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We generally have great fun at the unveiling parties for our new issues. But we'll have to postpone the next one.


We enjoy planning parties much more than postponing them, but here we are with virus caution swirling around us. Based on the latest directives from government and health officials, we're delaying the unveiling party for the inaugural issue of dsmHome, which was scheduled for next Tuesday, March 24, at Central Campus. Still, we're excited to share the new issue with you, our readers. Check next week's dsmWeekly for details on where to get the first available copies of this special issue.
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Good restaurants are all doing extra cleaning. Vino 209 also rearranged seating, then switched to carry-out only.


By Karla Walsh

Under a public health emergency declaration issued this morning, all Iowa restaurants and bars were ordered to suspend on-premise service. Carry-out and delivery are allowed. Of course, most of these businesses were already responding aggressively to protect their patrons, with new carry-out and delivery services.

As a huge cheerleader of local restaurants, I woke up last Friday morning feeling like I wanted to try to do something--anything--to try to help them during this uncertain time. So I posted a call-out on Facebook for anyone in the industry to share details about how we can purchase gift cards to use once things calm down or how we can best support their venue at this time. The response was passionate and strong that yes, our restaurants need us now more than ever.

Restaurants "will make your favorite meals and you can opt for carryout," said Jessica Dunker, the Iowa Restaurant Association’s president and CEO, before today's statewide restriction. "If you’re in a position to buy a gift card and sit on it for a while, you will be helping your local favorite hospitality establishment get through a tough time."

I went on a gift card-purchasing tour to five venues and plan to buy more this week. Think of how much impact we can make if everyone reading this chooses even one.

Below is a roundup of some resources that will make it easier to show your favorite spots some support. (Don’t see your No. 1 on the list? Give them a call and see if you can order takeout or purchase gift cards. Some are also available for delivery on Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc.)

If now isn’t a good time to spend some money, then share a favorable review on social media or even send an email or handwritten note to let them know how much the business means to you. None of us know exactly what to do or how to feel right now, but a mental boost and pep talk would do our collective soul some good, don’t you think?

Creme Cupcake: Offers gift certificates that can be purchased in person or over the phone (515.288.1050) for mail delivery. "Social Distancing Cupcake Kits" are also available for delivery to keep creative types entertained during spring break and beyond.

Bubba mails gift cards upon request; order by calling 515.257.4744. Or you can stop by the restaurant to purchase. Same holds true for sister restaurant Teddy Maroon’s at 515.212.4900.

Proof: Offers gift cards which can be purchased in person or by phone for postal delivery at 515.244.0655.

Gusto Pizza Co.: Offers gift cards at both locations or you can order by phone at 515.244.8786 for mail delivery. All menu items are available for delivery via Food Dudes, Grub Hub and Door Dudes as well as carryout, including take-and-bake and regular pizzas. Gusto's 14-inch Spartacus, Soprano and cheese pizzas are also now available frozen.

HoQ: Sells gift cards via phone for mail delivery or pickup at 515.244.1213.

Aposto: Mails gift certificates when you purchase by phone at 515.244.1353.

Centro, Django, Malo, Gateway Market & Cafe, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, South Union Bread Cafe, and Liberty Street Kitchen have e-gift cards available online and gift cards are sold at each venue.

Table 128 offers gift cards for purchase online. This morning, owners Sarah and Lynn Pritchard announced a subscription dinner plan for five weeks for $80. Check their website and watch their Facebook page for more details.

Vino 209: Will offer carryout with curbside pickup starting tomorrow, March 18. Gift cards available via phone at 515.255.1209.

Harbinger: Offers gift cards in person or through mail at Harbinger; call 515.244.1314 or email to arrange.

RI Restaurant: Offers gift certificates in person anytime after 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Lola’s Fine Kitchen: Offers online ordering for takeout.

Alba: Ships gift cards ordered via phone at 515.244.0261.

Grateful Chef: Continues to offer healthy pre-made and freezer meals for takeout (via preorder and grab-and-go, as supplies last), and also offers gift certificates in person and online.

Cheese Bar DSM and the Cheese Shop both have gift cards in store, via mail with phone orders (515.528.8181) or online. The Cheese Shop also ships cheese gift boxes to many Midwest states (including Iowa, of course) in case you need to restock your fridge or want to share the fromage fun.

