A West Side Story of Success

The Jewish News
Danny Raskin

Danny Raskin

The west side location had been brought to Joe Vicari’s attention by real estate gent Howard Schwartz … Joe’s friends Graham and Sally Orley and Dr. Leonard and Eleanor Aronovitz, among many others, told him that the former site of Machus Red Fox, on Telegraph and 15 Mile, Bloomfield Township, was a terrific location,

Joe was sold … and in July of 1997 opened his first Andiamo restaurant on the west side … following the flagship Andiamo Italia in Warren and another in Grosse Pointe.

In Andiamo Bloomfield’s first year, the Detroit Red Wings had won the Stanley Cup, and their owner Mike Ilitch brought the cup to Joe’s latest restaurant … also telling him what a wonderful location it was.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Andiamo Bloomfield has certainly come a long way from those Machus Red Fox days … The only things that may still remain are the four walls and perhaps a few ceiling beams … An unforgettable major renovation was performed by Joe … and, each year, various décor changes are made to continually give a look of total freshness.

Many of the dishes today reflect the goodness of Andiamo dining … Andiamo Bloomfield Executive Chef Bill Hall follows very capably in the exalted footsteps of Joe’s wonderful late corporate executive chef Aldo Ottaviani, whose masterful dishes will never be forgotten … They are in the very capable hands of Chef Hall who himself has created much talk with his uncanny food presentations at Andiamo West.

Among the striking dishes is its Roman Alfredo Pasta, which is prepared tableside like as served in Italy … A wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese … A mixed bevy of deliciousness includes shavings from the huge wheel … Another big favorite is the tableside-mixed Girarrosti Tagliata Piedmontese, a luscious char-grilled T-Bone steak mixed with peppercorns, garlic chips, fennel pollen, arugula and Grana Padano … Fine dining accolades among many are given, too, for the Pesce Pasticceria, a bestseller with prawns, mussels, lobster, tomatoes, lemon, garlic, vermouth, covered in pastry … finished tableside with Ligurian pesto.

In an overly-elegant setting, on its 20th anniversary, Andiamo Bloomfield presents dishes seldom if ever seen on other Italian menus … and is another asset of the wonderful goodness of Joe Vicari’s dining prowess in the presentation of Italian food and gracious serving.

MAIL DEPT. … From Matt Prentice … “While my job with Cass Community Services is feeding the poor and homeless of Detroit, I get to ‘play’ a little, too. Part of our recent Tiny Homes fundraiser was a mini progressive dinner that was attended by nearly 600 people. The food allowed me to teach my staff new things including Morel Mushroom Bisque, which is my favorite dish. My staff is largely made up of people who were once homeless and are ‘learning’ a trade that will always serve them well and allow them to be self-sufficient. The satisfaction this provides me is huge as I have always liked to give back and my position allows this to happen.

“Later this year or early next year, I will begin looking again at both restaurant and catering opportunities. I am currently living in Midtown and am rarely in the suburbs so am truly out of touch with the goings on except for the area around me, which is exploding with great restaurants that I try to check out as often as possible to keep in touch with the ‘food scene.’”

MANY WAITPERSONS WILL appreciate this gem that even gave owner Al Balooly, owner of former Topinka’s Country House on W. Seven Mile, Detroit, a laugh … The noisy diner was banging on the table with his silverware … “The service here is lousy,” he bellowed. “My glass is empty! What’ve I got to do to get some water around here?” … The old-time waitress kept her cool as she leaned over and whispered, “Why don’t you set yourself on fire?”

REMEMBERING WHEN … Dinners at Jim’s Garage on Larned and Washington Blvd. were named for cars, and waitpersons wore white mechanics’ jackets … If you wanted a steak, the order was for a Cadillac cooked in oil that was safe to consume … not used in the car.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … Nathan is talking to Abe, his personal attorney. “If you’re absolutely positively sure I’ll win the case, we’ll go ahead with it.”

“OK,” replies Abe. “I obviously need to know the facts.”

So Nathan goes into great detail about his failed partnership and says, “Now you’ve heard everything, do you think I can sue my partner and get my money back?”

“Well,” replies barrister Abe, “from what I’ve just heard, it’s clear to me that you will win. It’s rare to have such an easy open-and-shut case.”

Nathan gets very white when he hears this. “What’s the matter?” asks Abe.

“I told you my partner’s side of the case!” Nathan says.

CONGRATS … To Lorrie Isenberg on her birthday … To Kenneth “Kenny” Maier on his birthday.

Danny’s email address is: dannyraskin2132@gmail.com.

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