Corner of Main and Liberty to Lose A Landmark

Parthenon InteriorParthenon Interior

Several local restaurants have recently joined the ever-expanding list of Ann Arbor's Lost Eateries. Champion House closed suddenly last week, as did Old Country Buffet over the weekend. But I was particularly saddened to hear that the Parthenon Restaurant, which has stood on the corner of Main and Liberty Streets since John and Steve Gavas opened in 1975, will be closing its doors. Later this year Cafe Habana, formerly located on East Washington, will be moving into 226 North Main.

The Parthenon has command of possibly the best-known intersection in town, located on the same corner as Cunningham's Drugs and Mack & Co. a generation earlier.

We found some articles, a photo, and restaurant reviews on the Parthenon in our Ann Arbor News clipping file and have digitized them here for you to savor. While you're at it, you can also read about the Flim Flam Restaurant, which recently closed its doors after 30 years in business. Don't miss the Flim Flam's recipe for their famous eclair!

Find a Recipe on Ann Arbor Cooks

Looking for ways to expand your culinary experience? Check out Ann Arbor Cooks, an online collection of heirloom recipes and cookbooks from Ann Arbor area community organizations, churches, and businesses. Browse or search recipes, or view cookbooks in their entirety. The robust database includes access to Repast, the acclaimed culinary history magazine.

This neophyte cook particularly enjoyed Mother's Roast Chicken recipe, a simple yet delightful dish from the fully searchable and browsable cookbook, Like Mama Used to Make. Or, if you want to try something quite out of the ordinary, check out these beverage recipes from the The Every-Day Cook-Book and Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes for Family Use.

To access the Ann Arbor Cooks database, you can always go to the research page and select the Ann Arbor Cooks from the Ann Arbor category.

At Elizabeth David's Table: Classic Recipes and Timeless Kitchen Wisdom

Elizabeth David

Elizabeth David, the British food writer and cookery expert, awakened the food tastes of post-war Britain, in much the same way that Julia Child did for American cooks and eaters: through extoling the foods and traditions of France and Italy, and bringing the light and warmth of Mediterranean cooking to an audience ready to be charmed and won over by new ingredients and delectable and daring food experiences. She never achieved the international celebrity status of Julia, with no TV show or cookbook ‘bible’ to her credit, but her food columns and cookbooks, published from the 1940s to the 1980s, were immensely popular on the other side of the pond and deserve a much wider appreciation here.

Raised in Britain between the world wars, in the kind of traditional, upper-class home where the cook planned and prepared the meals, the butler served them and the scullery maid cleaned them up, her early memories of eating were grim, especially in school. When she was 16, she lived with a family in France and studied at the Sorbonne. Her experience of food and eating was so dramatically transformed that she spent the rest of her life on the trail of adventures with food. Living in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India, she absorbed the foodways of multiple cultures and wrote vivid, tantalizing and slightly acerbic essays about them for publications back in Britain, where they were eagerly received. There followed numerous cookbooks and a cookery shop in London.

At Elizabeth David’s Table is an extremely tasteful sampling of recipes from her previous books, as well as some of her essays from various food magazines, all presented in a handsome new format with beautiful photographs. The title of the book says it all - it is classic and timeless and highly recommended. With a saucepan in one hand and a pen in the other, she loved nothing better than experimenting with recipes, enertaining her friends with simple but excellent meals and wine, and writing tales - at her kitchen table - of her many adventures abroad. She went beyond being a flawless cook and memorable writer. Her mastery of 'the good life’ shines through all her work.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #302

Just about now - as the days get shorter and the temperature dips below freezing, my reading drifts toward the upbeat and heartwarming, and I am glad to have found Angelina's Bachelors : a novel, with food *.

Angelina D'Angelo's Frangelico Chocolate Dream Cake (recipe included) is to die for and unfortunately her husband Frank did just that. Grieving and listless, she turns to her one passion - cooking. To make ends meet, she gathers the hungry bachelors in the neighborhood and offers to feed them. Apart from the out-of-this-world meals she painstakingly prepared daily, each of them comes to find community and riches far beyond his/her expectations.

Angelina marks the fiction debut for cookbook author and TV cooking-show producer Brian O'Reilly whose "keen ear for the neighborhood (South Philly) swells lends a charming, timeless quality to the tale."

And the recipes by Virginia O'Reilly... they are fabulous. The O'Reillys are no strangers when it comes to food and cooking. Between them, they have published two cookbooks (Mission: Cook!: My Life, My Recipes, and Making the Impossible Easy, and Impossible to Easy: 111 Delicious Recipes to Help You Put Great Meals on the Table Every Day), with Robert Irvine, the star of the Foodnetwork television program they produced, called Dinner Impossible.

Unlike recipes in other novels, these are neither cute nor cheeky. They are gourmand-serious and kitchen-tested. I have ordered my own copy of the book so I could try out the Stracotto (Italian Pot Roast) this holiday season.

