Food Stuff 

Honors for Saltwater, Atwater in Ypsi, mirth at Dakota Inn and more

Sublime seafood Congratulations to MGM Grand's Saltwater, which distinguished itself in the auto association's annual hospitality industry ratings. The Michael Mina restaurant received a triple-A, four-diamond award for its fourth consecutive year, an honor only six Michigan restaurants have received this year. In search of a fine-dining experience with creative and complex menus, accomplished staff and refined ambience? This casino restaurant is a solid bet. Drop in at 1777 Third St., Detroit; 313-465-1646;

Out Washtenaw way Detroit beer will drop into Ypsi this week, as Atwater Brewery's Matt Cebula will discuss and celebrate the great brews they produce in Detroit at Cafe Ollie. Expect food specials and happy hour prices on all Atwater beers — even a few you can sample for free. From 5 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 42 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti; 734-482-8050. 

Let's go crazy If there's one place it's almost impossible to go to and not have a good time, it's the Dakota Inn, the German-style beer hall that hangs on stubbornly along a fading stretch of John R in Detroit. And the next month is going to be a barn-burnin' good time for all. It's Karneval, which means four more weekends of oom-pah bands, painted faces, chicken hats, beads and costumes. Similar to New Orleans' Mardi Gras, Germany's Karneval is a wild time to dress up and drink down. The fun started last weekend, and it continues through the first weekend of March. Come on out and let your spirits soar. Music begins each Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; at 17324 John R St., Detroit; 313-867-9722;; $3 admission; reservations accepted.

Drink to their memory The good folks at Champane's Wine Cellars are hosting a tasting of fine Michigan beers, including Arcadia, Dragonmead, Founders, Keweenaw, New Holland, Jolly Pumpkin, Bell's, Shorts and more. Tickets are $20 per person, and only 200 will be sold, but part of your ticket price goes to a memorial for the 22 Marines who died in action in Iraq from the First Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, headquartered at Selfridge. It all happens at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7007 Chicago Rd., Warren; 586-718-2342; 21 and older; call to reserve your tickets today.

Growing community Hey, Detroit gardeners: Want to get to know folks from across the city active in personal, community and church gardens? Consider the Garden Resource Program's Potluck and Seed Swap. Bring a dish to pass if you're able and last year's seed stash to trade up a bit, with many varieties on hand from across the city. Expect a peek at the highlights of the coming year, including new classes and seeds and transplants available. It happens 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at City Temple, 8816 Grand River Ave. (please enter parking lot off Martindale); for questions or to request a ride, call Tee at 313-285-2232. Can't make the event? See to download your 2012 application to participate in Detroit's largest gardening program.

Know of any upcoming food or drink events? Let us know! Call 313-202-8043 or e-mail


Essential Pépin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food

Jacques Pépin

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40

A photo of Jacques Pépin reveals a man whose youthful appearance belies his 60 years as a chef, author of 20-plus cookbooks, and host of more than 300 cooking shows. His Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food is a distillation of recipes, tips and techniques that, taken together, make it an instant classic. His style exemplifies the ease with which he approaches cooking. His recipes span country French food, fast food, haute cuisine and contemporary American dishes. A DVD is included that helps "students" master this truly essential collection.

the works  Everyone, at one time or another, wrestles with jar lids. New ones are often vacuum-sealed. Old ones sometimes accumulate jam (or other sticky substances) under the jar lid, making it difficult, if not impossible, to twist the lid off, especially for someone with arthritis. OXO, one of our favorite manufacturers of kitchen aids, makes a jar opener that solves the problem. Just place the nonstick pad under the jar and put the one-size-fits-all device on the lid. The stainless steel teeth grip the lid, making removal a breeze. Available at Sur La Table for $11.

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