FRENCH FINISH — At Josephine Creperie and Bistro, every month ends with a special fixed-price, five-course meal. This week, starting May 27, the themed meal will celebrate the food of Provence, with courses of fresh mussels in a fennel-Pernod cream broth, fresh fruit sorbet and salad Nicoise, and such entrées as braised lamb shank, chicken capilotade, and campanelle pasta. It's priced at a reasonable $30 per person (tax, tip, drinks extra); reservations recommended; at 241 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-399-1366; josephinebistro.com.
MARKET VALUES — Eastern Market's big flower sale heralded the start of a busy market season. As the weather warms and community farmers' markets start cropping up again, we'd like to know what your favorites are. Send us a description of your favorite weekly market and why you like it, at mjackman@ metrotimes.com.
EAT THE PAGE
Patrick and Gina Neely are easily the most charismatic hosts on the Food Network, exuding Southern charm. Many of the dishes in their book, Down Home with the Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook (Knopf $27.95), are served at their Neely's Bar-B-Ques in Memphis and Nashville, as well as at home when feeding their friends and large extended family, whose recipes have been passed down by generations, including Gina's Collards and Nana's Southern Gumbo, backed up with Sock-It-To-Me Cake.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
There are dozens of vodka brands on liquor store and bar shelves to choose from. So why not go with the local one, especially when it's as smooth and crisp as Michigan's own Valentine Vodka. The base is a blend of barley, Michigan red wheat and locally grown corn that is triple distilled in copper pots one batch at a time. The result is a clean vodka with mild flavor just right for a stiff cocktail or taken straight and ice cold with a plate of whitefish pâté.
The good people at OXO, makers of ergonomic kitchen tools, have done it again. Their Good Grips Hand-Held Mandoline can slice cabbage for cole slaw, potatoes for a casserole, or fruit for a summer dessert. It works by sliding the food over a stainless steel blade, with a soft knob that enables you to adjust the slices to three different thicknesses. A window shows slices accumulating below and a food holder protects hands and covers the blade when not in use. This dishwasher-safe time-saver costs only about $20.
Know of a wine dinner, pub crawl or food event worth sharing? Send it two weeks in advance to: Food Stuff, Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 or e-mail