Food Stuff 

Fair weather fare Just in time for the warm, summertime breeze that comes off the water in June, St. Clair Shores will host its second annual Nautical Mile Restaurant Week. The mile, if you don't know, is situated near the shores of Lake St. Clair, on Jefferson between 9 and 10-1/2 Mile roads. This year, eight restaurants are slated to participate: the Beach Grill, Brownie's, Fishbone's, Mike's on the Water, Pat O'Brien's Tavern, Pegasus, Rojo Mexican Bistro and Steve's Backroom. Each restaurant will offer a special, fixed-price, three-course lunch and dinner menu starting at $20 per person (beverages, gratuity and taxes not included). Restaurant week specials will last from Friday, June 1, through Sunday, June 10. Advance reservations aren't required, but are strongly suggested and can be made by contacting the restaurants directly.


More fair weather fare The Tuscan patio is now open at Ferndale's Assaggi Bistro, where you'll find an a la carte brunch and fixed-price dinners crafted from local seasonal ingredients. Reimagined for the summer season, the Sunday brunch (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) includes lemon-ricotta pancakes with blueberry compote, brioche French toast with seasonal fruit, eggs Benedict with baked ham, asparagus and zucchini frittatas, and other dishes inspired by the cuisine of Tuscany, the south of France and California. Dinner options include a variety of gourmet pizzas from the large wood-fired oven, and such entrées as sautéed chicken Francese, twice-cooked Moroccan duck legs, almond-crusted salmon, and more. The bistro also offers a full bar and a collection of over 120 wines. All of this can be enjoyed on the patio— where the goal is to make you feel that you've been transported to a small Tuscan village — or in their elegant dining room, fit with warm earth tones and local artwork and photography. Located at 330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; call 248-584-3499 for reservations.

Baconfest sold out, Pig and Whiskey returns We were just dipping into our porcine wordplay file to write about the Saturday, June 2, Baconfest Michigan at Royal Oak Farmers Market, when we found out that both general and VIP tickets are sold out. But lovers of the only oink meat, have no fear, MT's Pig and Whiskey event returns to Ferndale and expands to a three-night, two-day event, June 13-15. Details at 


Know of any upcoming events related to food, wine, beer or gardening? Let us know! Call the column at 313-202-8043 or e-mail 




Made in Italy

David Rocco

Clarkson Potter, $35



David Rocco's Dolce Vita has been broadcast in more than 150 countries and with good reason. He's charismatic, with an easy-going style that complements his cooking proficiency. That makes him fun to watch as he demonstrates regional Italian cuisine. His latest book, Made in Italy (Clarkson Potter, $35), is filled with luscious images of the ingredients and the completed rustic dishes, as well as gorgeous photos of the countryside. Polpette di melanzane – eggplant balls – will satisfy vegetarians and carnivores alike. Pasta with seasonal cherry tomatoes, garlic and basil is the essence of the simplicity that makes Italian fare so well-liked.


the works Most pasta recipes suggest adding a small amount of the cooking liquid to the finished dish. But who remembers to save some of that vital fluid before dumping their noodles into the colander? Not us. A Piazza Spaghetti Tong makes it easy to remove the pasta and to portion and plate it directly from the pot before saucing it. It's available in various lengths, starting at 9 inches for $13 dollars at Amazon. Tongs are great for tossing and serving salads, as well as flipping meat on the grill. This one is as attractive as it is functional.

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