Down with it It's time again for Detroit Restaurant Week, when restaurants, most of them in and around downtown, make a renewed bid for your business by offering inventive specials at delicious discounts. Expect full three-course dinners for just $28 per person at some of Detroit's best-known restaurants. Not only is it affordable, it's simple: Just visit any participating restaurant for dinner that week and order from their special Detroit Restaurant Week menu. Your final bill will be $28 per person (plus drinks, tax and tips). Plus, you can visit as many restaurants as you like. Though you can just walk in, reservations are strongly recommended. Restaurants will include Angelina Italian Bistro, Atlas Global Bistro, Cliff Bell's, Coach Insignia, Cuisine, Detroit Seafood Market, Fountain Bistro, Iridescence, La Dolce Vita, Mosaic, Opus One, Saltwater, Wolfgang Puck Grille and more. Restaurant week runs Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 2. For more information, see detroitrestaurantweek.com.
Starmont dinner Clinton Township's J. Baldwin's will host a winemaker's dinner this week. It promises to be quite an affair, a six-course wine dinner pairing pours from Napa Valley's Merryvale Winery — featuring their Starmont line — with signature dishes from chef Jeff Baldwin, from appetizer to dessert. It all happens from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27, at J. Baldwin's Restaurant & To-Go, 16981 18 Mile Rd., Clinton Twp.; reservations recommended, call 586-416-3500; $75 per person plus tax and tip; for more information, see jbaldwins.com.
A fare fight There's going to be a culinary conflict at the "Kitchen Stadium" at Bordine's Nursery. It's the Baker Tilly Iron Chef Competition, and it will pit the skills of two chef brothers against each other. Chef Jeremy Kalmus of Novi's No. VI Chophouse and chef Jamie Kalmus of Birmingham's Zazios will engage in competitive cooking, with celebrity hosts FOX2's Roop Raj and Fresh 100.3's Jay Towers calling the action. Kalmuses will be challenged with creating an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert with a "secret ingredient." Guests and a panel of celebrity judges will have a chance to taste and to decide which dishes are standouts and who wins. Proceeds will go toward helping feed needy families. It all happens 6:30-9:30 p.m., Sept. 22, at Bordine's, 1835 S. Rochester Rd., Rochester; tickets are $50 per person and can be bought online at ironchefevent.com, by calling Suzette Hohendorf at 313-923-3535 ext. 243, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prost! Want the thrill of Munich's Oktoberfest but can't get away? It's happening right here in metro Detroit, at Rochester Mills Beer Company. Expect live music, local craft beer, German fare and more. A full menu and selection of beers on tap will be available inside the brewery during the event. It happens 6-10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 5-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 1-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; Rochester Mills Beer Co., 400 Water St., Rochester; $5 for adults at the tent, children 16 and younger get in free with paid adults; 21 and older with ID for wristband; call 248-650-5080 or see rochestermillsbeerco.com.
food/thought For those expecting imminent doom, O'Malley's Apocalypse Cakes: Recipes for the End (Running Press, $14) offers recipes for delectable cakes to ease the transition to the netherworld. Why depart on an empty stomach? Even our death rows offer a last supper to criminals about to meet their maker. The photos and the stories that come with each recipe may be the best part. "When Sarah Palin becomes leader of the free world, the weight of the planet's stupidity will force the earth to fall into a great cosmic oil well built by Halliburton" — or so says the text for President Palin Half-Baked Alaska.
bottoms up The first Irish and Scottish immigrants to America were no less thirsty in the New World. They gathered whatever grain was readily available, and in the model of the barley spirits they enjoyed in their homeland, formulated the first true American whiskey – rye. Though presently not as available as bourbon, rye whiskey is making a comeback. Try the new Bulleit Rye. With a mash of 95 percent rye, it's a velvety, balanced drink of cherry, oak, and honey with the trademark spiciness of this less popular grain.
the works Nutritionists agree that the healthiest part of a potato is the skin. The problem is the gritty soil must be removed before eating. Any way you cut it, scrubbing potatoes is a pain in the ass. These rough textured gloves simplify the task at hand. Soak the potatoes for a few minutes, and then rub them with the gloves, rendering a vegetable that is completely edible without the nuisance of peeling. Scoop out the flesh and stuff them. Steam or roast them or add them to a stew. Red skin potato salad is another tasty choice.