Fountain flows The Fountain Bistro at Campus Martius Park, which opened last June in the space formerly occupied by Au Bon Pain, is reopening this week after a three-month remodel. They have a fresh look and a new menu — as well as that all-important liquor license. Hoping to draw downtown Detroit's workers for lunch, after-dinner drinks and dinners, they also will have weekend brunches. The cuisine includes French-inspired dishes, such as steamed mussels, oysters, nicoise salads and steak frites, along with an appropriately ambitious wine list to boot, as well as plenty of whiskeys. That said, entrées will range from $10 to $20, and happy hours will have drink specials for penurious tipplers. Drop in for a gander at Campus Martiuis Park, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 313-237-7778 or see fountainbistro.com.
Liberty, equality and some darn good crêpes The good people at Detroit's Le Petit Zinc urge you to celebrate Bastille Day with them. They've even scheduled it for the weekend, since employers probably won't be giving us the day off — even if Detroit was founded by a Frenchie. In the spirit of independence, ingenuity and invention, Le Petit Zinc will serve ratatouille with chicken in a large, thin crêpe, with a side of organic mixed greens. They'll also have a unique tasting menu and specials for sampling, as well as live music, fireworks and activities for kids. It all goes down July 16, at 1055 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; 313-963-2805; lepetitzincdetroit.com.
More French fun Le Petit Zinc isn't the only place in town marking Bastille Day. Vinology Wine Bar and Restaurant will host Le Quatroze Juillet: A Celebration of the Wines and Foods of France. Expect wines from Bordeaux, Côtes du Rhone, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Champagne and Languedoc, all at a walk-around style tasting complemented by French cheese, charcuterie, paté and more. There will also be some live French cabaret songs. It all starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 14, at 110 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-9841; vinowinebars.net; $50 per person plus tax and tip.
Know of any upcoming food, wine or gardening events? Let us know! Send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 313-202-8043.
food/thought You needn't be a Michigander to appreciate Pure Michigan: Eating Fresh and Local in the Great Lakes State, published by Midwest Living, but if you've tasted the dishes in the book, you'll have an extra appreciation for recipes knowing that many of the ingredients are homegrown right here in our backyard. Photos of local landmarks and their signature dishes will motivate you to cook — and perhaps to travel. From the Upper Peninsula (pasties as Yooper soul food) to Mackinac Island (fudge) and Ann Arbor (Zingerman's famous brownies), this book will make you proud. It's available at Pure Michigan online for $29.95.
bottoms up Ever since we discovered cans of coconut juice filled with pieces of young coconut pulp at local Mexican and Southeast Asian markets, we have been enamored with drinks that have chewy bits of stuff in them. Now we're drinking aloe vera juice flavored with everything from wheat grass to pomelo. Long considered a natural relief for burns and skin irritations, there is no shortage of health claims for aloe vera juice. We just like the refreshing flavor. And, of course, those soft chunks of plant jelly that wash against your teeth as you drink
the works Whether for baking peach pies, cobblers and tarts or cutting up for salads or for canning and preserving, the Norpro GRIP-EZ Peach Wedger and Pitter, with one push down the center of the fruit, cuts the peaches and plum and nectarines into 12 even sections and removes the pit, saving time and cut fingers. A comfortable non-stick grip and stainless steel blades ease the process. It should be hand-washed to avoid dulling the blades. We found one at kitchengoods.com for $8.95.