Food Stuff

Mother's Day, Easter meals and more

Your Mother Should Know — It's never too early to plan for a meal with Mom. Ferndale's Assaggi Bistro has announced a Mother's Day brunch and prix fixe dinner. Depending on the weather, the backyard patio may even be open. But the food promises to be as fulfilling as any special meal these masters of Mediterranean menus have put together. The brunch is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and the dinner is 4-8 p.m. Sunday, May 8; price is $28 per person. Assaggi is at 330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; please call 248-584-3499 for reservations. Likewise, the wine mavens at Ann Arbor's Vinology (110 S. Main St.; 734-222-9841) have a Mother's Day event in the works, billed as an "unforgettable culinary experience that mothers will leave Mom breathless." For reservations, please call 734-222-9841.

Hop on in — Not sure what you'll do yet for Easter? The good people at Camp Ticonderoga (5725 Rochester Rd, Troy) wanted to remind us they'll have some special fun planned for Sunday, April 24. In addition to some regular menu items, they'll have roast turkey dinner, honey-baked ham and more! For reservations, call 248-828-BUCK. What's more, we also heard from Chef Deni at Lazybones Smokehouse. Those who call ahead by April 20 can pick up an Easter feast on Saturday April 23, at the Clinton Township location (43203 Garfield Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-247-7427) or the Roseville location (27475 Groesbeck Hwy., Roseville; 586-775-7427). And it's quite a feast, a heat-and-eat meal for 12, including a spiral half-ham, rum raisin compote, baked mac and cheese, a pineapple upside-down pie and more; $99 plus tax.

In the pink — Speaking of special events, Ann Arbor's Chop House is hosting an event called "Think Pink, Drink Pink." It's a fundraiser to benefit this year's Susan G. Koman 3-Day Walk, and it will feature find wines, appetizers and more at the Chop House's La Dolce Vita lounge and bar. The fun starts at 6 p.m. May 6; reservations recommended at 888-456-3463; $39.95 per person.

Gorge for the hungry — Times are tough, and more people than ever seem on the verge of hunger. You can help, by visiting any one of nine Buddy's Pizza locations on Monday, May 2, and buying a ticket for their annual "Slice for Life" event. Buy a ticket, and dine all-you-can-eat style on two-topping pizzas and salad, or carry out a four-square two-topping pizza or an individual salad. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., it's $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children. From 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., seniors go up to $15. Proceeds will benefit Detroit's Capuchin Soup Kitchen. To learn more, see

Food/Thought Zany TV personality Alton Brown is part-food scientist, part-comedian — basically a serious cook who loves to share his knowledge while entertaining you. Good Eats 2: The Middle Years (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, $37.50) is filled with practical cooking tips and witty explanations of what causes the recipes to result in delicious dishes. Brown explains basic bread making, a satisfying skill that yields a crusty loaf that'll make you proud. A bonus DVD covers 15 basic subjects, such as how to buy a fish and how to care for knives.

Bottoms Up When we belly up to the bar for a pint and a shot, we have fingers crossed that there's a bottle of award-winning Redbreast 12-year-old Irish whiskey on the shelf. One of only a few pot-still Irish whiskeys, Redbreast is single malt, triple distilled, and aged in oak casks. The result is a complex and assertive drink with a grocery store list of aromas and big flavors of spice and honey on the palate. A long and oily finish with notes of licorice rounds out a world-class drinking experience.

The Works Spring always comes with new grilling and barbecue tools and gadgets. On this year's list is a Skewer Station. Do you need one? Probably not, unless you seek unusual presentation. This baby not only looks cool, it works. The six 12-inch cast iron skewers hang from a rack allowing you and your guests to remove your choice of chow just off the grill, hot and ready, without much fuss. The set includes two forks to peel the food off the skewers, which hang over a wood base that catches the drips. Find one exclusively at Sur La Table.

Know of any upcoming food events or special dinners? We'd love to hear about them! Call 313-202-8043 or e-mail [email protected].

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