Bursting with flavor: Artist Nicole James’ handmade beet pinata, left, inspired a spicy beet margarita at the Bartender’s Handshake.
Writer: Karla Walsh
When you hear the word “art,” you might imagine a painting on canvas or a sculpture in stone. But cooking is an art, too.
Starting today, during Art Week Des Moines and the run-up to this weekend’s Des Moines Arts Festival, four restaurants and bars along The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand are participating in a delicious exhibition called “A Feast for Your Eyes.” At each spot, chefs and mixologists are teaming up with local artists to create dishes and drinks inspired by art:
- The Bartender’s Handshake, with artist Nicole James
- Harbinger, with artist Maggie Douglas
- Lachele’s, with artist Jacob Kuperman
- Panka Peruvian Restaurant, with artist Autumn Rozario Hall
Each chef or mixologist is free to interpret the visual artwork however they’d like, and each special will be available during normal business hours while supplies last.
At the Bartender’s Handshake, for example, artist Nicole James has created a few pinatas in the shape of beets, berries and jalapenos. They’ll hang outside on the back patio, and “we’ll break them open towards the end of the night,” owner Dave Murrin-von Ebers said.
Each pinata inspired a different cocktail, including a non-alcoholic beet lemonade and a spicy beet margarita (pictured above) with jalapeno-infused tequila, Campari, beet juice, lemon juice, agave syrup and salt.