State and Vine — Last month saw the opening of Vinology, a new wine bar and restaurant in Ann Arbor. Though we haven't sampled the fare at the lunch and dinner spot, we've seen the photos, and the interior design looks quite unusual. Diners (and tipplers) can expect exposed brick, wood floors, a stainless tin ceiling and the "Bubble Room" — which sports a ceiling of glass bulbs designed to reflect the soft light of tabletop candles. Hours are 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. At 110 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-9841.

Feeling dippy — On Wednesday, June 7, another link in a chain that dubs itself "the country's premier fondue restaurant franchise" is slated to open in Novi. The Melting Pot is "a dinner-only restaurant serving full, four-course fondue meals featuring creamy cheese fondue, full entrées and chocolate fondue dessert." Clearly, the operators feel that metro Detroit has a fondness for fondue: The restaurant will encompass more than 6,000 square feet, and will offer seating for more than 175 guests. There will be an upscale-casual dining room, a secluded romantic seating area, a full-service bar and a glass-enclosed wine room supporting a 140-plus-bottle wine list. Reservations recommended. At 26425 Novi Rd., Novi; 248-347-6358.


Eat the Page

For Real Men Charities, the definition of a "Real Man" is one who contributes positively to children, family unity and communities. The national charity celebrates Father's Day every year with fundraisers in several cities, where volunteers and their children gather to cook and to serve their favorite recipes. Those recipes are now available in the volume Real Men Cook, by K. Kofi Moyo (Simon & Schuster, $16). The dishes, especially shrimp and crawfish etoufée, look mighty good. Unfortunately, it seems that, unless some "real men" step up, Real Men will not be cooking in Detroit this year.

Slurp On This

At, you'll find a Web site devoted to all sorts of information about pomegranates, but with an emphasis on Pom Wonderful, a 100 percent pomegranate juice dubbed "The Antioxidant Superpower." If the health benefits are anywhere near as powerful as they are purported to be, this could be the elixir we have been awaiting. Furthermore, its taste refutes the adage that, "anything that tastes this good must be fattening." Health information from medical journals extols the benefits of Pom. Recipes for pomegranate arils (the red seeds) abound.

It Works

If you are making your first attempt to cut up a mango, you'll likely wish you hadn't without some instruction from someone who knows how to do it. Not that it's that difficult, but knowing how to do it correctly sure helps — until now, that is. The mango splitter is said to simplify the process by removing the two sides of the fruit in one fell swoop. After that, you can cut the flesh with a 3/4-inch-square crosshatch pattern (without cutting through the skin). Then press the center of the skin, creating a convex pattern of squares of fruit — which can easily be cut off with a paring knife.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send comments to [email protected]

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