Oakland Universit 's
' 2 :
T H E AT R E
A Professional Theatre
I Hate Hamlet This Ristorante
Has A Quiet Elegance
by Paul Rudnick
February 9 - March 5
The ghost of
returns to coach
a young star
in the role
of a lifetime!
DANNY RASKIN LOCAL COLUMNIST
Presented with the
generous support of
HUDSON'S, HARMONY HOUSE
Don't let your dreams
go up in
AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION
® OF SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN
18860 West Ten Mile Road, Southfield, Michigan 48075
This space donated as a public service by the publisher
SLAB FOR 2
GOOD 7 DAYS!
ALL DINNERS INCLUDE: SALAD OR COLE
SLAW, POTATOES AND GARLIC BREAD
B-B-Q WITH CHICKEN
OR WITHOUT SKIN
GOOD 7 DAYS!
ALL DINNERS INCLUDE: SALAD OR COLE
SLAW, POTATOES & GARLIC BREAD
Expires 3 9 95
BOTH COUPONS GOOD FOR DINE-IN OR CARRY-OUT
Coe ockd eft , Outz4-
24234 ORCHARD LAKE RD. AT 10 MILE
t is hidden inside a little shop-
ping center and far from being
a discovery ... But almost
every time its customers go
there they revel in the fact that
their dining pride and joy is such
When Manuel Chavez was a
waiter at the London Chop House
in the great days of Les and Sam
Gruber, 1968-1974, he would tell
co-workers of someday owning a
restaurant like theirs, where peo-
ple also loved to go and be seen.
However, the closest Manuel
got was as maitre d' for Douglas
Grech at the former Restaurant
Duglass, 1979-1984, where he
was so proficient and sought af-
ter to make his famed tableside
The big chance came in June
1985, when the previous Pickle
Barrel II closed at Market Street
Shop on Northwestern, between
12 Mile and Inkster ... Manuel
made the most of it ... with cus-
tomers, many former Chop and
Duglass guests, and second gen-
erations, at his Ristorante Di
Modesta still asking for him to
make Caesar salads, even though
it must be done in the kitchen be-
cause of the area's code rulings.
In pace with the times, Manuel
prepares the Caesars with egg
whites, but if requested, will
make them with yolks ... The
Caesar salads are his own recipe
from Restaurant Duglass ... and
it is only in the last six or seven
months that he has gone to using
egg whites ... with wonderful re-
Seating in the dining room
with its large windows, hanging
lamps, a few scattered pictures,
soft peachy pink walls with long
column murals on a wall facing
Northwestern, white linen table-
cloths and white linen napkins,
is for 80 ... A bar lounge has a
four-top table and two high-top
tables plus six stools at the bar.
Healthful dining plays a big
part at Ristorante Di Modesta ...
like no oil in its marinara sauce,
no fat in soups, whole wheat pas-
ta, soba buckwheat pasta, etc.
Although not on the menu, all
traditional northern Italian dish-
es, veal, pasta, chicken, will be
prepared by Executive Chef
Hamad Kouka and his staff ...
Osso Bucco is an every Wednes-
The foccacia bread that is
served alongside black beans
with onions, olive oil and celery
prior to ordering, is home-made
daily with large pieces of tomato,
not the little ones that tend to fall
Biggest seller on the Ris-
torante Di Modesta menu is pas-
ta, which represents about 60
percent of its business ... Well
over 200 pounds of pasta a week
is served ... fettucine with fresh
salmon and tomatoes, $17.50;
spaghetti with an assortment of
seafoods, $19.50; angel hair with
vegetables, $14.50; meat sauce
with shitake mushrooms, $15.50;
butterfly-shaped pasta with mar-
inated artichokes, sun-dried
tomatoes, black olives and mush-
rooms, $15.50, and others.
All pasta dinner entrees are
with anecdotes ... Like the one of
Henry and Diane Cohen, who lay
claim to being among his first
customers ... It was after her bal-
let class that Diane met banis-
ter Henry at what they thought
was still Pickle Barrel II ... Both
were in jeans and sweats and
shocked to see tablecloths ...
They had come for a bowl of chili
and wound up having minestrone
along with shrimp skewered with
It was the first day that Ris-
torante Di Modesta had opened
... Fresh flowers were on the
Ristorante's Manuel Chavez.
also served half order for $3 less linen-covered tables and wait-
the menu price.
persons all wore tuxedos ... This
Among the fishes at Ristorante was certainly no delicatessen!
Di Modesta, salmon is king ...
Henry and Diane are still Ris-
Over 200 pounds of Norwegian torante Di Modesta regulars,
salmon is grilled, broiled or coming at least once a week ...
poached as requested, topped And many times, when they can't
with fresh tomatoes, artichokes, get there, will call and have dish-
black olives and capers, $19.50, es prepared for them to bring
or prepared plain.
People enjoy the lemon chick-
For many like Henry and Di-
en, boneless and skinless, light- ane, it has become more than just
ly breaded and sauteed with another restaurant ... More a
wine, mushrooms and lemon, place like Manuel has always
$17.50 ... and broiled whitefish, wanted ... where people eat,
topped with seasoned bread drink and meet each other in a
crumbs, $17.50 ... pasta fagioli convivial atmosphere.
(pasta and bean soup) $2.95.
Regular customers of Ris-
Manuel has a small wine cel- torante Di Modesta continually
lar at his Ristorante Di Modesta pile accolade upon accolade in
restaurant, but at home, only two talking about its comfort, good
minutes away, is Manuel's large food and service and gracious am-
one from which people order and biance ... To many, they speak
he promptly has available ... A with reverence much like talking
private selection of fine wines are about their own home.
also stored in his house, as well
There is a touch of New York
as at the restaurant.
atmosphere at Ristorante Di
Ristorante Di Modesta is filled Modesta, open seven days ...