Food Stuff

London Chop House returns, apps to keep you from driving drunk, and more

Chop shop  This week marks the grand (and we do mean grand) reopening of the London Chop House. Once the restaurant of choice for Detroit's 1 percenters, the London Chop House in its new iteration will eschew some of the fustier touches of yore. According to early reports, the servers will dress black-tie formal but forgo their traditional tuxedos, and customers will have to wear collared shirts but not a coat and tie. But not to worry — the restaurant's classy atmosphere will still be intact, with plenty of original LCH furnishings, including fancy-shmancy in-house telephone booths. Though the official public reopening happened last Monday, we'd imagine all week the place will be full of nostalgic diners reliving the good ol' days, so reserve in advance by calling 313-962-0277. The London Chop House is at 155 W. Congress St., Detroit.

Drink smart (phone)  These days, we rely on our phones more and more to do the things we used to have to do ourselves. Get directions to the party? Check. Find out when the next movie is showing? You got it. Now counting drinks can be added to that list, with the advent of Intoxicase. This crazy-or-genius idea consists of an iPhone case with an embedded bottle opener and a free smartphone app that counts your drinks once it's opened them. The app can also hook up its inebriated owner with a local taxi company, keeping safety first. Intoxicase is available for $35 from the supplier at

Family feud  Family-owned Maria's Comida in Hamtramck is already well known for its spiced-up Mexican-Asian fusion menu. And this Tuesday, the restaurant's father-daughter team of Al and Marie Pronko will show off their multicultural cooking skills at a dessert bake-off benefiting Orchards Children's Services. Orchards, which provides support to at-risk children and their families, is near and dear to Marie, who used to work there. But will that add enough incentive for her to beat her chef dad on Tuesday? Dessert-hungry guests will get their fill either way. For a $20 donation, eat as much as you dare, 6-9 p.m. Feb. 28, at Maria's Comida, located at 11411 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck.

Dinner and a movie  Fans of Detroit pizza and local museums (and who isn't?) can rejoice in the recent announcement that Buddy's Pizza has begun sponsoring two programs at the DIA. The famous purveyor of square pies will support the Detroit Film Theatre and Interpretive Programs Volunteers, the museum's docent program. The DIA is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday until 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday until 5 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. To find a Buddy's near you, see

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


Ciao Italia Family Classics: More than 200 Treasured Recipes from three Generations of Italian Cooks

Mary Ann Esposito

St. Martin's Press, $40

 Mary Ann Esposito has written a dozen Italian cookbooks, as well as hosting a cooking show that has appeared on PBS for 20 years. Her recipes and videos simplify Italian cooking. Her latest book, Ciao Italia Family Classics: More than 200 Treasured Recipes from Three Generations of Italian Cooks, continues that tradition. The book runs the gamut of one of the world's most popular cuisines. From the classics to more evolved modern dishes, it's all here. Try the Aracine — stuffed rice balls. A thousand of her recipes, many with instructional videos, can be found on her website,

the works  This is another of those, "Why didn't I think of this?" items. We've often wondered where to put the shells and pits and seeds while nibbling on the small snacks that contain them. The larger of these two space-saving stackable bowls is curved outwards in three places, allowing you to dispose of and hide inedible pistachio shells and pits — olive or cherry come to mind — after removing them from your mouth. Of course, they can be used separately for dips and sauces, chips and crackers. The Double Dish is dishwasher-safe, available for $18 at