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We're going back for this! Margherita pizza with aromatic fresh basil at Urban Cellar in West Des Moines.


By Karla Walsh

This April, the youngest sister in the Urban Restaurant Group, Urban Cellar, opened shop in the former Legend’s space off of 50th Street and Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines. Blink and you might miss it while driving by on errands at Hy-Vee or Target. But don’t—it’s worth stopping for the unique cocktails, $10 corkage fee (for up to two bottles), and diverse menu of small plates and entrees.

On a recent "first look" visit, a few friends and I sampled snacks and were impressed by the many techniques used to showcase fresh garden goodies. A few highlights:

Fried: Fried Zucchini. Rather than chips or wedges, they coat slabs of summer squash in breading, then fry, to deliver an Italian delight. A Jenga-like tower comes with creamy dipping sauce to complement the crunch.

Fresh: Margherita Pizza. As soon as this signature Cellar pie hits your table, you will likely smell the fresh basil’s aroma. Leaves are placed evenly across the top of the warm, mozzarella-topped pizza so they release their summer scents just enough. (Worth noting: General manager Andrew Mery did a lot of experimenting with the recipe for the semolina-dusted crust, and the crunchy-exterior, fluffy-interior results prove it was all worth it.)

Pickled: Hummus Plate. The homemade hummus here comes with more than a pile of plain ol’ baby carrots. This platter is piled high with fresh-baked flatbread, pickled carrot wedges, pickled red onion slices, and pickled cauliflower bites, plus briny olives and fresh cucumbers.

Urban Cellar, 640 S. 50th St., West Des Moines; 515-226-3230;

Whether you want to hike, bike, golf or swim, Edina is the perfect blend of fun in the sun. With so much to choose from, the hardest part will be deciding what to do first. Need a few ideas for your itinerary? You can’t go wrong with these popular destinations... Read more »

As featured in Billboard magazine, the band Portugal the Man includes John Gourley, Eric Howk and Zach Carothers.
Photo: Desiree Navarro


80/35—the progressive indie rock festival that each year draws about 30,000 music lovers—this year is expanding its ticketed area to two stages that will feature 16 national and international acts. The downtown fest, Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13 at Western Gateway Park, will also include a free area with three stages hosting more than 30 performances, a kids’ zone and art installations, plus food and drink vendors.

As always, the music promises to be stellar, with this year’s headliners including Portugal the Man, an alternative rock band known for its critically acclaimed albums and the hit single "Feel It Still"; and Americana blues vocalist Elle King of "Ex’s & Oh’s" fame. Other top performers: Liz Phair, Metric, MisterWives and Noname.

Doors open at 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. Advance two-day tickets are $80 for general admission and $220 for a VIP pass. Advance single-day tickets start at $45 for Friday and $55 for Saturday. Buy tickets and find more information, including the new festival grounds map, at

Long regarded as an ideal opera for newcomers, "La Boheme" delivers a touching story with beautiful music, costumes and staging. 


Des Moines Metro Opera's summer festival continues to dazzle in Indianola. Upcoming performances include:

• "La Bohème" July 13, 21
Composer Giacomo Puccini's "La Bohème" follows a group of struggling bohemian artists in 19th-century Paris. A century after its premiere, the popular opera was adapted into the musical "Rent," a Broadway blockbuster.

• "Candide"
July 10, 12, 20
Based on a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, "Candide" by Leonard Bernstein is a witty operetta described as "part opera, part musical and entirely irreverent."

• "Wozzeck" July 14, 16, 19
Set in rural Germany early in the 20th century, Alban Berg's opera tells the story of a poor soldier who’s afflicted with horrific visions and consumed with jealousy over his lover’s lie, which leads to tragedy.

For more information, visit

Renée Elise Goldsberry, a star of "Hamilton" on Broadway, sings with the Des Moines Symphony Sunday in Water Works Park.


A new free concert series and a new venue: That’s what you’ll get this month when the Des Moines Symphony performs at the new amphitheater at Water Works Park. The Symphony’s inaugural Water Works Pops Season opens Sunday, July 14, with vocalist Renée Elise Goldsberry, who won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Angelica Schuyler in "Hamilton." She’ll sing Broadway, pop and soul tunes; the show will conclude with a fireworks display. Then on July 28, the Symphony will celebrate movie composer John Williams by performing music from film favorites such as the Star Wars series. General admission is free, but you can pay $45 ($35 for YPs) or $125 ($85 for YPs) for premium seating and other perks. Details:

Charmin Michellle stars Thursday in the first of three Jazz in July dates at Hoyt Sherman Place.


Absent last year, the tradition of Jazz in July will pick up the beat again at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at Hoyt Sherman Place with a free performance on the front lawn by the Sam Salomone Quartet, followed by Charmin Michelle inside the theater. Thursday is the first of three concert dates this month for the revived jazz series. For more information, click here.

Tastes in antiques and heirlooms vary, but who could not accept this delightful toy car that once thrilled an ancestor?


You can’t take it with you. That truism often has an even darker corollary: Nobody else wants it.

It’s our stuff, our treasures—the keepsakes of our lives and heirlooms of our forebears. And as baby boomers are finding as they plan bequests to their kids, the answer all too often may be "No, thanks."

According to antiques dealer and estate-sale specialist Steve Mumma, boomers and millennials see the world differently. "We face that difference at every tag sale," Mumma says, shaking his head wearily. Items that were prized when he entered this business some 30 years ago are largely shunned by young adults today.

"The albatross," he says, "is that huge china cabinet and dining room set."

The Victorian era, apparently, just isn’t what it used to be. Instead of the large, dark brown furniture their parents inherited and preserved, young adults today are most receptive to midcentury modern. Read more of this story in the July issue of dsm magazine or online here.

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