Food is a source of comfort. That’s why we incorporate it into so many events. We use food to smooth over the awkwardness of first dates or meeting our partners’ families for the first time. To celebrate birthdays, graduations, new babies and marriages. To mourn the losses of loved ones, relationships and jobs. To lull our teenagers into telling us...

The Butler Mansion, the striking white concrete building that sits on a hill overlooking Gray’s Lake and downtown Des Moines, has a new owner. The Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa is buying the property at 2633 Fleur Drive on contract for $3.3 million, according to Polk County real estate records. The transaction was recorded Dec. 28."We ar...

Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Kitchen may be right next door to Happy Joe’s in Eldridge. And they may be owned by the same company, Dynamic Restaurant Holdings, LLC, and have the same CEO and president in Tom Sacco. But the similarities end there for the two restaurants, Tom Sacco said. Tony Sacco’s opens its Eldridge restaurant at 350 East LeClaire Road...

The business lockdowns in mid spring hit many small business owners in the entertainment industry particularly hard. Romina Muse and her husband have been operating Skateland together for years, and the shut downs were tough."We were closed for two and a half months," Muse said. "That was a huge hit for us." That also left more free time with no bu...

The first goal of the season for Serie A won’t happen until this weekend, and already Italy’s top soccer league has seen its first upset: One of the league’s oldest teams will start play under the control of a company in the heart of the American Midwest.  Parma Calcio 1913, named after the year it was founded and commonly referred to as Parma, ann...

When Kathy and Herb Eckhouse started La Quercia, their cured pork processing business, in 2005, all they really had in mind at the time was producing prosciutto (Italian ham). It is made from the hind legs of pigs, and typically there are two types: prosciutto cotto, which is cooked, and prosciutto crudo, which is cured but uncooked. In fact, when...

Lauded by Fanfare for his “dazzling technique and white-hot interpretations” and by News Review for his “stunning mastery of the instrument,” the classical pianist, composer, and recording artist Julian Gargiulo performs a virtual concert in celebration of the Figge Art Museum's 15th anniversary, the streaming August 8 event sure to demonstrate why...

Carlo Joseph Salvo was born on August 24, 1924, in Council Bluffs. He was the second of six children born to Jasper Salvo and Antonina (Caruso) Salvo. Carlo was a proud Italian-American throughout his life, speaking and enjoying the language for over 95 years. He was a member of the Marconi Society, an Italian fellowship in Council Bluffs. He conti...

An hour before free meals were to be distributed, the line of cars spilled out of the parking lot of Baratta's Restaurant and onto South Union Street.  The restaurant was shut down for the day until 3 p.m. Employees were focused on one goal: Make enough food for more than 1,000 people. On Monday, the Italian restaurant served 300 family meals, each...

The coronavirus took the game away from Lisa Birocci Banse in early March. The Des Moines native had flown to Guatemala from her home in State College, Pennsylvania, to play in leagues there. The Iowa softball legend is a member of the Italian Olympic national team. “I wanted to pitch some games and get some live at-bats,” Banse said. The virus had...