Come to our unveiling party with old friends or to meet new ones, such as Katie Patterson, Tara Humlick, or Tyler and Heather Osby.  


The unveiling party for our May/June issue will be Tuesday, April 23, in the new headquarters of wealth management firm Gilbert & Cook, 5058 Grand Ridge Drive, West Des Moines. The usual rules apply: Stop in anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. for socializing and refreshments. Brief comments are scheduled at 6 p.m., then we’ll distribute copies of the new issue. It’s a great opportunity for networking and general springtime partying. We hope you can join us.

This is not your typical gazebo. The stunning relaxation area is also the visual barrier between street and private courtyard. A trellis connects it to this Des Moines midcentury home, transitioning you between indoor and outdoor space. ... Read more »

By Design presents dsmDining —

Craving crispy-fried whole fish? El Pollo Catracho serves it crackly crisp with rich, moist flesh sparked with hints of lime.


By Wini Moranville

I recently made my first-ever foray into Honduran cuisine when a friend of mine was on the hunt for a fried whole-fish dishhead, bones, skin, fins, tail and all; she often finds variations on the specialty in restaurants that feature Asian, Southeast Asian and Latin American cuisines. As for me, I’m always on the lookout for empanadasthe pastry turnovers of Central and South America.

We both ended up pleased on a recent visit to El Pollo Catracho, which opened last autumn on Des Moines’ southeast side. The decor is simple, with few frills beyond a televisionbut go for the food.

The menu offers a number of meat dishesfried chicken, pork steak, roast beef, pork cracklings, pig’s feet and carne asadaas well as breakfasts, tacos, enchiladas, tamales and the empanadas and fried fish we sought. Main-dish soups are a specialty on the weekends.

Filled with ground beef and specks of potatoes, the empanadas brought fried pastries with a focus on fried they were hot and ultra-crisp, with a pleasantly greasy richness, likely from lard. Served alongside, the little cabbage salad with pickled onions and finely diced sweet peppers added a bright, fresh foil. Three empanadas were too many for this diner to eat at lunch (and not take a nap in the afternoon). You might want to share.

Equally irresistible in that crispy-fried way was the whole fish, with its addictively crackly and salty skin and rich, moist flesh sparked with hints of lime. My friend, the whole-fried-fish aficionado, noted that the flesh itself was plentiful (often, these things can be pretty much skin and bones). It was served with green plantains and cabbage salad.

El Pollo Catracho (which roughly means "the Honduran rooster") is located at 4100 S.E. 14th St.; 515-285-9111. For more information, check out the restaurant's Facebook page.  

We refer to it as our Modern Casual room. It’s by Design’s homage to and our execution of one of the most important style trends in interior design. The roots of this style seem to run to Belgian Modern interior design. ...
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As planets go, we have a lot riding on this one.


Earth Day comes early to downtown Des Moines, where four local organizations invite you to walk between their locations for special environmental events on Saturday, April 20.

The seventh annual Downtown Earth Day Tour is a collaboration of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Science Center of Iowa (SCI), Riverwalk Hub and Iowa Rivers Revival. The weekend event precedes the national Earth Day by two days, but the timing makes it easier for more people to participate.

Each organization will feature a variety of activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to start at any of the locations and use the trails and sidewalks to walk or bike to the others. Free parking is available in front of the Botanical Garden and Science Center of Iowa and pedicab rides will run between the Botanical Garden and SCI.

Admission is free at the Botanical Garden and $5 at the Science Center. For details, including activities and a tour map, click here.

Just outside of Minneapolis, Edina is one of the area’s best shopping destinations, filled with cool boutiques, great restaurants, pampering spas and fun fashion and art events throughout the year. ... Read more »

Kirsten Anderson is the first speaker in a spring series of leadership luncheons at the Wallace House.


Beginning next week, the Wallace Centers of Iowa will host a series of monthly lunch conversations with local women who are breaking new ground in the workplace and community. The leadership lunches will be held at the Wallace House, 756 16th St.

April 24: Kirsten Anderson, advocate, trainer and consultant
Anderson became an advocate for those facing workplace harassment after she was fired in 2013 for complaining about sexual harassment when she worked for the legislature's Senate Republican caucus.

May 29: Beth Shelton, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa
Shelton will explain how she initiated an "infants at work" policy at the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa. Parents can bring their babies to work every day for up to six months.

June 26: Antoinette Stevens, cybersecurity analyst, Principal, and executive director, Reboot Iowa
A computer science graduate of the University of Georgia, Stevens will share her story of finding her way to Iowa and her efforts to help low-income adults transition to new careers in IT through coding.

Held in the spring and fall, the leadership lunch series is intended to promote understanding of current issues in the community, connection to local resources, and inspiration from area leaders. Past programs have focused on food and hunger, cultural diversity, leadership skills, and civility.

The cost for each lunch is $20. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Deborah Boyer at 515-243-7063 or emailing Learn more about the Wallace Centers at

Authors Laurie Frankel and Chigozie Obioma will be in town within the next week as part of the AViD series.


The Des Moines Public Library’s annual AViD (Authors Visiting in Des Moines) series gives us another way to celebrate our love of literature.

Next up in the series are Laurie Frankel on Thursday, April 18, and Chigozie Obioma next Monday, April 22. Both will appear at the Central Library downtown. Frankel’s 2018 best-selling novel, "This Is How It Always Is," chronicles a family’s challenges in raising a transgender child. The Nigerian-born Obioma, author of the 2015 Man Booker Prize finalist "The Fisherman," published his second novel, "An Orchestra of Minorities," in January.

Beyond April, authors include journalist Sarah Smarsh, May 2; novelist Madeline Miller, May 16; and New York Times war correspondent C.J. Chivers, May 23. All appearances begin at 7 p.m. at the Central Library. Admission is free. Learn more at

Bill Stowe in 2016, when he told dsm that "those of us who are able to live beyond the idea that life consists of work-eat-sleep-repeat can't abuse the gift we've been given by disregarding our responsibility to contribute to the greater good." (Photo by Duane Tinkey.)


Like so many in our community, we were deeply saddened to hear about the death of Bill Stowe, CEO and general manager of Water Works. In interviews, Stowe was always eloquent, honest and unfailingly polite. We were inspired by his sharp intellect and strong social conscience as he worked to keep the public safe, both in his roles at Water Works and earlier as director of Des Moines' public works department. The target of unfair political attacks, Stowe told dsm (in this story) that he drew on his deep Jesuit-based faith to deal with those attacks, push for accountability, and stay focused on serving the public good.

"I believe that the Catholic mystics teach us how to develop a strength of self and to understand that our mission is greater than our personal comfort, greater than our friendships, greater than the adversity. Transformation is painful and liberating," he told us. "At the end of the day you ask: Are you doing the right thing? Is what you're doing part of a larger cause? Are you fulfilling the obligation you have to others?" Fine questions we could all ask ourselves. Christine Riccelli
Business Publications Corporation Inc.

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