Black wines? — The wine aficionados at Ann Arbor's Vinology had so much interest in their Oct. 27 black wine event they added a second date on Thursday. The theme is, naturally "black," with black glasses, food, clothes and decoration. It happens 7-9:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at 110 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-9841; reservations required; $50 per person plus tax and tip.
Majestic makeover — The Majestic Café has completed its 3-month renovation, sporting a new lounge feel and a revamped menu. There's even a new stage for live music, and the new menu has all the old classics plus affordable comfort food from around the globe. The weekend brunch is still on, and the emphasis on food prepared in-house with a focus on local products still stands. Taste the difference, at 4124 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.
Joy, Joy — The quirky, colorful and affordable art of Gwen Joy will be on sale this coming week at Motor City Brewing Works. The ongoing Wednesday night series, This Week in Art, offers a chance to buy work from Joy and to sample the joys of Motor City's seasonal brews. It starts around 7 p.m. on Nov. 4, at 470 W. Canfield, Detroit; 313-832-2700.
The latest testament to the food that generations of Cajuns have relished, Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana (Clarkson Potter, $35) is a book by Chef Link, owner of restaurants Herbsaint and Cochon. He grew up eating and cooking the bountiful foods of the region; shrimp, crab, crawfish and other indigenous seafood; and fresh-picked vegetables. If the cover image of seafood gumbo doesn't make you salivate, you need glasses.
Cocktail aficionados rejoice! Carpano Antica sweet red vermouth is finally available in Michigan. With a luxurious depth of floral and herbal flavors, this world-class velvety aperitif transforms your everyday Manhattan into a work of cocktail art. Made from an original recipe by Antonio Benedetto Carpano, the inventor of modern vermouth in 18th Century Turin, Italy, a one liter bottle is well worth its reasonably higher cost. Ask your local, quality beverage retailer to stock it now.
Sure, you can peel ginger with a knife, but be cool and peel it with the real thing, an OXO Good Grips ginger peeler. The ergonomic grip makes the process easier. It's simple to use: The pointed tip of the stainless steel blade slips easily under the skin leaving just the tangy, moist center, now a cinch to grate or slice. (A cook's tip: Squeeze the pulp through a strainer, and add the resulting juice to a sauce or a flavored martini.) It's even dishwasher-safe. How about that?