A-Square Deal — Have you wanted to dive into Ann Arbor’s plethora of restaurants but been intimidated by the check? Fear not, wary diner! June 9-14 is Ann Arbor Restaurant Week, when a bevy of Ann Arbor restaurants offer $15 lunch menus and fixed-price three-course dinners for $28. Some restaurants will even offer two-for-one deals. More than 50 Ann Arbor restaurants are participating, from Amadeus to Weber’s, including Blue Tractor, Carson’s American Bistro, the Earle, Gratzi, Grizzly Peak, Jolly Pumpkin, Logan, Mani Osteria & Bar, the Ravens Club, Seva and Vinology Wine Bar. For more information, see annarborrestaurantweek.com.
Bet on Beer — It’s Detroit Craft Beer Month, and MGM Grand Detroit is celebrating the occasion with with weekly flight specials at TAP, the casino’s ultimate sports bar. Until June 9, get a $5 flight of Atwater Dirty Blonde, Frankenmuth Munich Style Dunkel, Millking It Productions Brik Irish Red Ale and Short’s Huma-Lupa-Licious IPA. Starting June 10, it’s Blue Point White IPA, New Belgium Fat Tire, Magic Hat #9 and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Drop in at the MGM Grand Detroit Casino, 1777 Third St., Detroit; 313-465-1234; mgmgranddetroit.com/tap.
Chew and View — There’s been a “change of wallpaper” over at Cass Café. The dining room has a new exhibit of art by Tamm Whitty and Warren Wells called “Spirit Awakens.” It just opened last week. Have a look at 4620 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-1400. The exhibit is up until Aug. 17.
Dog Days of Summer — Almost 100 year ago, H.L. Mencken, the Sage of Baltimore, declared, “Throw off the chains of the frankfurter! There should be dogs for all appetites, all tastes, all occasions. They should come in rolls of every imaginable kind and accompanied by every sort of relish from Worcestershire sauce to chutney.” We couldn’t agree more, and there seems to be a hot dog renaissance of sorts, with Berkley’s Atomic Dawg joining Troy’s Hippo’s and Dearborn’s What’s Up Dawg as sanctuaries of the sausage sandwich. To up the ante, hot dog expert Bruce Kraig will come to town with some delicious summer reading. Along with Patty Carroll, Kraig co-authored the recent book “Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America.” He and Carroll will appear at the Ann Arbor District Library this week, along with various local “hot doggeries” on hand for tastings. It happens from 7 to 8:30 p.m. June 11, in the multi-purpose room at 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor. See aadl.org for details.
A Day at the Races — It’s been a year since Jacques Driscoll took a gamble on revamping the old bookie bar Green Dot Stables into a hip bar and grill. It has been a resounding success, drawing a cool clientele with its mix of horse-racing ephemera and live soccer on the TVs. Driscoll and company want to thank their customers with an early summer outing. Therefore, on June 10, the Green Dot will be closed in lieu of a one-year anniversary celebration at Hazel Park Raceway, featuring sausages on the barbecue, music courtesy DJ Frankie Banks, and four kegs of free beer. What’s more, Hazel Park will run a regular schedule of races that day, in case revelers want to wander over to the betting windows. Find the Green Dot party at the gazebo just to left of the main gate from 7 to 11 p.m. Monday, June 10, at 1650 E. 10 Mile Rd., Hazel Park; 248-398-1000.
Vegetarians, foodies and cooks of every level will be unable to resist Christophe Blain’s In the Kitchen with Alain Passard: Inside the World (and Mind) of a Master Chef (Chronicle Books, $16.95). More than a cookbook, this is a journey into the garden and the kitchen of Passard’s 3-star Paris restaurant. The hundreds of comic illustrations elucidate the master chef’s creative thought processes, techniques and tips — all the while looking with humor at fine dining. The recipe for green beans, white peach and fresh almonds demonstrate the interplay between the shapes and colors as well as the resulting flavors.
Everyone wants inexpensive and functional cooking products. They are even better when they’re versatile like this Lékué fresh cooking bag. These puppies let you store solid and liquid foods in the refrigerator or freezer; and steam or cook them in an oven or a microwave. Merely fill and seal the platinum silicon, BPA-free bags, choose the cooking method and prepare healthful dishes resulting from retaining the nutrients in the bag. They are germ resistant and dishwasher safe; handy replacements for traditional pots and pans; they withstand temperatures up to 428-degrees Fahrenheit (Sur La Table, Somerset Collection; surlatable.com; $15).
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