* = starred review

Small Dishes With Chef Brendan McCall of Mani Osteria

Join Chef Brendan McCall of Ann Arbor's Mani Osteria on Thursday, December 8, 2011, 7:00 pm ~ 8:30 pm at the Traverwood Branch and learn the secrets of small dishes that pack big flavor and flair. Whether you're preparing for a holiday crowd or an intimate dinner, Chef Brendan's recipes are designed to make cooking fun and flexible with local, seasonal ingredients. Some of the restaurant's most popular dishes are sure to be showcased.

Mani Osteria is independently owned and family friendly, specializing in artisanal pizzas and other creative Italian dishes prepared in wood-burning ovens. The restaurant shares a passion for keeping things simple...using high quality, often locally sourced ingredients.

The name MANI, means 'hands' or 'hand-made' in Italian. An Osteria is an Italian eatery much like a tavern that emphasizes local ingredients, small production wines, and hospitality.

This event is presented in conjunction with Ann Arbor Cooks ( Ann Arbor District Library's online collection of heirloom recipes and cookbooks from Ann Arbor area organizations.

Season 4 Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard Discusses Her New Book "Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats And Drinks"

Monday December 12, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Love to cook? Enjoy a good meal? Arrive early to this special event as Season 4 Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard returns to AADL with cooking tips and copies of her new book "Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats And Drinks." This event includes a book-signing and books will be on sale at the event (a perfect gift for the Holidays!).

Stephanie Izard knows how to inspire, captivate, and cook up a storm. Fan favorite and the first and only woman to win on TV's Top Chef, she is also the chef and owner of the acclaimed Girl & The Goat restaurant in Chicago. Join us as she discusses her life and her new book.

Do not miss this deliciously amazing event as Stephanie Izard returns to the Library! The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library.

Things We Love: Food and Television

It is that time of year when we begin thinking about food just a bit too much, and plan meals and treats that would be perfect for such and such occasion. Why not celebrate food a little further with some quality cooking shows on DVD! They are ever-entrancing and sure to have you grabbing snacks from the kitchen as you watch.

Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations: Chef and author Anthony Bourdain travels the world sampling local foods and culture. His dry wit and honest opinion of food and culture keep this show lively.

Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie: Gourmet travels the world to serve you a feast of culinary trends, exotic ingredients, and food-obsessed personalities. Exploring the world through food never looked so yummy.

America’s Test Kitchen: In the most watched cooking show on public television, viewers can learn the secrets to foolproof home cooking along with no-nonsense reviews of kitchen equipment and supermarket ingredients.

Cook’s Country: Christopher Kimball and your favorite chefs from America's Test Kitchen turn their no-nonsense approach to cooking to the American repertoire, turning bad food into great food through careful testing. Set in a farmhouse of interesting characters, this show is a hoot.

Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home: Two of the world's most talented and engaging chefs, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, gather in Julia's famous kitchen to present the essence of great home cooking.

Oliver’s Twist: Chef Jamie Oliver shows us how to shop for the freshest, most flavorful ingredients and then it's back to his flat where he rustles up some tasty dishes for his friends. Jamie’s charisma and food knowledge make me want to bike down to the local bakery and buy some fancy breads after watching this show.

Chef! Famous chef Gareth Blackstock struggles with dividing time between wife Janice and the restaurant. It's a good thing he can let off steam with his remarks.

Now back away from the TV and go stir that sauce!

This Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of November 1 to November 7

November 1 National Cook For Your Pets Day

November 2 All Soul’s Day

November 3 The first animal was sent into space on this date in 1957: A female dog named Laika.

November 4 Egyptian Day of Love. Founded by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1977, the day is meant as an annual reminder for people to treat others with love and respect.

November 5 Guy Fawkes Night is traditionally celebrated with fireworks and a bonfire. Sounds fun!

November 6 Nachos Day

November 7 The New York Museum of Modern Art opened on this date in 1929.

Keep your mind off all the big holidays coming up by focusing on these. It's a productive form of procrastination.

This Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of October 23 to October 31

October 23 National Mother-in-Law Day

October 24 Get your tricks ready for International Magic Week beginning on the 25th and running to the 31st

October 25 On Sourest Day have yourself a drink of lemonade!

October 26 National Frankenstein Day

October 27 Cranky Coworkers Day

October 28 Bring Your Jack-O-Lantern to Work Day

October 29 National Cat Day

October 30 Haunted Refrigerator Day was inspired by Stephen King’s short story "The Mauler" in the Night Shift. The idea is for everyone to clean their crusty refrigerators before they take over the kitchen.

October 31 All Hallows’ Eve

Last Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of October 16 to October 22

October 16 Freedom From Bullies Week starting from the 16th to 22nd

October 17 Black Poetry Day

October 18 National Chocolate Cupcake Day

October 19 Mother Teresa Day

October 20 44th anniversary of the Patterson-Gimlin filming of Sasquatch

October 21 National Reptile Day

October 22 International Stuttering
Awareness Day

Celebrate each and every day, punctuality may or may not make a difference.

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