Food Stuff 

WINE ON NINE — Ferndale's Assaggi Bistro will host a wine dinner next week, featuring the wines of Beni di Batasiolo of Italy's Piedmont region, a four-course meal and music by Pino Marelli. Expect the usual upscale fare Assaggi is known for. Starts at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 15; 330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $65 plus tax and tip; RSVP; call 248-584-3499 or get in touch at

GOOD CAUSE — Detroit's Capuchin Soup Kitchen has built a reputation on helping the poor. Now's your chance to help them, at the Annual Support Our Capuchin Kitchen (SOCK) benefit dinner and silent auction. This year's event will be held at Ford Field, with Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally presiding. The event is 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, 2008. For more information, contact the soup kitchen at 313-822-8606.

IN ERNEST — Fan's of Ernie's, long a fixture at 19 Mile and Garfield roads in Clinton Township, will be curious to see the new Mediterranean Room, the eatery's new restaurant space with an authentic Mediterranean menu. Drop in at 16655 19 Mile Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-286-8435.


Author, chef and teacher David Tanis writes in A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes (Artisan, $35), "What makes a boy from Ohio, born in the wrong century, raised on Tater Tots and Birds Eye, end up wanting to eat like a Greek peasant for breakfast, a French peasant for lunch, and a Moroccan peasant for dinner?" He spends six months a year cooking at Alice Waters' legendary Chez Panisse. The rest of his time is spent in Paris cooking for friends. His recipes are simple, using seasonal ingredients to create spectacular dishes.


The beers of Leelanau Brewing Company all have a characteristic tight and dry finish from secondary fermentation in a custom 1,200-liter French oak barrel. Petoskey Pale Ale gets even crisper, with earnest hop additions and the tang of wild yeasts, yet the malt bill is big and soft enough to bring an agreeable balance with the faintest hint of toffee-like sweetness. It's an attractive beer, cloudy bronze under a creamy fat head with a perfume of lemon peels, hay and bread. It's an altogether unique Michigan beer.


A balti is an Indian serving dish, in this case, a small one, designed to serve one or two people. It has a copper exterior, lined with stainless steel. True, it's small, only about 6 inches tall, but it will enhance a dining table, at the moderate cost of only $20. Of course, it's not a cooking utensil (you cannot put it in the oven), but it adds a whiff of authenticity to your homemade curry. The balti and other serving pieces can be found at, an interesting site that highlights tandoors, the wood-fired ovens that are used in most Indian restaurants.

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