A Good Start!

February 26, 2015 | The Jewish News

One- or two-year restaurant anniversaries are usually good barometers of things to come for their smart owners and operators … It may prove that many of the usual kinks have been removed and that any stormy times might have ended … That milder weather in their operations is finally ahead! Such is the case for two eateries that have wisely done much to provide hoped-for longevity. Bistro 82 at Lafayette and Fourth, Royal Oak, feting anniversary No. 1 … and Bella Piatti, on Townsend, Birmingham, celebrating anniversary No. 2 … have both made wonderful achievements in their main purposes … Each has done much in preparing for long runs in the restaurant business. Aaron F. Belen, owner of Bistro 82, likes to use his middle initial although many folks still call him Andy … He is just in his early 30s and answers many queries by saying that “82” was the year he was born and a great year for French Bordeaux wine … And that the bistro’s second-floor Sabrage Lounge was named after a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a saber used for ceremonial occasions. He is the son of Lisa Fenkell, Birmingham, and Dr. Steven Belen, West Bloomfield, and the grandson of the late Morrie Fenkell … His director of operations of their AFB Hospitality Group, Scott Sadoff, is the son of Beth and Edward Sadoff of West Bloomfield. Executive Chef Derik Watson’s excellent fine dining track record is from his widerange culinary expertise that includes the influences of French dining. Bella Piatti in Birmingham, celebrating anniversary No. 2, is owned by Liz and Nino Cutraro who have loads of restaurant experience (Taboo, Metropolitan Music Cafe, Ultimate Sports Bar, Intermezzo Italian Ristorante, Amici’s Italian Village, Luigi’s Trattoria, etc.) … Their fervor and expertise are much appreciated by the many customers their restaurant has attracted in just a short existence. Liz and Nino’s restaurant knowhow is a huge plus in that it provides answers to the sometimes usual firstand second-year problems… Whatever issues that may have arisen in the early days of Bella Piatti have, no doubt, been obliterated. Their wonderful Venetianborn Executive Chef Francesco Apollonia is likewise imbued with fine dining experience and also back in the early 1990s was owner of his own Italian cooking school … He is a whiz at Bella Piatti’s Italian cuisine, adding touches of his own Venetian styling to many favorites … And Operations Manager Kevin Mazziotta is known as having few equals to his very fine talents in assisting Liz and Nino in their wonderful dining offerings at Bella Piatti. Ah, the wilderness of the opening year! … How lovely the road ahead may look for restaurants celebrating their first and second anniversaries. THE WINDOW NOTE calls for “Proper Attire” … At least it is every other Sunday for brunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at La Dolce Vita, Woodward, Detroit … That’s when most of the servers and some other employees come to work wearing pajamas … Sounds like something keeping in tune with a Sunday brunch … During the warm weather, we’re told, many customers also come in pjs. QUESTION & ANSWER DEPT. … “When I was a little girl in the ’60s, we used to go Downtown for High Holiday services held at the Veterans Memorial Building and then sometimes go to Lafayette for a Coney dog and chocolate cream pie. The owners would be standing outside or behind their big windows where they made the dogs, waving to us to go to their restaurant. “There were three Coney restaurants in a row on Lafayette. The American and the Lafayette. I’m trying to find out the name of the third one next to them. I’ve called the Detroit Historical Society, and they didn’t know after searching for 20 minutes. I called the restaurants, and they didn’t know either. I’m on a mission to find out that third Coney Island name. Do you know it?” … Doreen Bernstein. (Yes, it was the Senate Coney Island, also owned by the two brothers who owned American and Lafayette Coney Islands next door, Gus and Bill Keros.) EVERY DAY SEEMS to add to its fastgrowing reputation as probably the premiere headquarters for sugar-free goodies in this region … And it is welcomed with open arms by those in combat against the use of too much sugar. Chocoholics and the health-conscious will go gaga over the newest biggie feature by American Bulk Food in the West Bloomfield Plaza, Orchard Lake Road, between 14 and 15 Mile Roads. It will soon also have a complete section devoted strictly to sugar-free chocolate items … available by the piece or by the pound … The awaited separate sugar-free chocolate display will include giant turtles with chocolate and caramel, large clusters of caramel with almonds or pecans or macadamia nuts, truffle bars, chocolate-dipped pretzels, cherry cordials, melt-aways (chocolate and mint), etc. The mouth-watering sugar-free chocolates will be on display … and for sale at American Bulk Food beginning Tuesday, March 10. OLDIE BUT GOODIE DEPT. … The prosecuting attorney called an elderly woman to the stand and asked, “Do you know me?” She said, “Yes, I’ve known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie. You manipulate people and talk behind their backs. You think you’re a big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you!” The lawyer was stunned. He pointed across the room and asked, “Do you know the defense attorney?” She again replied, “Yes, I’ve known him since he was a youngster, too. I used to babysit him. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He’s lazy, narrow-minded and has a drinking problem. He can’t build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him!” The judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both lawyers to the bench. In a quiet voice, he said menacingly, “If either of you asks her if she knows me, you’ll be jailed for contempt!” CONGRATS … To Michelle Sheridan on her birthday … To Melvin “Mel” and Sybil Markowitz on their 17th anniversary. ■ Danny’s email is dannyraskin@sbcglobal.net.

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