Growth of the soil — Angelina Italian Bistro will host a three-course Grown in Detroit dinner followed by a screening of the documentary film Grown in Detroit. A portion of proceeds will benefit Detroit's Catherine Ferguson Academy Farm. Starts at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, at 1565 Broadway, Detroit; 313-962-1355.
Ciao time — D'Amato's will host a five-course Southern Italian wine dinner, including such delights as duck carpaccio, ciopinno and sage-flavored pork sausage. It all happens at 7 p.m. Aug. 19, at 222 S. Sherman Dr., Royal Oak; 248-584-7400; reservations required; $60 plus tax and tip.
New slice — From the folks who brought you Clawson's Black Lotus Brewing Co.: Royal Oak's Pizzallica serves Chicago-style deep dish, L.A. thin-crust, and New York round. They deliver until 3 a.m. on weekends, and they even offer gluten-free crust. Drop in at 121 E. 13 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-733-1111.
Table Talk — Good news for those who love sharp things: Seattle-based kitchenware retailer Sur La Table has announced plans to open a new store at Troy's Somerset Collection this September, just in time for Christmas.
From Mediterranean meze to Italian antipasti to dim sum and Spanish tapas, small plates are the rage. In The Barcelona Cookbook: A Celebration of Food, Wine, and Life (Andrews and McMeel, $29.95), Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz share recipes for the vibrant dishes served at their Connecticut restaurants, which are known for the Spanish morsels that have made them so popular. Recipes include red sangria, Barcelona gazpacho, calamari stuffed with saffron rice, chorizo and shrimp, and, for dessert, delectable orange and almond cake.
About 20 pounds of apples are used in every bottle of Laird's Bottled in Bond Straight Apple Brandy. At 100 proof, this is no delicate fruit brandy made to sip with your pinkie finger in the air. Though the spirit retains the concentrated flavors and aromas of fresh fruit, it's quite bracing, with some hints of vanilla from being aged in oak. It is particularly well-employed in a classic Jack Rose cocktail with fresh lime juice and (preferably homemade) grenadine.
Although a local search will provide most, if not all, of the ingredients found in every Spanish recipe from tapas to paella, an armchair shopper can eliminate the trek, shopping at latienda.com, a one-stop resource for every imaginable authentic element. Unique sausages, cheeses, hams from Serrano and Iberico, and numerous varieties of paella rice, olive oil, tuna, nuts and olives are available with the click of a mouse. Round out the order with a paella pan and a cazuela, the terra cotta pan that can go into an oven or a microwave, as well as on a stovetop.