French Food

The finest French cuisine around.

There was a restaurant that served only French cuisine for just 42 people at one time … at booths and tables.

Those who went to Raphael’s in Novi expected to spend at least three hours of epic moments in gastronomy.

It was a high gourmet restaurant that did not place all the emphasis on show at the expense of its food … Surely, elegance symbolized by fire and ice is fake elegance … This, Raphael’s was not guilty of … The total concentration was on perfect food … excellently prepared … and impeccable service.

Raphael’s was classic cuisine … like a good bottle of wine that gets better with age … Everything at Raphael’s was made from scratch … No such thing as powders or starters … unheard of things.

SOLE PARTNER OF former Hill Seafood and Chophouse in Grosse Pointe with Joe Vicari will be the building’s owner, Anthony “Tony” Soave … It will have a new name, remodeling, new staff and new menu … with hopeful reopening in March or April … Joe’s takeover of the three restaurants in Birmingham will also have new names, staffs and menus … also hopefully opening then … All four are hoping to open when dining restrictions go to 50 percent capacity or more.

THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS is a demanding business that many times requires dedication, long hours and patience … Perhaps in no other industry are there as many Horatio Alger stories as in foodservice, where, armed with basic criteria of a strict work ethic and a dream, many have risen to achieve both fame and considerable wealth … However, when celebrities invest in restaurant projects as a social diversion or simply as a tax break, it unfairly dilutes the legitimate hard work of those who have pledged their savings and sweat to become successful restaurateurs.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … A man tries to enter heaven but first he has a chat with St. Peter, keeper of the Pearly Gates.

St. Peter explains that it is not easy to get into heaven … He asks the man several questions … Was he religious in life? Did he attend temple? Did he give money to the poor and charity? Did he do any good deeds? Did he help his neighbor?

The man answered, “No.”

St. Peter said, “Not good. Not good.” Exasperated, he says, “Look. Everybody does something nice sometime. Work with me. I’m trying to help. Now think.”

The man said, “Well, I came out of the store and found this little old lady surrounded by a dozen thugs. They had taken her purse and were shoving her, taunting and abusing her. I got so mad I threw my bags down, fought my way through the crowd and got her purse back. I helped her to her feet. Then I went up to the biggest, meanest guy there and told him how despicable, cowardly and mean he was and then I spit in his face.”

“Wow,” said St. Peter. “That’s impressive. When did this happen?”

“Oh, about 10 minutes ago.”

CONGRATS … To Jackie Headapohl on her birthday … To Sharen Bender on her birthday. To William “Bill” Wolf on his 80th birthday.

Danny’s email address is