Seven years in the same restaurant business at the same site may not seem like much, but it is enough to tell a story of success … To me, an almost restaurant triumphal realization may bring semblances of a one-year attainment, a two-year success, etc. … but to be considered a total accomplishment I have always felt that five years is a personally measured criteria for complete and total success in the owning of a restaurant.

By then, the major “bugs” should have been removed or remedied … and smooth sailing for the ownership is assured … Small glitches might still be around … They almost always are in the restaurant business … But nothing of much avail.

In many cases, the turbulent first years are trying and difficult ones … But at the end of the fifth year many had cleared the hurdle and went on to win the race … Steven Lelli’s Inn on the Green is one of those that survived … It is to the credit of owner Mark Zarkin that rough waters turned into smooth sailing.

Like almost all new restaurants, Steven Lelli’s Inn on the Green had its problems … Most were rightly never allowed to be noticed by the satisfied clientele … But when five years came, all had been erased and smooth sailing was a happy assurance.

Also on the menu today are numerous items for which Executive Chef John Sommerville received much note during his 22 years as award-winning head chef at the now-closed prestigious and upscale Lark Restaurant … Notably, his highly acclaimed award-winning Ghengis Khan Lamb Chops for which folks came from near and far … or his highly touted Curry Duck Salad, among other great presentations, etc.

Lelli’s owner Mark Zarkin is so particular with his own luscious family-food offerings that only he, not even Chef John, is allowed to make the minestrone soup or his noted Bolognese sauce for the much-ordered Lelli’s spaghetti … or white wine garlic sauce for the Lelli’s Chicken or Shrimp Lelli.

Even corporate events, parties and other events have grown in popularity … Whereas Steven Lelli’s would previously do about two events a month, the popularity of such get-togethers has grown to two and three a week.

Yes, now into its seventh year, Steven Lelli’s Inn on the Green, 12 Mile, between Halsted and Haggerty, Farmington Hills, has come a long way in this short time as owner Mark Zarkin and his entire staff have been able to ride the waves with smooth sailing success since year No. 5.

NO WONDER SHE is so talented … Lisa Klein, director of a suicide documentary, will be here with the showing of The S Word at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Emagine Theatre and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at University of Michigan’s Robertson Auditorium, Ann Arbor. Lisa is the daughter of the late Jackie Klein, one of my absolutely favorite “Mystery Muncher” writer folks of yesteryear columns … Jackie was an ace scribe at the Southfield Eccentric and Observer.

Lisa and her husband, Doug Blush, also co-director filmmakers of the fine Academy Award-winning Of Two Minds documentary, live in Los Angeles with their daughter, Madeleine.

Like Jackie, Lisa also started out to be a writer and changed her wants to tell the stories about real life.

Lisa will be back here again on Wednesday, Nov. 8, showing The S Word at the Maple Theater, Bloomfield Township … followed on Thursday, Nov. 9, with the screening of Kevin’s Song.

REARVIEW MIRROR  … When President Bill Clinton came to the home of David and Doreen Hermelin, surrounded by Secret Service men and Buddy, the Secret Service dog, Simone Vitale’s band played light jazz and President Clinton bemoaned not having his beloved tenor saxophone with him … David singing his parodies on “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Happy Days Are Here Again,” etc. … Paul Kohn supplying the kosher food … Steve Canner’s wife, Adriana, cooperating with her “due date” when father-to-be hubby Steve told her “Please, honey, don’t do anything until after the president leaves” … And Sasha, the Hermelin dog, helping Buddy make sure no food was left on the floor.

MAIL DEPT … “To celebrate her 21st birthday like last year, our grandchild, Kayla Kapen, wanted to go again to Bigalora in Southfield, the Italian restaurant mostly known for its great pizzas. As we waited for the waitress to approach our table, we reminisced about last year when it was a girl named Kayla and wondered if our wonderful waitress was still there. Imagine our happy surprise when Kayla again came to our table and remembered us. Our son, Avi, shocked us when he remembered that her birthday is New Year’s Eve. She was amazed! After enjoying the surprise of having Kayla again, we all enjoyed Bigalora’s special pizzas and the other Italian delicious food that it is known for” ... Rachel Kapen.

OLDIE STORYTIME REMEMBERING … From Barrister Bernie Finn in East Lansing … about Sam Schwartz walking along and meeting a gentleman he had not seen in 40 years. Schwartz stops him and says, “Saul, Saul Goldberg, how are you?”

Goldberg says, “Fine, fine, I am doing well. Lots of naches (pleasures) from my children and grandchildren, and my wife of 56 years, Sophie, is doing well also. Except, I changed my name. I changed it from Saul Goldberg to C.V. Dexter.”

“Why would you change your name from Saul Goldberg to C.V. Dexter?” Schwartz asks.

“Well, remember my butcher shop on Dexter? I wanted everyone should remember me.”

“That explains the Dexter,” says Schwartz, “but what means the C.V.?”

“Corner of Webb,” Sam replies.

CONGRATS … To Jim Newman on his birthday … To Phyllis Rader on her birthday … To Hannah Berglund on her birthday … To Mort Meisner on his birthday.

Danny’s email address is

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