You should know about American Harvest Restaurant, a full-service fine dining operation run by the culinary arts students at Schoolcraft College, because it offers the best deal in town for truly exceptional fancy eating. This month, the increasingly estimable cooking school will stage a gala fundraiser to support its programs. For $150, you can chow on an 11-course meal including such chomps as lobster bratwurst, cherrywood-smoked Berkshire hog loin, Peking duck breast with pomegranate molasses, assorted sushi, soft-shell crab with Gruyère and a few pounds more. After the dessert buffet, there'll be an auction grand prize, a $5,000 gift certificate toward the price of a 2007 Jaguar SK convertible. What's the sticker? If you have to ask. ... 734-462-4400, ext. 5008.
Anyone who knows about celiac disease, which can turn anything made with wheat or gluten into an agonizing, gut-busting experience for the sufferer, knows that "good food" and celiac aren't practical partners. Usually. But chef-owner Andrew Doyle, whose dad nearly died of the disease, is working hard to prove that wrong. Check out the menu, the takeout meals and the innovative craft that went into them, at Doyle's recently opened Bel Cibo Marketplace in Clawson. Besides the ready-to-eats, catering and cooking classes offered at this unusual outfit, Doyle also stocks a full line of retail groceries, herbs and produce with a special eye on stuff for the celiac customer. 1-888-568-5464.
Eat The Page
Bright, full of fascinating information, sublime photography and easily accomplished recipes, Eat Caribbean ($22, Simon & Schuster) by Virginia Burke, might at first glance be dismissed as a thinly veiled promotion piece. The author is marketing director for Walkerswood Caribbean Foods, whose products are pimped in the pages. But she's also a native Jamaican who clearly knows the turf and loves it all. From recipes for authentic jerk to a tempting array of sweet and savory noshes and full meals, it's a worthy addition to your cookbook armory.
A Tasty Beverage
You can tip your hat and a whole lot of glasses to the spirit of New Orleans with Big Easy Cocktails (Ten Speed, $15.95) by Jimmy Bannos and John DeMers. It opens, fittingly, with the most notorious of all tourist favorites, the Hurricane: Combine 1-1/2 ounces cranberry juice; 1-1/4 ounces each of orange and pineapple juices; 3/4 ounce of sour mix; 1/2 ounce each of Bacardi Light, Select, Limón and spiced rums; and 1/4 ounce of Bacardi 151. Shake with ice, pour into a tall glass and garnish with a cherry and orange slice.
Get a pizza stone and pick up a peel that wood paddle you've seen used at the corner pizzeria for years. You can find both for less than $20 (ignore the high-end stores and catalogs; go online or to a restaurant supply house). Heat the stone for at least a half-hour before using the peel, then slide in and take out your own pie, one that cooled during delivery or even frozen pizza. The crust crisps in ways you just can't get on a cookie sheet or oven rack.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org