Wine for lunch — Not only is lunch being served again at Ann Arbor's Vinology, the "Eight for $8" promotion is on, offering eight such great lunch specials as a barbecue pork sandwich, mahi fish tacos, a shrimp po-boy and the "Vino Burger," to name a few. It happens Monday through Friday at 110 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-9841.
New chefs — William Hall, formerly the executive chef at Papa Joe's food emporiums in Rochester Hills and Birmingham, has moved to Picano's fine Italian restaurant in Troy. After spending several months in Italy refreshing his skills, he now finds himself back where his heart belongs. Drop in at 3775 Rochester Rd. in Troy.
And at Iridescence, they're welcoming their new chef de cuisine, Derik Watson, who used to work with Iridescence's executive chef Don Yamauchi at Tribute in Farmington Hills. Look for his dishes on the new fall menu. At Motor City Casino, 901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-237-6732.
Vegetarian dining has changed a lot since Anna Thomas wrote her 1972 classic, The Vegetarian Epicure. Her latest book, Love Soup: 160 All-New Vegetarian Recipes from the Author of The Vegetarian Epicure (W.W. Norton $35.00HC; $22.95PB), could become a new classic, perhaps even appealing to carnivores who love soup. The book lavishes coverage on the ultimate comfort food, with soups for the four seasons, as well as many "sides," such as salads and dips and desserts.
If you're searching for a locally made red wine to wash down a weekday pizza dinner that rings up less than $7, try a bottle of Leelanau Cellars Autumn Harvest. With a slight chill it drinks simply and easily, a medium body and the ripe berry fruit flavors balanced by just enough acidity to keep its grape jelly traits restrained. Though dry, a perceived sweetness and mild tannic structure make it a suitable drink for those who want to ease into red wine.
For 75 years, Le Creuset has made durable, porcelain-coated cast iron cookware that's treasured by cooks. The company has introduced a new line, the Heritage Stoneware Collection. These attractive, red-orange bowls, inspired by the glow of molten iron, can go from freezer to oven and then to the table. They are also microwave and dishwasher safe, non-porous and resistant to chips, cracks and stains and don't absorb odors. The line is available exclusively at Sur La Table at introductory prices.
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