A Night in Provence — Ferndale's Josephine Creperie & Bistro continues its "Last Wednesdays" series of dinners, bringing the flavors of French-influenced regional cuisines to Nine Mile Road. These five-course prix fixe dinners include an appetizer, a soup or salad, a cheese course, a choice of four entrées (braised lamb shank, Provencal chicken capilotade, grilled tuna with tomato concassee and pistou, and campanelle pasta) and two dessert options. Fittingly, the dinner scheduled for March 26 will feature cuisine of France's sun-swept Provence region, as we prepare for the return of mild weather. At 241 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-399-1366; $30 per person, not including tax, tip or beverage; various seating times; reservations encouraged.

Chew 'n' view — Motor City Brewing Works has more than just beer and wine; it has an appealing line of quality pizzas made the old-fashioned way, with hand-thrown dough and unusual toppings. It also offers an affordable cheese plate that can come with olives, a sliced baguette and even slices of salametti. What's more, the venue's Wednesday night series, This Week in Art, is curated by local artist Graem Whyte, 7 p.m.-midnight.

Local honors — Gallo Family Vineyards initiated a "Gold Medal Awards" program a few months ago. The program combs the country, seeking to honor the country's "top artisanal producers." Among their selections was a local pastry business, Queen of Hearts Pastries & Bakery (32 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti; 734-487-9223).


In their cooking classes at Simply Good Kitchen, Bill and Shanny Apodaca turn novices into cooks and cooks into experts, illustrating the five basic cooking techniques — braising, roasting, poaching, grilling and sautéing — while preparing "gourmet meals that are well worth the price of admission." Their first cookbook, Simply Good Kitchen (self-published by SGK Press, $26.50), is available at their new store in Birmingham. Each of the 12 chapters provides detailed recipes for the preparation of an entire delicious meal.


In the European community, the Kölsch label is legally restricted to beer brewed within the German city of Köln (Cologne). American craft brewers like the style because it allows them to brew a light and refreshing beer without the energy and equipment required to cold-age or lager. For a great interpretation, try New Holland Brewing Company's Lucid Kölsch-style ale. It's clean, with a subtle malt flavor balanced by a light hop and fruit finish. To celebrate Lucid's artistic balance of ingredients and craft, New Holland created a nifty yin-yang label image with barley and hops.


So you're tired of peanut-butter-and-jelly or tuna salad sandwiches for lunch at the office? Catering-truck chow just doesn't do it for you? The solution is tiffin, an Indian device that consists of several stackable containers that allow you to keep a multi-course meal hot and fresh. Available at vinodsteel.com, these stainless steel bowls are attractive and functional. Insulated with polyurethane for heat retention, they keep hot foods hot. When you open yours, you'll become the envy of your co-workers.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send materials two weeks in advance to Food Stuff, Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 or e-mail [email protected].

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