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Tile countertops and Colonial arched cabinets be gone! These south side homeowners remodeled their dated kitchen with beautiful gray, cream and wood tones while adding seating, clever storage and an entryway dropzone for stylish functionality. ...
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The creative menu is as bright as the towering windows at St. Kilda Surf and Turf, which opened last week. 


By Wini Moranville

Alexander and Whitney Hall
continue to raise the standards for polished-casual dining in town. The owners of St. Kilda opened their newest venue, St. Kilda Surf and Turf, last Wednesday in the East Village. These five things impressed me most on an opening-day visit:

• A modern yet graceful ambiance: Cement floors and hard-edged furnishings seem to be de rigueur in restaurants these days, but here, sky-high ceilings and (almost) floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto the East Village streetscape and downtown cityscape give the space a roomy elegance.

• Committed menu available all day every day: What a challenge it must be to keep the doors open all day, with the entire menu available for a 15-hour stretch. But what a boon to diners who want odd-hour breakfast, lunch or dinner. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

• A promising start: The all-day menu includes plenty of breakfast options; for lunch and dinner, look for modern riffs on surf-and-turf. The "surf" includes either seared or fried fish and hand-cut fries, and the "turf" includes souvlaki-style pita sandwiches. We were thrilled by the lamb souvlaki, with its exceedingly tender roast lamb and bits of caramelized onions atop homemade pita, all sparked by a bright mustard aioli. Though less head-turning, the walleye fish and chips entree was solid and straightforward.

• Solid staff: Our visit fell on opening day – and a busy one at that – yet we encountered no glitches, just a polished and professional approach all the way around.

• Committed espresso bar: I’ll say it again: It's rare in this town to get great espresso drinks at a place that also serves great food. Here, they can do both. A full bar is also available. Having it all under one roof is refreshingly European (or, in this case, Australian).

St. Kilda Surf and Turf, 111 E. Grand Ave.; 515-288-1086;

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.


You have until Friday, May 24, to nominate candidates for dsm's LGBTQ Legacy Leader Awards, presented to champions of LGBTQ rights in partnership with the advocacy group One Iowa.

In addition to five Legacy Leader honorees, we also will recognize an ally of the LGBTQ community, someone whose contributions to equality and justice have helped ensure that gender and sexual orientation will not be stigmatized or marginalized in the culture of Iowa.

The six honorees will be recognized at a special event Oct. 24 at the Temple for Performing Arts. Additional event details will be announced this summer.

We’d like your help in choosing those to be honored. Nominees should meet several criteria:
• Demonstrate leadership in their communities.
• Have a record of commitment to equality for all, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
• Serve as role models and mentors to others.
• Contribute to the appreciation and recognition of cultural diversity in Iowa.

For more info and instructions on how to nominate someone, click here. Nominations are due May 24.

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. ... Read more »

Come for the art, stay for the music and refreshments, but don't miss the chance to stroll through Valley Junction Sunday.


Artists and craftspeople will fill Valley Junction's Fifth Street from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19, for the historic district's annual free Arts Festival.

The juried art show, to be held rain or shine, includes repurposed and upcycled art as well as traditional paintings, prints, sculpture, photography, pottery, jewelry, furniture, clothing, stained glass and fiber artistry. Expect art demonstrations, musicians, food and beverages, plus children’s activities throughout the district.

Madeline Miller's award-winning novel "Circe" recasts Homer's infamous sorceress from "The Odyssey" into a feminist hero.


A pair of powerful authors wrap up the 2019 season of AViD (Authors Visiting in Des Moines) with free public appearances at the Central Library downtown:
• Best-selling author Madeline Miller, who wrote the award-winning novel "Circe," will speak  Thursday, May 16. "Circe" was recently named a finalist for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction.
• Pulitzer Prize-winning writer C.J. Chivers will conclude the AViD series on Thursday, May 23, by discussing his book "The Fighters," a vivid account of modern warfare told through the stories of a half-dozen American combatants serving in the Middle East conflicts.

Both events begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Following both programs will be a question and answer period in addition to book-signing. For more information:

Internationally renowned, Grammy-winning violinist Phillippe Quint performs this weekend with the Des Moines Symphony.


The Des Moines Symphony’s season-long celebration of Leonard Bernstein closes with "Bernstein’s West Side Story" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at the Des Moines Civic Center.

The diverse season-finale program opens with Rossini’s overture to "Italian in Algiers." Virtuoso violinist Philippe Quint joins the orchestra to play Korngold’s lush "Violin Concerto." Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Quint made his orchestral debut at the age of 9, and was educated at Juilliard after coming to the United States. The evening concludes with Respighi’s "Pines of Rome."
The symphony’s program notes offer more information about the pieces to be performed. And remember, a free "concert prelude" talk in the Civic Center’s east lobby begins 45 minutes prior to each Masterworks concert.

Single tickets, $15-$72, are available in advance at and at the Civic Center’s ticket office. For more information about tickets and concert details, click here.

Click the image above to see the award-winning, short documentary produced by these Urbandale High School students.


A trio of seniors from Urbandale High School has produced the Midwest regional high school winner in StudentCam, an annual video documentary competition created by television network C-SPAN.

The network’s 45-foot customized bus will visit Urbandale High School and downtown Des Moines tomorrow (Wednesday, May 15) to honor local winners Jacob Sammon, Matthew Moran and Riley Vander Hart during a school ceremony. Their winning video will also be viewed during the event.

The C-SPAN bus will be open to public visitors from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park on 15th Street between Locust Street and Grand Avenue. 

Steve Hosch, John Duntley, Chris Olson and Bill Hosch of local rock band Cloud Ten open the Camp Dodge concert series May 23.


The Summer Concert Series at Camp Dodge returns with seven free concerts on Thursday evenings beginning May 23, each starting at 7 p.m. at the camp's pool complex in Johnston:
  • May 23: Cloud Ten featuring Heath Alan 
  • May 30: The Candymakers 
  • June 6: The Sons of Gladys Kravitz 
  • June 20: Dirt Renegade
  • June 27: Sidewinders (members of the 34th Army Band playing pop and classic rock)
  • July 11: Faculty Lounge 
  • July 18: Abby Normal 
Concessions will be available; coolers, picnic baskets, lawn chairs and tailgating are welcome. 
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