Tuesday, November 27, 2012

[NEWS BITES] Valentine goes beyond vodka; let's all hit the hospital for dinner; major changes at Hour Detroit; more

The Valentine Distillery will be releasing their new Liberator Gin in just a few weeks and will also be releasing a whiskey in early 2013. The name "Liberator" is in keeping with the the company's all-Michigan, vintage branding: the Liberator B-24 bomber was made at the Willow Run plant in Ypsilanti during WWII, and owner Rifino Valentine even has an old Liberator propeller that will soon be going up in the tasting room to celebrate the new launch. The gin and whiskey are currently available in the tasting room only and join the label's signature vodka, which was recently awarded 94 points by Anthony Dias Blue, editor-in-chief of The Tasting Panel magazine (in addition to all the other awards it has racked up in the last three years), as well as the newer White Blossom elderflower vodka.

Pete's Place in Ferndale served its last dinners on Sunday evening. News media hasn't been able to shed any light on the reasons why, instead simply rehashing the announcement made on the website and Facebook page. At this time the reasons for the closure have not been made public, nor is it known if owner Pete has any plans on opening another restaurant in the future.

Pretty soon, we're all going to be hanging out at the hospital for dinner. The Root Restaurant is currently finalizing a deal with Henry Ford Hospital to serve their Michigan grass-fed burger and all house-made accoutrements in the cafeteria at the West Bloomfield location. The Root will be joining the ranks of Pizzeria Biga and Avalon International Breads, who both have satellite outlets within the Henry Ford Health System (Biga is also in West Bloomfield; Avalon is in Detroit). For several years now Henry Ford has been working hard to transform their food culture and bring healthier food to health care not just for patients but for all staff and visitors. They are aiming to be a leader in promoting local food systems (particularly at the West Bloomfield location, which recently hired a resident farmer, the well-respected Michelle Lutz, to grow organic produce in its greenhouse).

In major media news, powerhouse editor Rebecca Powers has left Hour Detroit after 14 years. She has not shared her reasons for leaving or her future plans with media members or former staff. The speculation happening in my head is running RAMPANT. Also, Rebecca, should you happen to read this, take me with you! Stay in touch! Good luck! You are amazing! I'm not worthy!