Food Stuff 

Spanish accents

Assaggi in Ferndale is offering fans of its Mediterranean-influenced cuisine the opportunity to sample Spanish tapas this week. The restaurant will offer a buffet of tapas paired with regional Spanish wines. The small plates will include Spanish cheeses, tortillas españolas, escabèche and Serrano ham with such winter fruits as blood oranges, grilled pears and candied kumquats. The regional wines have been tailored to the flavors of the traditional Spanish table, making for a combination that matches up well. At 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20; at 330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-584-3499; $45 per person; call for reservations.

French for lovers

For you lovers who still haven't set up a dinner date, Josephine Creperie & Bistro is offering an impressive Parisian five-course prix fixe menu to mark Valentine's Day. Diners will have a choice of 13 entrées, five starters and five desserts. Expect such offerings as cheese pâté with wild cherry reduction sauce, country sausage in Dijon white wine sauce, strawberry cassis sorbet, chicken coq au vin and steak au poivre. At 241 W. Nine Mile Rd. Ferndale; 248-399-1366; wine and Champagne available; multiple seating times available; reservations required.

Eat the Page

Irma Rombauer self-published Joy of Cooking in 1931. Nine editions and 76 years later this beloved text can be found in kitchens across the country. There are plenty of recipes but the real strength of Joy is in explanation of techniques and ingredients. How many other cookbooks describe three different ways to make a simple béchamel sauce? The latest edition was released in 2006 but we'd bet there is an old, food-spattered copy or two on a shelf at John K. King suitable as a gift for the beginner, a reference for yourself or guide to a retro dinner party.

A Tasty Beverage

Sex is fizzy pink and smells of flower gardens and fruit bowls. It's a brut rosé produced by Michigan's Larry Mawby, who is recognized for his excellent Leelanau County sparkling wines. Because it's not made with the labor-intensive methode champenoise as are his L. Mawby line of wines, it is less expensive and sold under the M. Lawrence label. Though we are cautious of gimmicky marketing, Sex is a worthwhile bubbly for us thrifty drinkers. We dig its citrus vibe and long, dry finish with strawberries and cream. Get some at Holiday Market for $14.

It Works

Whether it's of the frozen grocery store variety piled up with whatever looks cool in the refrigerator, or a gourmet creation made from scratch, we finally graduated to baking pizza at home. Our first purchase was a quality pizza cutter. This tool makes such quick work of a pie straight from the oven it's guaranteed that the roofs of every hungry mouth will get scorched. What we never imagined is how well it cuts puff pastry into strips. And, for you hardcore foodies that make your own linguini, well, you probably already know how it cuts homemade pasta like Nonni used to.

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

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