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FISH STORY — Normally, Lent isn't something to get all excited about, but Scalawags Whitefish & Chips is pumped to help you get through Lent's dietary restrictions with "Lenten specials" every day of Lent. That means that, Feb. 25-April 11, at 5757 Whitmore Lake Rd., Suite 1000, Brighton; 810-229-1700.

FARE PLAY — Downtown Detroit's Cliff Bell's has long been known for its top-shelf bar service, silky jazz sounds and period decor. What more could they offer? Well, starting last month, they've been serving a short menu of sides, light fare (including duck confit and oysters Rockefeller), and entrées that include a New York strip ($24), wild-caught salmon fillet ($12) and a jumbo shrimp skewer ($18). Come for the drinks, mood and music, stay for the fare, at 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543.

WINE ONLINE — If you don't simply enjoy drinking wine, but love reading blogs about it, take a look at the Gang of Pour website, put together by local oeniphiles who aren't really wine critics, but play at it online anyway. See more at


For the many people suffering from Celiac Disease, there are increasing gluten-free options. Richard J. Coppedge Jr. is a professor of baking and pastry arts at the Culinary Institute of America. Author of Gluten-Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of America: 150 Flavorful Recipes from the World's Premier Culinary College (Adams Media, $18.95), he supplies methods for using a variety of grains to make the flours that are used in breads, pastries, pies and cakes for these folks to enjoy.


Every bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon contains a vintage date and the barrel number it aged in. Not only will you get vintage variations, but there will also be a slight difference in flavor based on the barrel it came out of. But generally, the soft vanilla, leather and pumpkin pie spice characteristics of this bourbon make it our favorite base for the milk punch cocktail, though it's just as good sipping with a little ice. At less than $30, it is one of the best whiskey values going.


Who among us hasn't dropped something into the garbage disposal that is indigestible and undisposable — perhaps a peach pit or a polished silver fork or, god forbid, your wedding ring? No one wants to put a hand in on the off chance that something triggers an event that, well, it's too gruesome to discuss. The Alligetter lighted grabber can rescue it with ease. For $20 you'll be able to pluck out items from under the fridge or between the seats of your car or any space too small for your hand. See

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