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Thickening agents (10/6/2010)
Food Stuff (10/6/2010)
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Wine is fine — Respected winemaker Nicola Biscardo will be in D'Amato's this week to show off the wines in his portfolio. And the staff of the Royal Oak eatery has assembled a dinner to complement his selections. It all happens Sept. 24 at 222-224 S. Sherman Dr., Royal Oak; 248-584-7400; reservations required; $65 plus tax and tip.
Family coat — Zinc, the former brasserie in West Bloomfield, has been reinvented as the second Red Coat Tavern, a clone of the Royal Oak location that for years has received accolades for its award-winning hamburgers. The new Red Coat Tavern is located at 6745 Orchard Lake Rd.; 248-865-0500.
Dine for freedom — Help support Freedom House by attending the Annual Dinner to Benefit Refugees on Oct. 1 at the Max in Detroit. Guest speaker at this gathering will be MT columnist Jack Lessenberry. It starts at 5 p.m. at 3711 Woodward Ave.; $75 includes performance of "Barber's Adagio" and "Don Quixote" by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as well as a performance by Odu Afrobeat Orchestra; call Deborah Drenna at 313-964-4320, ext. 11.
Since 1898, the Berghoff family has been operating its eponymous restaurant, a Chicago legend. More recently, founder Herman's great-granddaughter Carlyn opened the Berghoff Café at the same location. She has also assembled many of their customer favorites in The Berghoff Cafe Cookbook: Berghoff Family Recipes for Simple, Satisfying Food (Andrews McMeel, $24.99). These easy-to-prepare meals are often modern versions of some of the dishes served decades ago.
It's the time of year when many of us imagine we're German and drink profuse amounts of seasonally brewed beer. One local option is Bell's Octoberfest. Aromas of marsh grass, breakfast O's and caramel-coated stalks of barley radiate from a striking pale amber liquid. Tipped toward the back of your throat, a sweetish, malty mouthful drinks evenly with a slight metallic hop finish. It's proper accoutrement for standing around a bonfire beneath a big, orange moon in your most comfortable hoodie.
Gross out your friends — and yourself — with a Peter Petrie Egg Separator. This handcrafted ceramic "beauty" looks weird until you crack an egg into the separator and tilt it forward. The egg drips out of the nostrils. Then it gets downright ugly. Well you get the picture. Presumably it was conjured up by a stoned frat boy who saw someone sneeze unabashedly and decided to capitalize on the image. And the stupid thing works. Appetizing it ain't. Scarf one up at — where else — stupid.com.