Hearts and flowers — Is it too early to talk about Valentine's Day? The good people at BRIO Tuscan Grille are planning a Valentine's Day menu with special cocktails for you and your special one. It will be available all weekend, Feb. 11-14, after 4 p.m. The Tuscan-themed fare will include primavera formaggio, beef medallions with black pepper shrimp, and a lobster and shrimp salad. All dishes come with recommended wine and cocktail pairings, so nobody has to remember what goes with a given dish. Locations at Partridge Creek (17430 Hall Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-263-7310) and the Somerset Collection (2801 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-643-6045).
Wine dinner — Metro Detroiters have an opportunity to meet winemaker Brian Loring at Modern Food & Spirits. The head of the Loring Wine Company will host a food and wine event pairing five courses with five pinot noirs. For example, guests will enjoy a 2008 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir with artisan cheeses, or a 2008 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir with grilled vegetable ravioli. All wines will be available for purchase by the bottle at the event. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the first course begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 1535 Cass Lake Rd., Keego Harbor; reservations at 248-681-4231; $50 per person.
Eligible receivers — Another Keego Harbor restaurant, Jeremy Restaurant & Bar, wants to remind patrons that they'll happily cater your Super Bowl party. Chef Jeremy Grandon's new catering menu includes such sumptuous dishes as chicken chorizo with black turtle bean chili, veal, beef and pork meatballs braised in tomato-Parmesan sauce, and much more, all served family-style. Orders will be accepted through 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 3, and may be placed by phone at 248-681-2124; pickup only.
Going for it — Lazybones Smokehouse always has specials at Super Bowl time, enabling busy fans to pick up a super spread for the big game. But this year's offerings seem even more extreme than the usual pounds of rib tips and pulled pork. This year, they're offering a dozen "pigskin poppers" for $12. What's that? Oh, just pork sausage that's stuffed with pulled pork and wrapped in bacon and then smoked. Also on the menu is something called "pig candy," running $10 a pound. If you want to order off this manly menu, get in touch. They'll be open for pickups on Super Bowl Sunday, noon to 6 p.m., in Roseville (27475 Groesbeck Hwy.; 586-775-7427) and Clinton Township (43203 Garfield Rd.; 586-247-RIBS). For more information, see lazybonessmokehouse.net.
Speaking of Super Bowls — Just a reminder to football widows, nerds, wonks and other people who just aren't pumped for the big game: There is no easier time to get reservations at popular restaurants than the night of the big game. Just sayin'.
Food/Thought — For nearly 70 years, devotees of Gourmet magazine anxiously awaited the arrival of each month's edition. Sadly, the mag folded several months ago, but the brand lives on in the form of a website, Diary of a Foodie videos, and occasional cookbooks. The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18) contains 70 recipes dating back to 1941, including Scotch oat crunchies, brown butter cookies, lace cookies and Cajun macaroons. Make them all; they're great projects for frigid winter days.
Bottoms Up — Do you like beer that smells like an enormous bag of sticky buds in the middle of a blooming citrus orchard? If so, then Bell's Hopslam Ale is for you. Following the trend of "extreme" craft beer, Hopslam is brewed in the Double India Pale Ale style, which, in layman's terms, means it's huge. Alcohol weighs in at 10 percent by volume, just enough to balance out the massive flavors of grapefruit and apricots supplied by six different varieties of Pacific Northwest hops. A seasonally brewed beer, it gives hopheads all over reason to rejoice this time of year.
The Works — What better way to start the day than with a tall glass of orange juice, fresh, of course? Spend a couple of bucks or more for a large, quite a toll at any local breakfast joint — or squeeze your own. A couple of juicy sweet oranges and a Cuisinart juicer will make short work of the task at hand. From limes to grapefruits, this baby, with its Fast-Spin feature, maximizes the quantity of juice you'll get, even from the pulp. It has an auto reversing reamer and a snap-up spout that prevents dripping — all for only $29.95.