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December 26, 2003 - Image 77

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-12-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Best Of Everything

Befitting A King

Joe Balogna's castle provides Italian dining in royal elegance.

111 rom being a little

aN

12/26
2003

78

tions Executive Chef
Brian Romanko, 12 years;
pizza operator of
Keith Nett, formerly with
almost 20 years ago
Jimmy
Schmidt at the
on 17 Mile Road
London
Chop House in
and Dequindre in Sterling
Detroit,
is
a Joe Balogna
Heights ... he has become
stalwart
of
17 years and now
more of a restaurant king ...
one
of
his
sous
chefs
and with his own castle, too.
Another
sous
chef,
Mike
Joe Balogna opened his first
DANNY
Miller,
with
Joe
7
years,
was
restaurant, the original Pizza &
RASKIN
his
sous
chef
at
Joe's
previ-
Pasta spot, in 1984 as a carryout Local Columnist
ous Clarkston restaurant.
... and in 1985, he put in four
The property on which
booths to make seating for 16.
Joe
and
wife,
Irene's castle stands is
Today, his Castello di Balogna (castle
part
of
the
Scripps
farm, owned by the
of Balogna) on Joslyn Court in Lake
Scripps family headed by William E.
Orion's Canterbury Village, holds
Scripps, former publisher of the
around 1,200 people ... It is a striking-
Detroit Evening News.
ly beautiful edifice with appointments
An original loft from the 1850s is
that would befit a king's castle.
available
for private affairs ... up to 40
Elegant hand-carved oak lined walls
people.
... The large beautiful chandelier that
With Castello di Bologna's elegant
hung majestically in Detroit's
dining
and banquet facilities, it con-
Michigan Theater in 1924 ... Antique
tinues
to
carry on a tradition of pro-
table, double staircase, oil paintings,
ductivity
in the maintenance of an
life-sized replicas of Renaissance
important
chapter in Michigan's
knights and tapestries, gorgeous wood
history.
from the Argonne Forest on the
It has its own bakery, where bread is
French-Belgium border, etc.
homemade,
along with cannolis, etc.
But more than having a museum-
...
plus
cakes
for weddings and bar
like castle atmosphere, Joe is proud of
mitzvahs
...
Also
an ice cream and
Castello di Balogna's food ... as anyone
fudge
shop
with
its
own homemade
with his experience has a right to be.
products
like
27
flavors
of Fran's
From the castle's 4,000 square feet
Favorite
Fudge
plus
peanut
brittle,
upstairs for banquets ... and 4,000
cashew
brittle,
cotton
candy,
etc.
square of restaurant space downstairs
Many
Italian
restaurants
are
big on
... are Italian dishes Joe has been well
family
operation
...
Castello
di
noted for through the years.
Like the calamari that is importantly Balogna is no different ... Joe's dad,
Ambrose Balogna, 89 years old, regu-
prepared fresh daily ... sauteed with
larly checks on the fruits and vegeta-
caramelized onions and a lemon wine
bles and can be seen often at the
sauce ... a favorite appetizer ... Or
highly popular Frutte Di Mare seafood Eastern Market buying produce for his
son's restaurant.
entree, a wonderful linguine dish
Joe's wife, Adele, runs the back of
crammed with mussels, scallops,
the
castle ... handling the books and
jumbo shrimp and asparagus tips
whatever
other duties are needed
($18) ... among an impressive array of
behind
the
scenes.
13 pasta entree offerings ... The eight-
'When
not
at the Johnson & Wales
ounce Siciliano steak has a garlic
Culinary
School
in Providence, R.I.,
breading covering its tenderness
majoring
in
hotel
and restaurant man-
($17.50) ... Those who've had the
agement
...
their
son,
Danny is help-
Osso Bucco rave about its -slow-roasted
ing
out
mom
and
dad
at the castle.
center cut veal shank ($18.50) ... also
Daughter
Joelryn,
is
a dining room
the fresh whitefish rolled in parmesan
manager
and
server.
bread crumbs ($13) ...Lobster Saffron
Restaurant hours in Joe's 200-seat
Ravioli with lobster stuffed into the
main
dining room and 175-seater trat-
saffron pasta ($15).
toria,
are Monday-Thursday, 11-10;
Joe's kitchen heads have been with
Friday
and Saturday, 11-11; Sunday,
him in most of his restaurant opera-
10:30 8, with brunch 10:30 2:30 ...

-

-

The kitchen at still another restaurant
on the site, the Wildwood Tavern, is
open 1.1-10 daily; Sunday, 12-8; and
daily 11-10 serving pizza, ribs, burg-
ers, prime rib, etc., along with alco-
holic beverages.
Castello di Balogna has become a
huge challenge that Joe and Irene are
hoping to conquer ... He wants it to
be a total dining and entertainment
center ... On tap for next year is a din-
ner-theater that will include mystery,
themes like a Sopranos retirement
party for Paulie, Tony & Tina
Wedding, etc.
Joe's ideas are big ... very big ... but
those who know him and have fol-
lowed Joe through his restaurant career
have little doubt of his eventual even
greater success.
MICHIGAN CULINARY Food &
Wine Extravaganza's ninth annual"
Mardi Gras benefit for the MCFWE
Scholarship Fund has its date set for
Feb. 24, 2004 ... at Mac & Ray's
Banquet & Conference Center in
Harrison Township.
I'll be honorary chief judge again ...
happy to serve with other restaurant
reviewers in this wonderful event that
also raises funds to send the Michigan
Team to the Culinary Olympics.
THEY CAN'T DO ENOUGH for
their adopted country ... with a recent
Thanksgiving buffet just one of their
many deeds in a never-ending pride.
Fifty mothers whose sons and
daughters are
in the United
States mili-
tary, were
lavished with
on-the-house
European
facials, mas-
sages, mani-
cures, pedi-
cures, etc ...
plus tasty
turkey with
all the trim-
mings ... by
Tamara and
Eugene
Friedman ...
The proud
couple
opened their
Irene and Joe Balogna
Tamara's Spa

in Farmington Hills on a Sunday so
members of their staff could give the
gals a wonderful day of pampering.
Eugene also treated the military.
moms to some of his own recipes of
traditional Russian fare of Salad
Olivia, with potatoes, chicken, peas
and eggs ... and Eugene's luscious
pierogi, made with ground potatoes,
fried onions and farmer cheese.
Of course he also made the turkey
stuffing ... his own recipe ... and a
couple of pies, too.
Tamara and Eugene came here years
ago from Russia with little ... and have
made giant strides of success in a very
proud feeling as United States citizens.
FORMER DETROITER Norma
Zager, editor of the Beverly Hills
Courier in California, presented the
paper's first annual teacher excellence
awards.
"I want to honor the wonderful
teachers I had, especially Leonard
Spafford at Vernor School in Detroit,"
said Norma, who initiated the awards
to recognize exceptional teachers for
their efforts and positive effect on stu-
dent lives.
BACK IN 1993, Scott Herkowitz
and his girl friend, Suzette, opened
their little carryout pizza operation ...
Nine months later in 1994, their fat-
free pizza was said to be the area's first
of its kind.
He and Suzette were married ... but
sold their Picasso's Pizza on 12 Mile,
west of Telegraph, in Southfield ...
when she became ill ... Suzette passed
on with cancer two years ago.
Their Picasso's is back in Scott's
hands.
He still has the fat-free pizza ... but
now also a low-carb pizza, which Scott
thinks may be the first around these

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