Nino and Liz Cutraro celebrate five years of Bella Piatti as they grow their chain…
Danny Raskin: A 25-Year Culinary Gem
Fine executive chef celebrates his 25th anniversary heading the kitchen at Clawson Steak House.
March marks a move that vaulted the then-named Clawson Lounge … changed to Clawson Steakhouse … 14 Mile, south of Rochester Road, Clawson, into one of this area’s finest neighborhood dining and dancing restaurants.
It is the 25th anniversary of Executive Chef Jim Polk’s takeover of its kitchen in a move that further exemplified Clawson Steak House’s glowing reputation … New dishes now include Dover Sole a la Meuniere, filet and shrimp Italian style, a Smokey Joe Burger, beef pot sticker filled with a beef tenderloin mixture, etc. … available at all times.
THE WONDERFUL CAFÉ CORTINA on 10 Mile, east of Orchard Lake, Farmington Hills, continues to add awards to the many it’s received … Latest is by House Beautiful magazine, which selected it among America’s 50 Most Romantic Restaurants in 50 states … It was the pick for Michigan … Rina and son Adrian Tonon’s Café Cortina was also recently given its four-diamond award by AAA.
ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED to open in March as Jag & Co., the previous Papa Vino site in Troy will greet people in April instead … And with a new name change … The fifth restaurant by George Lukaj will now be known as Station Square … Seating will be for 250 in the spacious site … plus outdoor seating for 30 or more.
GOOD WAITPERSON DEPT. … The experience of Wai “Catherine” Yu at Shangri-La Cantonese Restaurant in the Orchard Mall, Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield, clearly shows … She has served folks since Shangri-La was opened 19 years ago by owner Cholada Chan … Wai’s smiling and pleasant personality with much efficiency is well-noted … always bringing dining satisfaction to her customers.
MANY MAY REMEMBER the huge carving of two men at the bar of an English pub at the entrance to the one-time Brass Rail on Adams, Detroit, … It still welcomes visitors to Kruse and Muer on Main in Rochester … But few knew that there were two … The one at Kruse & Muer had been stored in a warehouse for years by Sanford Freedman, whose father, Joe Freedman, and Bill Boesky, owned the Brass Rail on Adams in Detroit … and sold it to a former tenant before Bill Kruse and Chuck Muer took over in Rochester … The other one was on the Brass Rail at Michigan and Griswold, next to Kinsel’s Drugs.
THE PROPOSED popularly named delicatessen slated to open on 12 Mile has been shelved … The name was to bring much emotional appeal of that former western United States sector deli … But as is the usual case, a prominent name itself is never enough for success in the restaurant business.
HAVING TWO GOOD neighborhood family restaurants serving the same specialty food in almost the like lengths of time is rare … Both Boneyard on Orchard Lake Road, south of 14 Mile … and Brass Pointe, Orchard Lake Road, north of 10 Mile, are each widely acclaimed for their broasted and barbecued chicken, barbecued ribs and various specialty items … Boneyard with its barbecued lamb ribs, too … Brass Pointe also with Mexican dishes … Each, however, enjoys the most communal prominence for their chicken and ribs selections, along with salient preparation features.
REARVIEW MIRROR … When movie super star Anthony Quinn (Zorba The Greek, Never On Sunday, etc.) came to Michigan for a fitting by Dino “The Tailor” Mitropoulos … Dino had been brought here from Greece by Harry Kosins to work at Kosins Clothes on Griswold while continuing Dino’s side labor for celebrities like Quinn, for whom he made clothes in Greece … The film great asked where he could get some good lamb chops and Dino took him to Hellas (changed in the 1970s to New Hellas) … Quinn was so thrilled with the lamb chops that he ordered suits made for everyone at Kosins who helped him select shirts, ties, etc., to go with his newly tailored garb …. If it were today, Dino would probably have taken him to his favorite Greek restaurant, Uptown Parthenon, for the luscious double-boned ones.
OLDIE BUT GOODIE … The young man excitedly tells his mother that he has fallen in love and is going to get married. He says, “Just for fun, Mom, I’m going to bring over three women and you try and guess which one I’m going to marry.”
The mother agrees, and the next day he brings three beautiful women into the house and sits them down on the couch. He takes her on the side and asks, “OK, Mom, guess which one I’m going to marry.”
She immediately replies, “The redhead in the middle.”
“That’s amazing, Mom. You’re right. How did you know?”
“I don’t like her.”
CONGRATS … To Dr. Michael Salter on his birthday … To Steve Fishman on his birthday … To Steve Stein on his birthday … To Dr. Daniel Panush on his birthday … (Errata, it is anniversary number 59 not 69 for Leonard and Suzy Radner.)
Danny’s email address is