How's them apples? The Greening of Detroit is hosting a field trip out to Almar Orchards in Genesee County. Participants will be given a tour of the fourth-generation, 500-acre organic orchard, all while learning about Michigan's most cultivated and produced fruit. And don't forget Almar's year-round petting zoo and all-organic selections of donuts, honey, bread, fudge and caramel corn. The special visit takes place Saturday, Oct. 15, from noon to 4 p.m., RSVP only, reserve your spot by calling Kido Pielack at 313-285-1256.
Fish story Ann Arbor's Real Seafood Company is celebrating 36 years in business, no small feat, enduring fickle diners, through good times and bad. Dennis and Ellie Serras opened their first restaurant in 1975, becoming catalysts in the transformation of downtown Ann Arbor. The restaurant was an instant success and has been the hot spot for the freshest top-catch fish and premium seafood for 36 years and counting. Real Seafood is marking the occasion weekly specials, featuring favorite entrées of years past, and with a website to captures stories from the many fans of the Serrases. Real Seafood is at 341 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-769-5960; realseafoodcorestaurant.com.
25 and counting With its 52 rooms, 10 bathrooms and 20 fireplaces, the three-story pink-granite edifice built for a lumber baron in 1894 has been one of Detroit's most celebrated restaurants since 1986. Now, the venerable dining institution is prepared to mark a quarter-century throughout the months of October and November with four special dinner menus combining past dishes with today's fare. Think of such dishes as pan-roasted pheasant breast marsala, "Duck, Duck Goose," as well as special wine pairings that enhance the taste of each individual course. Celebrate with the Whitney, at 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700; thewhitney.com.
Tasty teaching Our recent Short Order roundup of "Great meals off Grand River," featuring restaurants in Farmington, Farmington Hills and Novi, prompted one reader to write, "You missed the best-kept secret in Novi: The Great Lakes Bistro." Turns out that The Art Institute of Michigan, which offers courses in design, fashion and media arts, also teaches culinary arts, and has its very own student-run restaurant on campus. Guests get to watch the open kitchen through glass windows and on television screens, as instructors watch over the cooks' every move. And servers are also culinary students learning how to run the front of the house. The bistro is open for reservations and carry-out orders 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. Taste food from tomorrow's chefs, at 28125 Cabot Dr., Novi; greatlakesbistro.com.
Coffee & verse Midtown's Thistle Coffeehouse continues its display of Gwen Joy's paintings with a month of events. This week, it's Jane Fader, who will perform a sensual and personal piece called "Little Tears." It happens Oct. 14, at 4445 Second Ave., Detroit; 313-974-7282.
Know of any upcoming food and drink events? Let us know! Call 313-202-8043 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
food/thought So you're wondering what to do with the leftover booze that's cluttering your bar top. Kate Legere has solutions galore in Intoxicated Cupcakes: 41 Tipsy Treats (Running Press, $15). Begin by reading baking tips and tricks that will help make the finished treats special. Then perusing the photos and the recipes for these decadent bad boys will surely get you started. Would you serve coconut rum-infused piña colada cupcakes and mango margarita cupcakes as appetizers or for dessert? The whiskey ganache-filled car bomb treats don't raise the same question. Would eating them with Jell-O shots be just too much?
the works In the mood for a slice or two of cherry pie while you're at odds with your roommate, who wants apple, or a berry pie vs. a quiche? Pick up a Split Decision pie pan that will give each of you what you want. A removable divider not only creates a dual-sectioned pan, but also makes removal of the pies a breeze. If you both want the same pie, leave out the divider. Made by Chicago Metallic, long a preferred choice of professional bakers, the pan has a durable nonstick finish that is easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.