7 cool things you need to know about Detroit dining this week

Nov 12, 2014 at 1:00 am

Sweet dreams — Over the past few months, we've covered some of the key players in an emerging artisan confection scene in our town. You may remember the sweet-potato-infused baked goods of Crème Détroipolis, or the fanciful, from-scratch creations of Sweet Artisan Marshmallows. They opened a shop called Sweet: A Confections Boutique, in Detroit a few weeks ago, and marshmallowista Michele Bezue tells us that some tardy repairs the landlord needed to make delayed the licensing needed to open the shop. She says the shop is ready to proceed full steam ahead, but due to the way those holdups depleted their capital, they are asking for support to stay on track with their plans. Like many other causes, they've launched a Kickstarter campaign, but their goals seem worthier than, say, building a statue of a fictional character. We'd encourage you to at least hear their pitch. See kck.st/10TD4aG to donate or learn more, call 313-585-5637, or email [email protected].

Java, but not that kind — Nothing has helped raise the profile of Indonesian food in metro Detroit quite like Komodo Kitchen (komodokitchen.com), the pop-up project that has helped introduce multitudes to Indonesian-inspired fare over the last few years. Now, however, there is a brick-and-mortar restaurant serving the exotic cuisine. The restaurant is called Indo, and they say the food they serve is authentic Indonesian. We hear the owner was born in Java, and used to be the executive chef at Da Nang in Clawson, and that she saved enough money to open this restaurant. Indo is at 1535 Cass Lake Rd., Keego Harbor; 248-622-4408.

Choice chili — Cheers to the kitchen crew at TAP, the sports bar inside MGM Grand Detroit, for taking first place at the Great Lakes Regional Chili Cook-Off. And not only did they win first place, this is the third year in a row. What garnered the honor? It was TAP's short-rib chili, enriched with bacon, short ribs, and ancho chile peppers. It's also on the menu at TAP, inside MGM Grand Detroit, 1777 Third St., Detroit; 877-888-2121.

Get your goat — We got a call from Tunde Wey, formerly associated with the pop-up restaurant Revolver in Hamtramck. Wey is on in the midst of a whirlwind tour of the country, sharing his pop-ups with diners from Minneapolis to New Orleans, but he'll be touching back down in Detroit to host a special pop-up at St. Cece's in Corktown. The menu is inspired by memories of his childhood in his native Lagos, particularly of Eid al-Adha, or the Islamic "Feast of the Sacrifice," in which goat plays a central role. The feast, which took place a month ago, stirred within Wey a hankering for its rich dishes, which will be featured at the event. Dishes will include fried plantains, stewed goat head, melon-seed-and-spinach soup, goat pepper soup, peppered goat meat, and rice pilaf, all served family-style for a reasonable $35. While "goat meat" may sound unappetizing to some (the term "chevon" never really caught on in this country), Wey assured us that "it will be fucking delicious." At least one seating is already scheduled at 6:30, Tuesday, Nov. 18, at St. Cece's, 1426 Bagley Ave., Detroit; 313-962-2121; reservations strongly recommended at fromlagos.com; $35.

Turkey time — We're already hearing from places that want to cater to your Thanksgiving wishes, and some of the menus sound especially interesting. For instance, Forest Grill is offering Thanksgiving to go, including a ready-to-roast turkey, sides, and paired wines. It's quite a package. For $250, you get an 18- to 20-pound turkey, giblet gravy, glazed yams, roasted autumn vegetables, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, green bean casserole, egg bread, pumpkin cheesecake, and apple pie, enough to serve 15 diners. Lose the bird and it's $175. You might also decide to add three bottles of wine from a shortlist of well-chosen list for $50. Sounds like a great way to have a fuss-free Thanksgiving, though these deals go fast, so get in touch soon, at Forest Grill, 735 Forest Ave., Birmingham; 248-258-9400; theforestgrill.com.

But what if you're vegan and vegetarian and still want to enjoy the warmth and community of a feast without all the cooking? Look no further than Ann Arbor's Lunch Room, which will host the Fifth Annual Vegan Thanksgiving Feast on Monday and Tuesday of that week. The menu includes butternut squash-chestnut soup with caramelized pears; maple-roasted Brussels sprouts with toasted, sliced almonds; pumpkin sage dinner rolls; seitan roast stuffed with shiitakes and leeks; and plenty of drink-pairing options, thanks to the eatery's alcohol license. The reservation-only dinners take place at 6 and 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24, and Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 407 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-224-8859; reservations required; $35 per person, $50 with drinks pairing.

Remember the neediest — Here's a way to put on the feedbag with a clear conscience: the Inaugural Hunger-Free Holidays Bazaar benefiting Gleaners Community Food Bank. It's an evening featuring a strolling dinner, a marketplace of Michigan-made gifts, apparel and accessories, and a cash bar. Every dollar raised provides three meals for a hungry family in southeast Michigan. The event takes place 6-10 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Diamond Center at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi; $25 in advance, $30 at the door; tickets available at www.gcfb.org/holiday.

Sicilian simplicity — Things should be a bit fresher in the kitchen at Trattoria Da Luigi, the popular Italian restaurant in Royal Oak. You see, the eatery's chef took a sort of busman's holiday to the home province of restaurant owner Luigi Cutaro, in order to study some traditional dishes and techniques. Over the course of two weeks, Chef Steve Siekierzynski traveled to and studied in the cities of Catania and San Vito Lo Capo, a seafront town in the northwest of Sicily, to learn the subtleties of Sicilian technique. Siekierzynski returned with a refreshed appreciation for dishes that are beautiful because they're not unnecessarily complicated. Tweaks to the menu are in the works, and "Chef Steve" tells us he hopes to be able to add a few unusual dishes to the menu, such as the tonno agrodolce (sweet and sour tuna), with fregola Sarda. Drop in and see what's cooking, at Trattoria da Luigi, 415 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-542-4444;trattoriapizzeriadaluigi.com.