Dan Keough, CEO of Holmes Murphy, and dsm's own Yolanda Chrystal invite you to our new-issue party next week.


Sure, we have a party for every new magazine we produce, but one each year is special—and it’s coming up Tuesday, Oct. 2. That’s when we celebrate our annual publication—dsm’s statewide sister, ia magazine. Once again, it has all the qualities you like about dsm, but it brings you stories from all over Iowa.

Please join us for this special event, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the headquarters of Holmes Murphy, 2727 Grand Prairie Parkway, on the southeast corner of Waukee. A short program at 6 p.m. will precede distribution of free copies to everyone there. Expect to see our usual dsm celebrants, plus some folks from other parts of Iowa. We hope you’ll help us make them feel welcome! See you then.

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By Design presents dsmDining —

There's a hard way to create all this, racing around shopping and chopping and such. For $25, this is the easy way—and better!

By Wini Moranville

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of the French apéritif, a word that traditionally applies to a pre-dinner cocktail, but has also come to mean the entire ritual of informally enjoying drinks and nibbles with friends at the end of the workday. Informally, this magical stretch of time is called l’apéro, and it differs from a cocktail party in that it’s not really a party. Two friends, a bottle of wine, and some simple but well-chosen bites are all it takes for an apéro.

Recently, I invited two pals over for an apéro. Around noon that day, I realized that my work would not be done in time for me to fix something good to eat. The problem was solved when I called the Cheese Bar, and ordered a meat and cheese plate. Fifteen minutes later, I had the beauty you see pictured above: ribbons of prosciutto, paper-thin disks of spicy salami, meaty bands of mortadella, plus three artisanal cheeses, perfectly cut into ready-to-grab chunks. Sour French pickles, piparra peppers, mustard, apple jam, marcona almonds and crackers rounded out the plate.

I can only imagine how much time and effort this would have taken to put together had I chased all over town for the ingredients. Even had I had them on hand, they would not have been so good: There’s something in the way the pros at the Cheese Bar slice the meats so thin and the cheeses just right that prepackaged goods can’t match. This bounty, which took me about three minutes to transfer from the take-out container to a platter, cost around $25 and easily served four as generous (but not overwhelming) pre-dinner bites. I will do this again.

The Cheese Bar is at 2925 Ingersoll Ave.; 515-277-7828;

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

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You know your neighborhood has arrived when it has its own T-shirt. See what it's all about on a Sherman Hill tour this weekend.


The cooler sunny days of autumn are ideal for enjoying fresh-air walks. Apart from the health benefits, we have two more good reasons to lace up your strolling shoes:

Sherman Hill: The Sherman Hill Association's "Doors to the Past, A Walking Tour of Homes" is this weekend, Sept. 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The tour starts at the Hoyt Sherman Place box office, where tickets are $15 ($5 for students; free for children 12 and under). You'll learn the history of about 40 homes, gardens and buildings in the historic area.

Court Avenue and Riverfront: Stroll, sip and sample with Winefest Des Moines' walking tour of the Court Avenue and Riverfront districts Thursday, Sept. 27. Plan to gather at Pivot Wealth Strategies, 210 Court Ave., No. 200, at 5:30 p.m. for a glass of wine before the tour begins. You'll learn about the history of some of the city’s architectural treasures with stops at three restaurants for an appetizer and a glass of wine. The walking begins at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased here.

If you want to win a beer-serving contest, carrying as many as possible, it's good to use your head. Catch the action again this week.


Oktoberfest returns, in all its lederhosen glory, to Fourth Street south of Court Avenue, from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28 and 29. Organizers promise "our best celebration yet, complete with the Craft Beer Village, Lederhosen Lane, and the Silent Disco Party Plaza."

Get all the details, including food, games and an hour-by-hour, pint-by-pint schedule here. Prizes (including beer tickets) will be awarded to those dressed in authentic German attire.

Advance online tickets are available through Sept. 27: $7 per day or $12 for both days. You can avoid the online fees by getting tickets at Hy-Vee customer service counters. Or just pay at the gate, $10 per day, which also gets you a commemorative 15th-anniversary Oktoberfest pint glass.  

"Die Eselpfleger," felt-tip pen and oil on paper (8 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches), was created in 2013 by Neo Rauch. Image courtesy the artist, Galerie Eigen and David Zwirner.


Psychologically complex works by Neo Rauch, one of the best-known artists from the Leipzig school in Germany, will go on display Friday, Sept. 28, at the Des Moines Art Center. The museum will host a  preview of the exhibit at a reception with music and food on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 5 to 7 p.m.

"Neo Rauch: Aus dem boden / From the Floor" will be the first exhibition of Rauch's drawings in the United States. Next spring, the exhibition will travel to the Drawing Center in New York City for four months.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, Rauch will participate in a public discussion of his career with Brett Littman, former director of the Drawing Center, and Jeff Fleming, director of the Des Moines Art Center. The event is free, but registration is required. To learn more about Rauch and this exhibit, click here.

Katy Merriman directs the Iowa Stage Theatre Company production of "Fun Home," opening Friday at the Kum & Go Theater.


The winner of Best Musical and four other 2015 Tony awards, "Fun Home" is the first show of Iowa Stage Theatre Company's new season, opening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at the Des Moines Social Club's Kum & Go Theater.

The musical is based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, introducing her at three different ages, revealing her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.  

Performances continue through Oct. 14. Tickets are $40 (less for students and seniors). For tickets, the full schedule and other details, click here.

"The Naturalist," an ambrotype from the series "A Natural History," by versatile multimedia artist Noah Doely.


A Moberg Gallery exhibition, curated by Des Moines artist Larassa Kabel, will open with a free reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28. "The Space Between: Truth, Fiction and the Artistic Imagination" features artwork from Stephanie Brunia, the Belle Morte Collective, Rachel Cox, Noah Doely, Ted Kincaid, Emma Kisiel, Guy Loraine, Peter Shellenberger and Jim Snitzer.

This is a detail of a painting by a pachyderm. Now if an elephant can paint this well, imagine what a well-heeled dog could do.


Starving artists? These were once homeless! The Clawed Monet Collective is a group of rescue dogs whose artwork helps support other animals still waiting to find families. Olson-Larsen Galleries in Valley Junction has an exclusive one-night showing and sale of their artwork, complete with wine, hors d'oeuvres, and music: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4.  

All sales revenue will benefit homeless pets at the ARL. Each painting is one-of-a-kind, although perhaps unsigned by the artist. To register and attend, click here.

Explore a colorful world from the inside, when Luminarium Albesila opens its wonders at Cowles Commons this week.


The strangely fascinating experience of luminaria is returning to Cowles Commons this week. Crowds flocked to the last visit two years ago. In just its second visit to the United States, a new version named Albesila will open here Friday, Sept. 28, and run through Sunday, Oct. 7.

Des Moines Performing Arts presents this inflatable walk-in monument. It's half the size of a football field and offers a phenomenon of light, color, and sound in a dazzling maze of winding paths and cavernous domes.

The cost is $5 for drop-in, standby admission. A limited number of tickets for reserved times are available for $15. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (one adult for up to four children).

Tickets are available at, the Civic Center ticket office, and by phone at 515-246-2300. 

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