Food stuff 

Hot Coffee — Your local coffee options just got a bit hotter. Local joe-heads may now drink in more than steaming java at two locations of the Hot Spot Coffee Company, where scantily clad baristas serve cleavage with your coffee. And the idea is, naturally, quite an attention-getter. The Troy location (on Big Beaver Road, natch) has a large sign featuring the "trucker girl" silhouette in front of a building with a hot pink roof. That ought to turn some heads. Stop in for a "warm-up" in Troy (2969 E. Big Beaver Rd.; 248-524-2880) or Waterford (2395 Dixie Hwy., 248-454-0109).

Bring the bottle — If there's any wine in stock at Ferndale's Via Nove that seems worth bringing tableside, Tuesdays would be the day to consider getting it, as you can get it half-price. And, until the end of September, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, buy one dinner and get the less expensive dinner at half-price. At 344 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-336-9936.

Slow feast — Slow Food Detroit and Slow Food Huron Valley have joined up to host a supper featuring "locally harvested foods, enjoyed where they were harvested." It's called the "Outstanding in the Field Farm Feast," and it takes place at Lakeplain Prairie Organic and Larkcrest Farms (22245 Beech Daly Road, Brownstown) at 4 p.m. Sept. 23. Tickets are $35 per person, and though the food will be slow, we hear the tickets will go fast. For reservations, call Stephanie at 734-761-3186 ext. 110 or e-mail For more information, see

Eat the Page

From Andreas Viestad and photographer Mette Randem comes Where Flavor Was Born: Recipes and Culinary Travels Along the Indian Ocean Spice Route (Chronicle Books, $40), one of the hottest new cookbooks out there. The food photographs are gorgeous, with appetite-provoking shots of the tome's tantalizing recipes. The photos of people and scenery along the route from Zanzibar through India and on to Bali makes this feel like National Geographic with recipes. The cardamom mangoes combine a delicious fruit with a fragrant spice for a great side or dessert.

A Tasty Beverage

Fashioned from the juice of the fairly uncommon Cortese grape, Cascina degli Ulivi Gavi is a dazzling golden liquid expression of the Italian Piedmont. Even before it paints your lips with brisk citrus and herbs, the heady aroma of honeysuckle in full bloom embraces like a sleepy child. It fills your senses. For the past two decades the upper Monferrato estate where it's produced has cared for the vines using only strict biodynamic methods. Does a healthy farm mean tastier wine? If this gorgeous Gavi is any measure, there is no doubt.

It Works

You've got a shelf or two of cookbooks. You've seen a few cooking demos at Zingerman's. You feel as though you know the Food Network stars personally after hours of watching them chop, fry and sauté. Now that you have mastered the art of cooking, it's time to look the part. It's time to pick up some chef's clothes: baggy, peg-legged pants, comfortable clogs — orange if you dig Marion Batali — and a suitable chef's coat. Pants are the coolest — available in numerous colors and patterns. We've tried Chefwear brand and found them comfortable and durable. Feel like a pro.

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

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