Dinner & a show Southfield's Pi serves an eclectic mix of food, with dishes from more than a dozen different European countries. But now there's more than pleasure for the palate: The 120-seat restaurant charged Detroit's Alexander Zonjic with scheduling a series of live jazz and blues performances in its lounge and on its outdoor patio. The lounge series (Friday and Saturday nights) and patio series (8 p.m. to midnight every Thursday) will continue through the end of August. Thursday night's shows on the patio will include performances from the Johnnie Bassett Duo (July 26), Herbie Russ (Aug. 2, 16) and Sheila Landis, jazz vocalist (Aug. 9, 23). Friday and Saturday night lounge shows will include Michael Gabriel (July 27-28), Sandra Bomar (Aug. 3-4), Jessie Palter (Aug. 10-11) Shahida Nurullah (Aug. 17-18) and Sheila Landis (Aug. 24-25). At 28875 Franklin Rd., Southfield; no cover charge for the music; for more information or reservations, call 248-208-7500 or visit www.piofsouthfield.com.
Louie, Louie, Louie ... The people behind Bar Louie, the expanding tavern chain based in Chicago, have staked out a location in Ann Arbor. The new location's spot at 401 E. Liberty St. is the 34th nationwide for the "casually cool neighborhood restaurant and bar." Their small plates sound like entrées to us, with "Cheeseburger Sliders" for $7.99 or "Buffalo Calamari" for $8.99, but maybe that's how they do it in Chicago. For more information, call 734-794-3000.
Eat the Page
We've praised a few great barbecue books on this page in the past. One of the coolest make that hottest we've found is Nancy Davidson's Killer Ribs: Mouthwatering Recipes from North America's Best Rib Joints (Chronicle Books, $16.95). More than just a cookbook, this is a collection of photos, recipes and cooking tips from 50 'cues across North America. Lip-smacking rubs and sauces from many of the legendary and not so well known, but worthy, joints will get your pit smokin' low and slow.
A Tasty Beverage
Dense with aromas of scandalously ripe pears and peaches every sip of 2005 Gysler Scheurebe Halbtrocken will have you wiping your chin of imagined juice. This ideal warm-weather wine is a little sweet, a little acidic, and tastes like fresh grapefruit or costly Sauvignon Blanc. It won't take long to understand why it comes in a liter-sized package. At $13 a bottle you'll want to keep some on hand for sharing with friends, neighbors, your mailman or anyone else that might wander by your front porch. Use it as a rinse for Thai carryout or salami sandwiches and forget that you can't pronounce the name.
Versatile Japanese-style Santoku knives combine the chopping and dicing abilities of a cleaver with the sharpness and cutting edge of a chef's knife. The scalloped blade enables thinly sliced foods to separate from the blade easily. Most are 5 inches to 7 inches long, easy to handle even for an inexperienced chef. Priced from under $20 to more than $100, they are affordable for every budget. Testimonials from dozens of users rank many of the less expensive Santokus as excellent sharp, well balanced, and able to hold an edge. Unlike serrated knives they can be kept sharp on a sharpening steel.
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