Volare Ristorante in Wixom will host a wine dinner featuring a talk from Phillip Wente, proprietor of Wente Vineyards — California's oldest family-owned and -operated winery — in the Bay Area's Livermore Valley. The dinner menu includes charred prawn and citrus risotto, and pan-seared Scottish salmon. Wednesday, May 17, begins at 6:30 p.m., at 49115 Pontiac Trail, Wixom; 248-960-7771; $55 per person; reservations required.

Five Lakes Grill will cook up a six-course morel dinner that includes such appetizing creations as warm potato and morel mushroom terrine, pan-seared skate wing and pole of squab. Tuesday, May 30, and Wednesday May 31, at 424 N. Main St., Milford; 248-684-7455; $80 per person; optional wine package $30 per person; reservations required.

If you're a vodka fan and you're headed out to Lake Michigan for Memorial Day weekend, there's a chance to tipple some "vodka from the vine," a spirit made from grapes. Stop in at the Round Barn Tasting Room in Union Pier or the Round Barn Winery and Distillery in Baroda. For more information, call 1-800-716-9463.


Eat the Page

It could be the weather or it could be the cover photo of a plate of sticky, spicy ribs. The May issue of Gourmet magazine, which is dedicated to grilling around the world, is hot. It contains a recipe for Indian-spiced butter chicken, a tantalizing description of a fiery Wisconsin fish boil that will challenge only a few to duplicate it — while luring some to the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, Wis. — and a primer on constructing an outdoor oven. These are only a few of the extraordinarily well-written articles that are a must for all serious outdoor chefs.

A Tasty Beverage

One of summer's tastiest beverages — lemonade — does not always come packaged or in frozen, concentrated form from the market. Fresh lemonade requires six or seven lemons, one-and-a-half cups of sugar, and two-and-a-half quarts of water. Put everything into a pitcher. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add a few ice cubes. That's it. Replace some of the sugar with lime juice; add a handful of your favorite berries and blend everything for a change. Delicioso! (A splash of rum would work too.)

It Works

If you abhor using that foul-smelling, food-tainting, highly flammable liquid fire-starter or wadded-up newspaper ("Honey, where's last week's Metro Times?") or an electric starter that never seems to be near an extension cord, rejoice. A Weber Charcoal Chimney Starter will solve your problems. Fill it with charcoal. Stuff a couple of sheets of newspaper (tabloid-size works nicely) under the bottom, ignite it and put it on the grill. Within 10 or 12 minutes, you will have a grill full of ready-to-use charcoal. It's as easy as that.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send comments to [email protected]
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