Category Archives: dining

Ann Arbor Vegan Meetup at Zingerman’s Road House

Ann Arbor Food

Smoked Potato and Avocado Soup: Tomatillo and Avocado broth w/smoked potatoes

Today was my first day eating completely vegan. I have been looking into going Mostly Vegan for a while and when I found Ann Arbor’s vegan meetup group was hosting an all vegan meal at Zingerman’s Road House, I jumped at the chance.

The meal was great. The soup was rich and satifying. And the beans and rice were excellent, smokey and flavorful with local shiitake mushrooms.

Ann Arbor Vegan Meetup host dinners out once a month to a local restaurant.

Ann Arbor Food

Chef Alex of Zingerman’s Road House visits the Dining Room

Chef Alex came out before the meal and talk to us about the menu offerings. Many items came directly from the restaurant’s garden. You can’t beat that. I can eat like this everyday.

Alex said something that really stood out. He said that he had wanted to cook an all vegan meal for some time, but until now there was never a group large enough to do it.

Most restaurants will not go out on a lim to offer many vegan choices because the number (dinner tickets) are not there to make it worth while.

With that said, chef are a creative lot and many would jump at the chance to challenge themselves to export vegan. Showing up with 60-70 vegan dinners ready to eat might be the best strategy to get a great vegan meal from an award winning chef.

So here is what we had. (Soup or salad, choice of entree and dessert $25)

Ann Arbor Food

Pickled Watermelon Salad w/ arugula

Ann Arbor Food

Roasted Squash-Eggplant Crispy Lasagna w/ roasted tomato gravy (Entree one)

Ann Arbor Food

Quinau Pilau w/Curried Squash Slaw (Entree two)

Ann Arbor Food

Sea Island Peas and Dirty Mushroom Rice (Entree Three)

Ann Arbor Food

Chocolate Beet Cake w/Fresh Berries

Advertisements

Sava Restaurant Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor Food

Cappellini Marlon (pasta w/lobster, shrimp in saffron cream sauce

This is my second time going to Sava in Ann Arbor. They have a mixed menu of pub food, standards like steak and fish, pasta and Italian, and Mexican.

That seems all over the map, but everything I have had there has been good.

Ann Arbor Food

Fish and Chips (Icelandic cod beer battered)

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Marlin special

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Filet Mignon Steak with potato and asparagus

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Enchiladas

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Creme Brulee

Project Grow Potluck Plus Michigan Hen of the Woods/Maitake Mushrooms

Ann Arbor Food Here is the meal from my Project Grow Potluck. It was at the Leslie Science Center, and held once a month. The meal is always good because we are all gardeners and that means that we use fresh veggies from our garden.

Long time gardeners usually figure out something good to do with their veggies out of necessity. I had a ton-o-yellow summer squash and use this opportunity to unload it on others.

I made a simple squash curry, which worked well with the mushroom rice someone brought.

There is a wild mushroom class in town that I wanted to take, but I forgot about it and missed out. It is only offered once a year, but someone at the potluck, scored a freezer full of The Hen of the Woods – Grifola frondosa – Maitake. He gave me a huge mushroom. I have pictures below, but Please Note: Never eat mushrooms in the wild unless you are a 100% sure what they are. Kind of, or mostly sure does not cut it in the world of wild mushroom eating.

 

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Brian’s “Unload your extra summer squash on your friends at a potluck” recipe:

Ingredients

All of the zucchini and yellow squash in your house/garden (or 5-15 medium size squash or more)

1 onion, medium dice

1 red pepper, medium dice

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 Tbsp of olive or veggie oil

1 pint of heavy cream or a can of coconut milk

Juice of 2 limes

1 Tbsp curry powder (or more to taste)

1 tsp of smoked paprika (optional)

Fresh Basil, cilantro, or parsley to garnish

salt and pepper to taste.

Half and seed the summer squash. If using huge zucchini, use only about a half inch from the skin, leaving the seeds for the compost. Cut the squash into half inch cubes, or about. You should have a big bowl of squash. In a saute pan, heat the oil. Add the onion and cooks for a few minutes. Add the pepper and cook for a few minutes more. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Depending if your pan is big enough to fit the squash, add the squash and the rest of the ingredients, cover and saute till the squash is tender, but not soggy.

If you have too much squash, transfer the onion, peppers, and garlic in a large baking pan. Add the squash, the cream or coconut milk, the curry powder,paprika and lime juice. Put foil over the pan and roast on high, 350-400, till the squash is tender.

Add salt and pepper and garnish with fresh chopped basil.


