Bombs away! — You have to admit, karaoke, Japanese small plates, and sake bombs are a potent combination. Make them the center of a happy hour in one of Ann Arbor's newest hip eateries, and you have a sure thing. That's why, from 9 p.m. to midnight each Wednesday, Slurping Turtle is hosting Sake Bomb Wednesdays with Karaoke in the restaurant's Ringo Room. You'll be able to enjoy $4 sake bombs, among other drink specials; starting at 9:30 p.m., you'll be able to order small plates off the bar menu, including sushi, gyoza, hamachi tacos, baos, and duck fat fried chicken. It happens 9 p.m.-midnight every Wednesday at Slurping Turtle, 608 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-887-6868; slurpingturtle.com/annarbor.
Steak and blues — Another Wednesday night affair is Steak Night at PJ's Lager House — which is kind of weird, given how the bar's kitchen is known for its terrific meatless fare. But this is a good kind of weird, given that you can get a "damn good steak," a choice of potato, and either soup or salad for just $15. While you eat, you'll be able to groove to the acoustic blues of the Roll and Tumble duo. This deal takes place 6 p.m. to midnight Wednesdays until March 25, at 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; pjslagerhouse.com.
A new local — Milford's dining scene has a new spot, and it sounds in keeping with the recent demand for that local — and locally sourced — establishment that's proved popular in Ferndale and Corktown. It's called Village Bar and Kitchen, and the emphasis is on "gourmet American foods with local roots." The 4,500-square-foot space is decorated with such natural elements as brick, copper, stone, and reclaimed barn wood, Mason jar light fixtures, and a surprising absence of distracting flat screen TVs and loud music in the main dining area. (Patrons will find, however, four screens in the bar area.) It's all part of an effort to re-create an old-fashioned family dining experience. What's more, the joint's executive chef, Aaron Pegs, was trained by culinary celebrity Emeril Lagasse, and Pegs' menu includes such delicacies as chicken pimiento, black truffle hanger steak, and New England Lobster. The full bar emphasizes local beers, wine and liquor. Normal business hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, at 525 N. Main St., Milford; 248-529-3859; villagebarandkitchen.com.
Melt down — Barely 16 months after it opened, Melt, the ice cream, gelato, and coffee shop near the corner of Cass Avenue and Willis Street, has officially closed. It isn't easy to run a seasonal business like an ice cream parlor. The coffee might have helped even out sales, but Melt unfortunately faced competition from more than one coffee place within three blocks. While we're sad to see the place go, we also don't think it bodes ill for the old Cass Corridor, which has otherwise seen only openings over the last few years.
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