Food Stuff 

Deliverables — Crave upscale food but don't want to don a blazer? Want an order of belly bombs but your favorite slider haunt won't deliver? Is it possible to live well and still not have to go outside?

These questions are driving a successful business that caters to shut-ins with far-out tastes. Restaurant Connection will deliver food from a variety of restaurants that don't do delivery, and they'll do it for a reasonable price. For an order of $10, the delivery charge starts at $4.25 and goes up from there depending on the driving distance. Serving Royal Oak, Troy, Birmingham, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield (and Detroit for lunch), they can handle bringing in a meal for two or events with hundreds of people. Participating restaurants include Bamboo Garden, Beans & Cornbread, Buddy's Pizza, Club Bart, Comet Burger, Fishbone's, Gourmet Garden, Kathmandu Chullo, Leo's Coney, Memphis Smoke, Mr. B's, Pronto!, Sukhothai, Sweet Lorraine's and Woody's Diner. Order by phone (248-541-8888), fax (248-541-4610) or at their Web site (, and allow 45 minutes to an hour for delivery. Ah, the comfort of digging into upscale cuisine with plastic cutlery while watching The Wire.

A tasty finish — The cuisine of Thomas Jefferson? Buffets and free bubbly? This and more can be found in our listings of what's doing on New Year's Eve. Say "ciao" to 2006 by chowing into 2007.


Eat the Page

Nathalie Dupree has written several books on Southern cooking, none as specialized as Shrimp & Grits ($21.95, Wyrick and Company). Typically served as a breakfast dish, the combination is so good that Ms. Dupree has compiled dozens of recipes — many of which are not quite traditional — that explore variations on the theme. The book is sure to expand your perception of the original Low Country delicacy, a simple comfort food. Some recipes that caught our eye include fried grits, shrimp and tasso logs; red curry and pineapple Thai shrimp and grits; and cheese grits soufflé with shrimp sauce. How about peach and grits cobbler for dessert?

A Tasty Beverage

This is the week that Champagne sales spike everywhere. New Year's Eve is the time to toast all that we hope for in the coming year, and a glass of bubbly is the beverage of choice for sharing good wishes at midnight. Putnam Weekley, one of our local experts, touts the quality of Larmandier-Bernier NV Brut Champagne, Blanc de Blancs, about $45. It is available at Elie Wine Co. in Royal Oak. A lower-priced recommendation, also from Putnam, is Gruet Methode Champenoise Brut. Priced at $16, this bubbly, while not true Champagne, is a welcome, affordable substitution.

It Works

Do you long for the smoky flavor of foods cooked outdoors, seasoned with hickory or apple wood, but dread the thought of heading out to the grill in the back yard after shoveling a narrow path? Try an indoor smoker that can be used on a stovetop. The tight-fitting lid keeps in the smoke and the moisture, allowing the smoke to impart its aroma into the food, not the kitchen. Cameron, the manufacturer of the most popular models we found online, includes samples of wood and instructions with both its large and small models.

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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