Bona Sera Secret Supper Club: Night of a 1000 Drag Queens

Ann Arbor Food For those not in the know, secret supper clubs are underground restaurant/catered events that operate in secret. The reason for the secrecy is because they usually are run out of a home kitchen that is not certified. This makes it technically illegal to charge for the meal. The way around this is to have a charity sponsor the meal and ask for a “donation.”

This makes it a fund raising event/meeting, which at least in the state of Michigan, makes it possible to serve a home cooked meal/bake goods for a donation. I am not completely sure how this all works, so to be safe and to make sure these dinners are not shut down, they are held in secret.

With this said, since Bona Sera is a secret supper club, and the people involved are sworn to keep their secret, I can not confirm or deny any of the people present, the location, or anything else about the latest Bona Sera Dinner event.

The Secret Menu?

Assorted Apps:
Herb Tomato Focaccia

Ann Arbor Food

Mushroom Focaccia

Ann Arbor Food

Corn “Ho” cakes with goat cheese and zebra tomato

Ann Arbor Food

Grilled plantain with chevre and chive

Ann Arbor Food

Assorted Sushi

Ann Arbor Food

Grilled cooked clams with lime brown butter

Ann Arbor Food

First Course

Popsicle Melone con Frutta Fresca (Melon Popsicle with Fresh Fruit)

Ann Arbor Food

Second Course

Anima Sacra Ravioli with Lobster Prosecco Beurre Blanc

(Sacred Heart Ravioli with Lobster Prosecco Butter Sauce)

Ann Arbor Food

Third Course

Molte Pieghe Naked Fichi con Formaggio di Capra

(Naked Figs with Goat Cheese)

Ann Arbor Food

Fourth Course

Rapporti di Maiale con Melone Gazpacho

(Intercourse of Pork with Melon Gazpacho)

Ann Arbor Food

Main Course

Your Choice of:

1. Parmigiano Cotta della Melanzana

(Grilled Eggplant Parmesan)

2. Roquefort del Manzo con le Noci

(Beef Roquefort with Walnuts)

Ann Arbor Food

3.  Pesci Bianchi l’avocado ed il Gambero l’avocado ed il Gambero

(White Fish with Cream, Avocado and Shrimp)

Ann Arbor Food

Dessert

Chocolate Orgasm Torte with a Zabaglione Stonefruit

Ann Arbor Food

Breakfast at Selma: Good Eats and Nice Company

Ann Arbor Food I had been meaning to get to a breakfast at Selma for a few week, but I always get up late. Breakfast at Selma are from 6:30-10:00am, and  located at 722 Soule Blvd in the home of Jeff McCage and Lisa Gottlieb. The meals are sponsored through an association with the non-profit organization, Slow Food  Huron Valley, which make it possible to offer home cooked food in their home for a donation.

According to their website:

SELMA is the Soule-Eberwhite-Liberty-Madison-Affiliation. Friday Mornings @ SELMA is a local-foods breakfast salon, offering a gathering place of friends and community that imagine a new, growing, vital, regional food economy – every Friday morning on the Westside of Ann Arbor.

When you get there, you will see an abundant garden in the front yard with gnomes,flowers, herbs, tomatoes and a worm compost bin. When you get in the door you are welcomed and ask to sign in and grab a name tag from the ones hanging on the board. There was not one for Brian, so I made a new one.

There are a few rooms to sit. There is a large island in the kitchen like a dine counter, a dinning room with a long table and a few rooms and corners of the house with assorted lounge chairs and couches. The place was full when I arrive at 9:30am with 30-40 people.

Seating was limited and communal. You can expect to sit with other people, no table by yourself stuff. I was seated at a table with two nice students from U of M. They were fun and I enjoy our conversation. I really enjoyed the community aspect of Selma. It sure beat going to a diner alone and staring into my coffee cup all meal.

On the menu was an eggs benedict, eggs with tomato with a salmon hollandaise sauce, pancakes with a fresh peach sauce, and a french toast with homemade sausage, and a yogurt parfait. I had the eggs which was a tough choice because they all looked great. Next time, I will have to come with a few people so we can all share. The sauce for the eggs was rich, tangy with a great balance of smoke salmon flavor. There was a coffee and tea self serve table, which I assume was part of the meal, but I did not have any. The cost was a suggested donation of $10-15. There were cups on the table to put your money.

It felt more like a breakfast party more than a diner, which was nice. I walk around the backyard a little to visit the chickens. In the front yard, I noticed some beefsteak leaves also known as shiso in japanese cooking. The plant hand gone to seed and I was excited to ask Jeff if I could have some to use for a batch of fragrant sauerkraut. He said sure, take as much as you want.

