Double Dose of Alfresco Dining

One of the nicest places to enjoy outdoor dining is poolside on the Des Moines Art Center’s courtyard.

By Wini Moranville

Gastronomic options have narrowed now that Baru 66 and Proof have shuttered. While spokespeople for both promise a reprise, here are two epicurean feasts to consider while we await more news:

• Outstanding in the Field: This annual series of long-table dinners set in idyllic spots wherever food is grown or harvested is making another stop in Iowa this year, on Tuesday, July 30, at 4 p.m. Jordan and Whitney Clasen of Grade A Gardens are the host farmers, as they were last year, when Jordan proposed to Whitney during the reception (she said yes). Heading up the kitchen is Kevin Scharpf of Dubuque’s Brazen Open Kitchen a restaurant I’ve thoroughly enjoyed on two visits. Tickets cost $265 per person (not including tax and ticketing fees). Find out more on the Outstanding in the Field website.

• A Celebration of Summer by Tangerine at the Art Center: As I reported in this recent article in dsmmagazine, Tangerine catering company, the new steward of the Des Moines Art Center restaurant, is doing ambitious, fine-tuned work for lunchtime service. Starting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, food lovers will have a chance to see what this talented kitchen can do in a more relaxed and extended dinner setting. According to co-owner Susan Madorsky, the goal of the seven-course dinner is to celebrate summer, alfresco dining and the fabulous courtyard at the Art Center. “We are so in love with the space; we want to use it more than our limited lunch hour allows,” Madorsky says. She says to expect more such events in the future. Wine pairings, tax and tip are included in the $135 ticket price. Get tickets on the Art Center’s website.

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