El Guapo's Tequila + Tacos: Ships gift cards ordered by phone at 515.216.2198.

St. Kilda Surf & Turf and both St. Kilda DSM locations offer takeout and gift certificates for purchase at each shop.

The Beerhouse and the Hall will soon offer discounted gift cards. Keep an eye on the Beerhouse Facebook page and the Hall Facebook page for more information.

All Fong's Pizza locations have gift cards available online. They also have online ordering for carryout or delivery via MyTown2Go of fully cooked or take-and-bake pizzas, with extended delivery hours from 11 a.m. to midnight daily.

Gilroy's: Sells gift cards at the restaurant and online.

This pasta dish from Lucca is simple, adaptable and gratifying.


By Wini Moranville

The call to #StayHome is definitely wreaking havoc on the lives of our restaurateurs and their employees. Fortunately, as Karla Walsh writes in her article (above), staying home doesn’t have to mean turning our backs on that community. We’re in this together, people.

Because most of us will be cooking at home in these times, I thought I’d offer two gratifying recipes that are very simple and can be mostly made with items with long shelf lives.

1. Lucca’s Pasta al Forno
I love this recipe not only because it’s simple and gratifying, but because it can be made with things that most cooks almost always have on hand: pasta, cheese, canned tomatoes, olive oil and basil.

It’s also infinitely adaptable: You don’t have to use rigatoni—honestly, any pasta will work. You don’t have to use provolone; any cheese that melts well will be great. (I’ve made this with cheddar, Gouda, Edam, Havarti, mozzarella, fontina, Comté, Swiss ... you get the idea.) And if you’re out of canned crushed tomatoes, you’ll likely have something else that will work: marinara sauce, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (whir in a blender to sauce-like consistency) or even tomato paste (dilute it to sauce-like consistency). And for heaven’s sake, don’t head to the store just for the fresh basil called for: A half-teaspoon dried basil (or oregano, or Italian herb blend, or nothing at all) will work just great.

2. My Easy Chicken-Macaroni Soup
This is what I make when someone I know is sick or blue. If you don’t have all the vegetables called for, make it anyway with the veggies you do have, just up the quantities a bit.

6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup dried elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
1 tablespoon snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice (if you have it)

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, combine the chicken broth, carrot, celery and onion. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until the macaroni is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken, parsley, and lemon juice. Heat to boiling. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 light main-dish servings.

Take good care, everyone. And if you have any cooking questions, feel free to reach out to me on my Facebook page at All Things Food DSM – Wini Moranville. I’m happy to help.
From picnic blankets to deck chairs to VIP seating, there's space for everyone at an outdoor pops concert.


Like you, we hope crowd restrictions are lifted before the Des Moines Symphony's summer pops concerts, which were announced recently.

The 27th annual Yankee Doodle Pops is scheduled on Thursday, July 2, on the west terrace of the state Capitol, where the grounds will be filled with picnickers, food vendors, patriotic music and fireworks.

The second season of free Water Works Pops concerts spans three evenings, July 24-26:
     • Friday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m.—a celebration of iconic film composer John Williams.
     • Saturday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m.Broadway Diva Capathia Jenkins and Grammy nominee Ryan Shaw in a tribute to Aretha Franklin.
     • Sunday, July 26 at 6:30 p.m. —"Postcards from the Americas" takes audiences on a musical journey through Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, the United States and more in a concert designed for families, all following a festive celebration that starts at 4 p.m. with hands-on activities, pop-up performances, food trucks, and more.

For more information, including details on VIP seating, click here.
The social distancing way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day: Make--and enjoy--the Green River cocktail at home.


Staying in for St. Patrick’s Day? Well, the luck of the Irish is on your side. From Chicago, where St. Patrick's Day is an art form, we bring you this recipe from Mark Kapolnek, executive chef at the Royal Sonesta Chicago Riverfront — the Green River cocktail:

Green River Ingredients
2 ounces green tea vodka
1 ounce lemon juice
¼ ounce arugula simple syrup
½ ounce fresh cucumber juice
1 dash orange bitters
1 ounce ginger beer

Directions: Rim glass with matcha powder. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously so the liquid hits the top and bottom of the shaker. Strain the cocktail into a highball glass. Garnish with a cucumber strip.
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