Fresh pies and more for the eyes Since last week, Grosse Pointe has a new pizzeria. It's called Green Zone Pizza, and it should have wide appeal, given its emphasis on organic and local ingredients, it's gluten-free options and its casual atmosphere. What's more, it has one of the city's prized liquor licenses, which means diners may enjoy their pie with an appropriate wine or beer. Better still, its grand opening is complemented by a show of art, including Detroit-themed photography from Lou Pepples and the inimitable art of Gwen Joy, whose works often draw on pop culture if only to make light of it. For instance, her canvases on display will include "A Tribute to Kate Moss" (pictured) and "Charlie Sheen Eating Lean Cuisine." The show will be up until March. Green Zone Pizza is at 17008 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe.
Gifts for less Want to be generous while still getting a bargain? Whole Foods is offering a host of goodies for less than a Hamilton. Give a bottle of Earthstone Sonoma County Merlot ($8.99), Mrs. Beachley's Mulled Wine ($8.99), Herve Mons Camembert Exclusive ($9.99), Whole Foods Brand chocolate and caramel organic truffles ($5.99) or espresso clusters ($5.99). See wholefoodsmarket.com for a store near you.
Holiday cards Want to give the gift of find food or quality dining? Local restaurateurs are stepping up to offer gift cards that will brighten faces. Matt Prentice Restaurant Group (Coach Insignia, NoVI Chop House, Northern Lakes Seafood Company) is sweetening the deal by giving 10 percent of gift card sales to Gleaners Community Food Bank. Gift cards are available in any denomination at all restaurants and online at mattprenticerg.com. Also, three Royal Oak-based establishments — Vinotecca, Bastone Brewery and Café Habana — are offering an affordable gift card that includes monthly food and drink specials for 2012 at each venue, such as a free pizza Forestier at Bastone in January, a free dessert at Vinotecca in February, a free order of pomme frites at Bastone in March, a free Cuban sandwich at Café Habana in April ... You get the idea. Gift cards are $50, and give all year. For more information, drop in at participating restaurants.
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Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes
Clarkson Potter, $40
Often, the recipes that star chefs prepare at home for their families are not as doable as we would hope. That said, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes (Clarkson Potter, $40) delivers. A glance at the vivid colors of the stone fruit bruschetta on the cover will lead you to recipes that are truly geared for home cooking. Unusual salads, such as endive and sugar snaps with Parmesan dressing, are perfect accompaniments to glazed short ribs, comfort food at its best. Or try soy syrup roasted duck with Swiss chard braised in shiitake butter or butternut squash with balsamic and chile panko crumbs, ended with a classic tart tatin.
the works Shopping for cooking tools at the Museum of Modern Art can yield devices that are as functional as they are stylish. This high-tech tool looks like it could be a very cool hanging lamp when, in fact, it's an herb infuser, a replacement for homemade cheesecloth bags that contain herbs and spices to spare you the task of hand-picking them from the pot — if you can find them. Fill this infuser with your favorite fresh and dried herbs and spices to season braises, soups, sauces, stewed fruits or tea. Just hang it over the side of a pot or drop it into the liquid. See momastore.org.