Wide open mics — Yeah, we know: Coffeehouse open mics can evoke dingy Dylans singing to walls of an empty room, or just to other musicians there waiting for the stage. But on a recent night at the Bottom Line coffeehouse, a new entry into the field, the chairs were full, and enthusiasm was high. Comedians addressed the spirited audience, which was clearly ready to laugh. The joint serves the usual coffees, espressos, teas, brownies and cookies, as well as a fine café au lait. Open mic is every other Friday (next is March 22), at 4474 Third St., Detroit; 313-638-2759.
Gastronomical deal — The newest restaurant from the Epicurean Group, Gastronomy, is featuring what is called an “Epic Three-Course Experience.” Here’s the deal: Members of Gastronomy’s frequent diner program may purchase certificates redeemable for the experience. The experience will take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (until April 17), during which a $40 certificate allows two diners to choose among three soups, three salads, and three entrées for a meal that would normally be valued at $66 (limit two certificates per frequent diner). Only 630 certificates will be issued, and they must be used before expiration. Not a member of the frequent diner club? No problem: Just join the club and purchase the certificate with one phone call to Monique at 248-646-0370, ext. 1. Gastronomy is at 1 Towne Square, Southfield; 248-864-4410.
Green bagels — Around St. Patrick’s Day, Bruegger’s, the national bagel chain, will serve its famous, oven-fresh green bagels across the country. For more than 15 years, these colorful treats have been a popular holiday offering. The promotion runs March 15-17, while supplies last. In metro Detroit, get them in Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Rochester Hills and Ann Arbor; for more see brueggers.com.
Brightening Brighton — There’s a new place for healthy fare in Brighton. It’s called Toma’s Salad Shop. The restaurant, which opened March 1, is owned by the Raspoptsis family, which has lived in Brighton for 20 years. The sit-down restaurant offers a menu of salads, soups, wraps and stir-fries with an emphasis on healthfulness. Co-owner Cathy Raspoptsis says this won’t be a place with lots of corporate food service deliveries. The goal is to use small, Michigan-based companies, working with locals as often as possible. For instance, of the 36 salad dressings they offer, only six aren’t house-made. With create-your-own-salad options, building a vegetarian meal doesn’t sound difficult. With plans in the works for gluten-free options and vegan meals, the restaurant’s menu, as interesting as it is already, should please all comers in the near future. Toma’s is at 8539 Grand River Ave., Brighton; 810-229-6888.
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How to Boil an Egg
by Rose Carrarini
FOOD THOUGHT What more perfect food exists than eggs? They are inexpensive, nutritious, have a shelf life of about three weeks and are easy to find everywhere. Eggs are an essential in baked goods, sweet and savory, many sauces, as well as fried, scrambled, poached, baked and steamed. In How to Boil an Egg, Rose Carrarini shares 80 of the recipes that have popularized her Parisian Rose Bakery. The hand-painted illustrations are attractive enough to grace any kitchen. One chapter, “Eggs for Lunch,” is filled with soups, gratins, tarts, mains, custards, even salads. For most, this will present a new generation of egg dishes.
THE WORKS Sure, you can cook eggs in any skillet, but some folks prefer a dedicated omelet pan. Is there a difference? It depends who you ask. The ideal pan for cooking omelets has gently sloped sides with a nonstick surface that allows easy flipping and removal. Although many cooks are concerned that the no-stick coatings won’t last, we find the newer coatings resist both scratches and chipping. The thicker the pan, the better the heat conduction, letting you cook at a low, constant temperature. Resist the temptation to buy a gimmicky two-piece pan; with a little practice, you’ll flip like a pro.