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January 05, 2012 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-01-05

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arts & entertainment >> the best of everything

You Can Count On It!

Consistently delicious food is the driving force behind Sposita's success.


---f there is one word in the dictionary
He and Lois soon learned that
that promotes "come-back" feelings
it was a dining ballgame they
among restaurant customers, it is
never thought existed.
Restaurant owners who
And because a dining operation such
sought his plumbing advice
as Sposita's Ristorante on 14 Mile east of
often complained about the
Farmington Road, West Bloomfield, has
lack of consistency due to good
concentrated on this word, it recently cel-
kitchen help being scarce.
ebrated a 12th anniversary as one of this
This was the first time Joe
area's finest neighborhood Italian restau-
and Lois even gave thought to
owning a restaurant ... It was
Consistency has been the stumbling
something they could sink their
block of many dining operations who fail
teeth into by finding kitchen
to achieve restaurant success because of
help who would stay on the job
undesired changes in food preparation .. •
and never deviate in the preparation of
This is many times a restaurant kitchen's
their food.
fault, where a new chef
The first year was
uses his or her own way
like a trial run for them
instead of those main-
when taking over the
tained by the dining
little Envoy restaurant on
14 Mile ... But Sposita's
The mother of Joe
soon garnered a reputa-
Sposita, owner with wife,
tion for consistency that
Lois, was a stickler for
suddenly vaulted it into
consistency ... Mary
one of Michigan's top
Sposita's reputation as a
Italian-American neigh-
wonderful cook (Monks
borhood restaurants.
Cellar, etc.), was well
So many people came
noted as was the reliabil-
back that Joe and Lois
Owners Lois and Joe Sposita
ity of her food prepara-
had to take over the
empty area next door
Joe and Lois opened their restaurant in
and add another 21 tables ... Coupled
1999 as a tribute to her memory.
with a 12-seat bar, the seating capacity
But they soon found out that there is
was brought to a respectable number, but
more to owning a restaurant than meets
on many nights is still not enough.
the eye ... and that sentimentality is fine,
Sposita's reputation became well-noted
but there is much more involved.
and folks came from everywhere for its
And so the hitch reared its ugly head
steaks, amazingly good chateaubriand
... Neither had ever been in the restau-
for two or four, etc. ... Country sing-
rant business and soon discovered that it
ing star Dolly Parton called her filet, "a
wasn't the easiest venture to run without
Detroit favorite to remember" ... Its use of
previous experience ... At the time, Joe
highest-quality products is a big feature,
was an official in the plumber's union
as are its fine, traditional veal dishes and
and restaurant owners would ask him
an excellent, big-selling veal chop.
for advice on their dishwashing machine,
Then came the embellishment of a plain
grease traps, etc. ... This was easy for Joe
shrimp dish into one sauteed with lemon
... But owning a restaurant himself? ...
and wine and called Shrimp Sposita

Because of so many requests,
a new dish was also added
with five veal prepara-
tions from which three are
selected for the popular Veal
Trio ... Also the addition of
a 12-ounce South African
lobster tail, considered to be
among the finest.
Whitefish, salmon, perch,
walleye, etc. ... Sea bass is
available only on various
daily specials.
Among the biggest things,
too, is that while so many restaurants have
shortened the amount of items or done
away altogether with its antipasto tray,
Sposita's offering is still as it was when first
served in 1999.
Yes, Sposita's Ristorante has come a long
way in 12 years ... One of those that defeat-
ed the odds and has made it in a big way.
THE STRUGGLE IS over for another
restaurant ... Italia Fresca, owned by pop-
ular executive chef Bassam "Sam" Sharkas,
on Orchard Lake Road in Sylvan Lake, has
Moving from its former location on
Orchard Lake Road and Pontiac Trail to
the Sylvan Lake site, and receiving a liquor
license, it had temporary success but fell
victim to the slow economic times.
four-course meal... Chicken chow mein
or chicken chop suey ... Includes entree,
soup, egg roll and ice cream ... $9.95
... One week only, Thursday, Jan. 5,
through Thursday, Jan 12 ... No coupons
... Golden Phoenix, Sugar Tree Plaza,
Orchard Lake Road, north of 15 Mile, West
MAIL DEPT. ... From Gloria Coleman
... "I recently had dinner with my friends,
Ray Temple, Ron and Mary Castori, and
Ray and Candy Hanna, at the Chopstix
restaurant on Orchard Lake Road and was
impressed with the fine service and won-



derful food presentation.
"The sushi dishes were very fresh and
the salmon mild and delightful. We also
enjoyed the tender and tasty barbequed
eel and shrimp spring rolls that were
light and delicious.
"The service was wonderful with con-
tinuous attentiveness. For dessert, the
fried banana tempura with ice cream was
AS WITTY VICTOR Borge might have
quipped while at the piano, "Notice that
my fingers never leave my hands:' the
digits of noted concert and jazz stylist
David Syme veritably float up and come
crashing down in symphonic crescendo
before wafting into tenderness with his
thrilling rendition of George Gershwin's
"Rhapsody in Blue" masterpiece ... It
again was the recent appearance crown-
ing point of the late Temple Israel Rabbi
M. Robert Syme's son and brother of
Temple Beth El's Rabbi Daniel Syme, as
he brilliantly stunned an audience at
Birmingham Temple with his scintillat-
ing and deep-felt keyboard styling.
is a localite again ... The dubbed "First
Lady of Boxing" has returned to reside
in West Bloomfield, and be closer to her
sons, Bryan and Brad, and grandchildren
after 15 years in Los Angeles ... Jackie
still manages boxers, is a regular colum-
nist for Boxinginsider.com and her auto-
biography, Between the Ropes, is due out
this coming spring.
CONGRATS ... To Eunice Ring on her
birthday ... To Yetta Kutnick on her 80th
birthday ...To Clara Dubin on her 94th
birthday ... To Alan Resnick on his 61st
birthday ... To Dolores Max on her 80th
birthday ... To Heidi Martin on her birth-
day ... To Paul and Rita Sherr on their
45th anniversary ... To Mert and Helene
Robbins on their 53rd anniversary. II

Danny's email is dannyraskin@sbcglobahnet.

MARCH 2012

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January 5 2012


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