ERIN GO AGAIN — Didn't get enough Irish cheer on St. Patrick's Day? Bastone Brewery can help. With Irishfest 2009, they have a special menu and seasonal beers to help you wear the green all March long. The special menu is more than corned beef and cabbage: steak and stout stew ($13), salmon with honey and cream ($17) and chicken shepherd's pie with whipped rutabaga-and-potato topping ($14). And there's more than green beer on tap. Drop in for a taste, at 419 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-544-6250.
CLIFF NOTE — Yes, downtown Detroit's Cliff Bell's finally opened its long-awaited kitchen. What's more, we hear the delicious fare is half-off 5-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. With the money you save, you can enjoy another one of their top-shelf cocktails. At 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543.
POWER TIME — Morton's Southfield and Troy locations are offering drink and food specials in their lounges, letting patrons live larger at a nicer price. At 1 Towne Square, Southfield; 248-354-6006; and at 888 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-404-9845. For more information, see mortons.com.
EAT THE PAGE
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, family treasures were lost, creating a void that devastated many New Orleans residents. Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, by Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker (Chronicle Books, $24.95), is a compilation of 250 of the recipes that were washed away in the storm, then found as a result of a swapping place provided by the paper, thus enabling cooks to re-create the lost dishes while filling their homes with heavenly aromas.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Since the craft beer revolution struck Detroit, it seems a microbrewery-brewpub has sprouted in every cool building in need of rehab. Unfortunately, not many are attempting to make a quality lager, and even fewer are pulling it off. That's why Detroit Beer Co.'s Detroit Lager is such a find. Made in the Bohemian Pilsner style, it smells of fresh grain and long grasses and has a rich, bready malt base ideally balanced by spicy Saaz hops. Not feeling like a trek downtown? Look for it in bottles at your favorite better beer store.
No serious cook's kitchen is without an iconic Kitchen Aid stand mixer, often a hand-me-down from a mother or grandmother. They seem to last forever. Unless you have the time and the inclination to knead bread dough by hand — it's a heck of a good workout — this is a must-have. The powerful motor and the correct beaters make short work of creaming, mixing and whipping. Additionally, there are attachments for sausage-making and other tools available for a variety of kitchen tasks. This is an essential tool.