Beef Steak (Shiso) Plant

Ann Arbor Food

Pancakes with peach sauce and home made sausage

Ann Arbor Food

The Selma Chickens

Ann Arbor Food

Stocking up on Chili Sauce

Ann Arbor Food

The Counter

 

Front yard tool shed

Ann Arbor Food

Selma Cafe: Charity Dinner by Tammy’s Tastings

Another great meal, created and hosted by Tammy Coxen of Tammys Tastings. This meal was to support the Selma Cafe which hosts friday morning meals. Also in attendance was the creators of the  Bona Sera Secret Supper Club. So many local foodies in one place.

My first batch of pea shoot, microgreens were ready, and I brought them along for people to try. Tammy included them with her first course, a mushroom tart. The pea shoots provided a fresh, sweet balance to the richness of the tart. The microgreens were a hit. Jeff McCabe, one of the creators of Selma Cafe who is also hosting the Home Grown Festival, offered me a table at the festival to sample and promote my microgreens. Hope to see you there. The event is in two weeks and he says that there could be 3000 people in attendance. I thought about my microgreen mini farm that currently consists of eight trays in my backyard and realized I have to get a lot more trays going to prepare for this event.

The Meal: It was all great. Big stand outs were the mushroom tarts, the carrot soup with Iranian pistachios, the lamb chop, and the Panna Cotta with peaches, which left us all speechless.

Yellow Oyster Mushrooms Tart (w/pea shoot microgreens)

Ann Arbor Food

Heirloom Tomato Napoleon w/basil oil and fresh mozzarella

Ann Arbor Food

Carrot Soup w/Iranian pistachios, hazelnut oil, maple syrup and chives

Ann Arbor Food

Salad w/roasted fennel and beets

Ann Arbor Food

Confit Byaldi w/lake trout, w/ herb oil

Ann Arbor Food

Lamb Rib Chop w/cassoulet of summer beans

Ann Arbor Food

Cheese Plate w/raw honey, marinated raisins, and preserves

Ann Arbor Food

Panna Cotta w/poached peaches and balsamic vinegar

Ann Arbor Food

Petit Fours

Ann Arbor Food


Tammy’s Tastings: Dining for Charity in Ann Arbor

I just attended a great dinner party hosted by Tammy Coxens of Tammy’s Tastings. The party was created as an intimate dinner party fundraiser to benefit the non-profit organization, Growing Hope.  There were only eight guests at the party who were seated around the table in Tammy’s house. The cost was a fifty dollar minimum donation, but you can donate more if you wish. All of the proceeds after the cost of food will be donated to Growing Hope.

The meal was incredible. The menu and pictures of each of the nine courses are below. Tammy cooks with fresh local ingredients gathered from farmers market, the gardens located at her co-housing development. She uses locally sourced cheese and dairy and even herbs growing in front of her house. Each dish perfectly complimented the next. Tammy introduced each item which added a nice touch to the event. I felt like one of the honored foodie guest we see on those Top Chef shows.

For those who drink, there was a bring your own wine policy. Many people brought a bottle. I am not a drinker, but several other guest freely shared their wine. The meal was very casual. There was a break halfway through the meal and several of us took a tour throw the co-housing developments gardens. This meal was a wonderful dining experience with food on par to an upscale restaurant, or even better. I prefer this casual dinner party setting than a busy restaurant any day. The idea of hosting charity dinner parties is a gem. I hope gatherings like Tammy’s Tastings becomes a growing trend in the local food movement across the country.

The Menu:

Cauliflower Panna Cotta w/Salmon Roe

Ann Arbor Food

Sauteed Squash w/ Blossoms

Ann Arbor Food

Corn Soup w/Bacon

Ann Arbor Food

Salad of Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella: with 40 year old balsamic vinaigrette and basil oil

Ann Arbor Food

Salmon-Dill-Potato Pancakes: with mix salad greens and edible flowers

Ann Arbor Food

Pork Tenderloin w/Tomato-Peach Compote and Collard Greens

Ann Arbor Food

Cheese Course: Aged Goat Cheese, Gouda, Gorgonzola: with raw cream honey, blueberries, marinaded raisins and a spicy orange compote

Ann Arbor Food

Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake w/ Beet Ice Cream

Ann Arbor Food

Petit Fours: Blueberry Pate de Fruit (jelly candy) and Yuzu Truffle

Ann Arbor Food