Food Stuff 

Small fries — Detroit's Small Plates is hosting a series of classes called the Detroit Junior Chef's Program, hands-on courses for kids ages 7-15. Small Plates chef Aaron True and his kitchen staff helps a group of youngsters make dishes in Small Plates very own downtown kitchen. Upcoming classes include pasta (Aug. 5) and ice cream and sorbet (Aug. 7); $40 registration fee per class; for more information call 248-755-0791 or e-mail tstern@smallplates.com.

Turning 2 — Joe and Abdul Ullah of Hamtramck's Bengal Masala Café are inviting their old friends to enjoy a meal on their dime. The Ullahs will celebrate the café's second anniversary with a special dinner at 7 p.m., Monday, July 16, featuring favorite dishes from their menu. At 9335 Conant St., Hamtramck; 313-871-2711.

Fired up —The Brick Oven Bistro is a new Italian Bistro in the casual-but-elegant category. The Dearborn eatery serves contemporary Italian fare and thin-crust, gourmet pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven. Though pizza lovers and pasta fans will pile in for the food, some will stop in to sample the interior design of the 2,400-square-foot joint, which centers on the 2-1/2-ton brick oven, clad in handmade, red-glass, mosaic tile. The oven cooks at temperatures approaching 800 degrees, giving the pies the classic, wood-fired crisp finish. At 4656 Greenfield Rd., Village Square, Dearborn; 313-945-1500. Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday, 4 p.m.-midnight Saturday and Sunday.

 

Eat the Page

The pictures in David Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas and Sweet Accompaniments (Ten Speed Press, $24.95) sell this book even if homemade ice cream isn't on your radar. But if it is, this volume can help you create one of everyone's favorite dairy products. Techniques for making cold, creamy treats that use nuts, fruits, vanilla and chocolate are explained, from the broad basics down to helpful tips. Beginners will benefit from the how-to details. Experts will love the novel flavors and combinations.

A Tasty Beverage

We admit it; the name Arrogant Bastard Ale was the bait. What clinched the sale was that the ad stated, "This is an aggressive beer. You probably won't like it." That's more than clever; it's chutzpah. But, more than savvy marketing, Stone Brewing Company delivers. It pours to a translucent brown with a tannish head. The flavors conflict initially, a sour bite with a citrus undertone. Once the palate begins to adjust, the aggressive nature of this arrogant bastard takes over. This is not a beer for wimps. It's perfect for hot, spicy barbecue on a 90-degree day.

It Works

We don't like to complain about summer because we bitch about the cold every winter. Here is a solution for one of summer's annoyances, not quite complaints. It seems bottled water always warms up before you finish it. No more, thanks to IKEA, which sells synthetic rubber ice cube trays for two bucks each that produce cylinders of ice that fit into a bottle. Why didn't we invent this one? There are also trays that make ice stars and hearts. Cute, but they won't fit in the bottle.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send materials two weeks in advance to mjackman@metrotimes.com.

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