "This is a casual, quick-turnaround kind of spot," explains Misty. "Our food might be a little more upscale than what we serve from the truck, but it won’t be fancy."

Redecorating is in the works and will include earthy tones – suggestive of their commitment to local, naturally based foods when possible – along with splashes of bright green, the trademark color of their popular truck.

Curbin’ Cuisine will be at 2815 Beaver Ave. Follow their progress on Facebook at CurbinCuisine.

Fine dining is a visual experience as well as a taste delight at the new R I Restaurant. Pictured: the dry-aged duck breast.


By Karla Walsh

While he grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, and honed his culinary chops at Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago and Denver, it's clear chef Jacob Demars has finally found his home in Windsor Heights. R I Restaurant, named after his hometown and his current home in Iowa, opened in mid-September in the former Baru 66 space.

The menu takes inspiration from both of the aforementioned locales and the season's best ingredients, and sprinkles in a little of molecular gastronomy and a lot of texture. Word on the street is that Demars plans to launch tasting menus, which I can't wait to make a return visit to try, but I suggest visiting soon before these harvest-inspired dishes disappear from the menu for the season:
  • Starter: Sweet corn soufflé with corn puree, spicy flatbread cracker, lime bubbles and cilantro.
  • Main: Dry-aged duck breast featuring roasted butternut squash puree, millet salad with ginger and pear, and poached Belgium endive.
  • Dessert: Apple-vanilla custard with an apple pie core and white chocolate coating.

R I Restaurant is at 6587 University Ave., Windsor Heights;

John Jota Leaños, still from video "Destinies Manifest" (2017). The video seeks to reimagine the concept of "manifest destiny" from the perspective of indigenous peoples. Image courtesy of the artist.


Valley, the vista of ruddy sandstone buttes that sprout from the desert along the Arizona-Utah border, was the backdrop for some of Hollywood’s greatest Western films. Its stark landscape became a symbol of the glorified, romanticized mythology of the Old West.

"Monument Valley" is also the name of an exhibition opening this Friday, Oct. 4, at the Des Moines Art Center, a showcase of contemporary art "where the artists challenge or deconstruct stereotypes associated with the rugged West and Westerns," says curator Laura Burkhalter.

She has spent four years developing the show that will fill the Art Center’s main gallery, more than 3,500 square feet of paintings, photos, videos, textiles and other works by such artists as Wendy Red Star, John Jota Leaños, Gina Adams, Kahlil Joseph and Des Moines-based Jordan Weber. All promise to add fresh perspectives to our image of the West.

As a daughter of baby boomer parents who enjoyed classic Westerns and named her after Laura Ingalls Wilder of "Little House on the Prairie," Burkhalter says she was surprised to learn "how many voices are left out" of those Western legends. Through her research, she says, "I started noticing a lot of contemporary artists who were playing around with Western imagery. … Most are women, artists of color and others who give a new version," a supplement to cherished Western lore.

"So this exhibition challenges the image many of us grew up with," she says. "Some things in the show will potentially make people uncomfortable."

But more importantly, she adds, "the art is wonderful, and these artists have a lot to say. It’s about broadening the story, making sure the art was challenging, and not just glamorizing or demonizing what has gone before."
"Monument Valley" opens one week prior to Indigenous People’s Day. Opening events will include a reception, an opportunity to cut pieces for a Western artist’s quilt and a visit by the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The exhibition will continue into January 2020.

The chamber orchestral group Sphinx Virtuosi performs Friday at Hoyt Sherrman Place.


Des Moines' Civic Music Association provides our community with a rich mixture of performances that we wouldn’t otherwise get to experience. Consider two powerful examples this month:

The Sphinx Virtuosi, performing at Hoyt Sherman Place this Friday, Oct. 4, is a dynamic chamber orchestra featuring 18 of the nation’s top African American and Latin American classical soloists, primarily alumni of the renowned Sphinx Competition in Detroit. Their program, "For Justice and Peace," ranges from the dissonance of Bela Bartok to the sweeping movie themes of John Williams.

Harlem 100 featuring Mwenso and the Shakes takes the stage at Hoyt Sherman Place Oct. 30. They present a multi-media showcase for the sights and sounds of that legendary district of Manhattan that pulsed with the music of artists such as Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Billie Holliday. The troupe includes Harlem musicians and dancers in a modern variety show, paying homage to great performances at the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club and other celebrated venues.

Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m., with ticket prices from $30 to $75 at


As any regular reader of dsm magazine knows, we’re longtime advocates of equal opportunity for all. And we recognize that society has been slow to acknowledge the contributions of its minority groups. In one small step to correct that, we have partnered with the advocacy group One Iowa to honor community leaders who have made our state better for all Iowans.

Our LGBTQ Legacy Leader awards celebrate the courage and convictions of Iowans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. Long marginalized socially and politically, they have nonetheless worked to improve the world around us. Learn about the recipients

Join us in honoring—and being inspired by—this remarkable group at a public reception Oct. 24 in the ballroom of the Temple for Performing Arts. Also at the event, the 2019 graduates of One Iowa’s Leadership Institute will be presented. Tickets are $50, available through

Weird, wild and creepy: Haunted house season begins with the Slaughterhouse spectacle.


The Slaughterhouse brings Hollywood-style acting, costumes, props, and animatronics to Des Moines starting this Friday, Oct. 4.

"The quality and cohesive storyline makes the Slaughterhouse comparable to a cinematic experience," says co-founder and creative director Ian Miller. "We want our guests to feel immersed as if they are walking through a favorite horror film. ...  It’s a real narrative with a full cast of characters, carrying out a living storyline nightly."

Find the Slaughterhouse at  Barnum Factory, 97 Indiana Ave.,  every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 26. For tickets and more details, visit
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