The other Puck drops — Local diners barely had time to mourn the loss of Wolfgang Puck Grille before the upscale chain opened an Italian-themed bistro and, now, a steakhouse, with Wolfgang Puck Steak, both at MGM Grand Detroit Casino. Puck says the new venue was created specifically for Detroit, featuring a broad menu of the finest steaks at appealing prices. What's more, diners should rest assured since longtime Puck chef Marc Djozlija heads up the kitchen. Expect grilled steaks and meats, including Kansas City strip steak, filet mignon, rib-eye steak and a 34-ounce bone-in rib chop for two. Wolfgang Puck Steak is open for dinner 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; for reservations, call 877-888-2121.
Santa and beer — Sure, we know you leave milk and cookies out for the big guy when he visits your house. But what about him visiting you amid tanks of German-style wheat beers and lagers, American- and English-style ales, extra bitters and IPAs, porters and stouts and more? How is this possible? It's Rochester Mills Beer Company's Sunday brunch with Santa! You bring the kids, the camera, a Christmas list, sit back and let the fun happen. Let Santa deal with the kids while he looks forward to sugar cookies and cold milk; meanwhile, you can enjoy five minutes of repose with a cold something-or-other. Two seatings, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 400 Water St., Rochester; 248-650-5080; reservations recommended; age 5 and younger eat free with purchase of adult meal.
Winter's glow — A special holiday offering comes from the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House. It's called a candlelight stroll. On Fridays and Saturdays beginning Dec. 14 and ending Saturday Dec. 29, the estate be all a-twinkle with holiday lights and candles illuminating the elegantly decorated home. To the accompaniment of live holiday music, guests will enter the winter wonderland of the Apple Court terrace for hot cider and singing along with carolers. The Cotswold Café will be open for dinner on these evenings, boasting a new holiday dinner menu. Ford House candlelight strolls take place Dec. 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29, at 1100 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Shores; call 313-884-4222 for reservations; $15 per person.
New Mexican — There's a new Mexican restaurant in downtown Detroit: Carnival Fresh Mex opened in the Penobscot Building on the corner at 645 Griswold St.; 313-223-1400.
Thinking and drinking — There's been a lot of buzz building about a bar called Rodin that was supposed to open, like, forever ago. But the project of Good Girls Go To Paris Crêperie owner Torya Blanchard was tentatively scheduled to throw open its doors this week. The bar, in the Park Shelton, will feature French-inspired small plates, wines, cocktails and dancing. Grand opening was slated for 4 p.m. Dec. 12; for reservations, call 313-285-9218.
Modern Flavors of Arabia: Recipes and Memories from My Middle Eastern Kitchen
by Suzanne Husseini
Appetite by Random House, $27.95
It seems we've seen a spate of Middle Eastern cookbooks lately. Perhaps it reflects a national embrace of the culture's healthful cuisine. Take Suzanne Husseini's Modern Flavors of Arabia: Recipes and Memories from My Middle Eastern Kitchen: The delectable-looking arugula salad with roasted eggplant pictured on the cover is but a hint of what's to come. Learn to make such morning meals as cheese and za'atar flatbreads or eggplant frittata with tomato-and-mint salad, fare that's a far cry from the usual scrambled egg breakfasts. The striking photos throughout will get your mouth watering.
No one enjoys a soggy salad. If you don't own a salad spinner, you've been wasting time and paper towels to get the job done. This OXO model is as good as they get. We like to soak the greens in cold water in the bowl to wash and crisp them, then put them in the basket to drain before pushing the plunger on the lid, spinning the greens and throwing off the water. Simple and functional. All of the parts are dishwasher-safe. It's a great gift too.