Tea set — Jeremy and Aubrey Lopatin are the co-founders of Arbor Teas. The husband-and-wife team has what they call "a passion for top quality tea" that's easy on the environment and fair to the workers who produce it. Based in Ann Arbor, the couple aims to bring sippers an exceptional offering of the very best you can brew. They have a large catalog of USDA-certified organic tea, almost three-quarters certified as fair-trade. Take a peek at their wares, and their "tea blog," at arborteas.com.
Lunch at 8 — Have you wanted to try the fare at Ann Arbor's Vinology, but were wary of the price? If so, their new lunch deal may draw you in. Calling it "comfort food at a comfortable price," the hip wine bar is offering lunch for $8, including tempura-battered salmon with french fries, papaya slaw and wasabi tartar sauce, lamb and black bean chili with goat cheese and grilled flatbread, a crab cake sandwich on an onion roll with watercress, remoulade sauce and onion rings, or a grilled hanger steak salad on chopped romaine with charred red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. At Vinology Wine Bar and Restaurant (110 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-9841).
Getting chili — Grosse Pointe Farms is gearing up for the annual Winterfest on the Hill. Expect family fun, including music, sled dogs, ice sculpture, face painting, chili dogs and the big chili contest. The cook-off will draw an estimated 1,000 people, and will be held in the newly established Bella Café (131 Kercheval, Suite 40, Lower Level, 313-640-9262). For information about entering, call 313-343-2405.
EAT THE PAGE
Jean Anderson has the gift of gab — food gab. She writes authoritatively on foods of many different ethnic origins. Her research and her palate have enabled her to convey their essences. In her latest, A Love Affair With Southern Cooking: Recipes and Recollections (William Morrow Cookbooks, $32.50), she evokes the flavors of Southern cuisine (try the "gratin of vidalia onions"). This compilation of delectable recipes includes a taste of the lore of Southern barbecue and of Tabasco sauce — the granddaddy of hot pepper condiments.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Six centuries ago, the Spanish began a period of authority over the now-Italian island of Sardinia and promptly planted their favorite grape vines for wine production. The Cannonau variety — more widely known as Grenache — found an ideal growing habitat and eventually would make up 20 percent of vineyards on the island. Sample this history through a bottle of Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2004. It's ripe and red with aromas of delicate flowers and plump cherry flavors — and about as drinkable as wine can be for $11.
Where did 2007 go? Another new year is upon us, a perfect time to replace some of last year's — make that last decade's — worn-out tools with something fresh and functional. Why not make it stylish too? These Pylones cheese graters will never end up in the cupboard. If they work as well as they look, you'll be looking for excuses to serve more pasta. The non-skid rubber base is user-friendly. Available in two sizes and various colors, they cost $20, making a nice inexpensive gift. Look them up at pylones-usa.com.
Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send materials two weeks in advance to Food Stuff, Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.