Fresh start The Hudson Café fills the vacancy left by the Detroit Breakfast House, which folded earlier this year. This brunch boutique, driven by classically trained French chef Tom Teknos, closely resembles the Breakfast House in design, with bright colors dominating the ambience, but with a much larger selection of breakfast favorites. From "Red Velvet pancakes" (with cream cheese and cocoa powder) to the Baja Cali omelet (stuffed with tomato, onion, ham, bacon, guacamole and Swiss cheese) downtown Detroit's newest breakfast joint is sure to have something to appease your palate. At 1241 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-237-1000; hudson-cafe.com.
Mark the date Next week, Mark Bittman, opinion and food columnist for The New York Times Magazine, and author of The Food Matters Cook Book and How to Cook Everything, comes to Clinton Township. Bittman will appear as a keynote speaker at the Michigan's Harvest: Food, Farming & Community presentation. The talk takes place from 7 to 8 p.m., preceded by a wine and cheese meet-and-greet from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., on Nov. 17, at the Lorenzo Cultural Center, on the Center Campus of Macomb Community College, 44575 Garfield Rd., Clinton Township; 586-286-2141; presentation is $15, $5 for seniors, students and military; presentation and meet-and-greet is $20; for tickets call 586-286-2222; for more info, see macombcenter.com.
Eat your vegetables Thanks to a notable increase in area farmers' markets and an uptick in community-supported agriculture, it has never been easier to eat local, organic food — at least in the prime growing season. But options do become a bit more limited as fall turns into winter. One answer to this problem comes from Door to Door Organics, which provides a home delivery service (or co-op pick-up system) of sustainably grown organic produce and groceries. Shop by recipe or use Door to Door's seasonal menu. Grocery items such as artesian breads and fresh fish are also available. For more information on Door to Door Organics, call 877-711-3636, or see michigan.doortodoororganics.com; $23-$55 per box; free delivery to most locations.
bar exam Acquired in 2008 by the Johnston family — the same that has owned the Woodward Avenue Brewers next door for 14 years and the Emory across the street for five, both staples of the downtown Ferndale bar scene — the Loving Touch is a former erotic massage parlor turned pool hall. At the jigsaw-puzzle bar, backlit by twinkling lights on branches, you can order anything from a $3 PBR or one of the craft brews it shares with its sister bar to a cocktail made with the Hard Luck Candy line of flavored vodkas distilled in Detroit. Patrons control an extensive jukebox list and compete in foosball or billiards — free on Sunday. The sultry glow from a sign depicting the silhouette of a naked woman illuminates nine pool tables at the front of the venue, while mossy wall hangings and artfully tucked record sleeves decorate the back. Wooden booths and tables that look as if they were uprooted from a forest are conducive to groups gathering to chat away from the commotion. On Monday Movie Nights, hipsters play Tetris on a projector screen while cult movies play in the background; on Tuesdays in the Forest, music from live bands or DJs fill the space with everything from folk to house music; and on the second Thursday of every month, DJ Stevie spins goth, industrial, and punk for The Dark Alternative dance party. At 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Open 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Sunday.
food/thought Have you ever wondered what the world's best chef eats for dinner at home? It is revealed in The Family Meal: Home Cooking With Ferran Adrià (Phaidon, $29.95). With Adrià leading the culinary charge, the legendary El Bulli was named World's Best Restaurant five times by Restaurant Magazine. Here he offers 31 three-course meals, each with photos of the ingredients, detailed steps of the processes and the finished dishes. All of the meals come with a timeline, especially helpful for inexperienced cooks. Such meals as potato salad, Thai beef curry and strawberries with vinegar typify the sometimes unusual combinations Adrià is known for.
the works With the holidays nearly upon us, cooks everywhere are preparing to pull out the stops. Despite the abundance of holiday foods, everyone saves room for dessert. Whether, apple, cherry or Boston cream, pie filling reigns supreme, but without a crust, it's just stewed fruit or pudding. These spring-loaded plastic and stainless steel piecrust cutters create autumn leaves, pumpkins, acorns and turkeys that make your pie the best-looking dessert on the table. Just press firmly to cut the edges, and then depress the spring to release delicate shapes. A Williams Sonoma exclusive at $20.