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July 19, 2012 - Image 42

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-07-19

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arts & entertainment >> the best of everything

Viva Maria's!

Intimate Italian bistro boasts New York-style class and coziness.


ince opening in 1975 by the late
Al Valente, it has changed hands
a couple of times with moderate

six days a week for dinner only
... Tuesday-Thursday, 5-9:30;
Friday and Saturday, 5-10:30;
Sunday, 5-8:30.
The reopening of a former good restau-
Heading the kitchen at
rant always evokes much comment ... Is
Maria's Restaurant is Executive
it as good as before? ... Will it have the
Chef Jeff Condit, former owner
same dishes? ... etc.
of Gala American Bistro in
When the formerly named Ristorante di downtown Farmington, whose
Maria Italian restaurant originally opened
dining presentations are well
with seating for only 25 people, it almost
immediately became an Italian dining
Other than the fine traditional
favorite, and an addition was put on to
favorites that take in a variety of
accomodate another 25 ... Al's former
veal dishes like the very popular, deliciously
little Maria's Pizzeria spot across the street prepared, lightly breaded veal parmigiana,
from where he moved was small but strik- etc., excellent items include Spiedini di
ingly intimate, as he always wanted his
Maria, layers of bread soaked with lemon
restaurant operations to be.
butter sauce and chopped olives; chicken
And so, his newer Maria's was such,
parmigiana, lightly breaded and baked with
with seating capacity around 53, plus
parmesan, mozzarella and tomato sauce;
another four at stools in a little bar that
porcini with sauteed mushrooms; eggplant
Al never considered making any bigger
rollatini, rolled and stuffed with angel hair
... He loved the intimacy
pasta and pesto, then baked
of a little place like those
in a marinara sauce, etc.
featured in areas of New
Big on the menu is
York ... Although some
the complete dinner of
of his other restaurants
10-ounce broiled whitefish
remained larger when he
simmered in tomato sauce
took them over, the small
($18.95) or whitefish sau-
model was what he always
teed with garlic and olive
sought, and Ristorante di
($18.95) ... The white-
Maria was what he opened
fish price, without soup or
on Walnut Lake Road,
salad or pasta, is $14.95.
Joe Morda, gen eral manager
just west of Inkster, West
A novel twist at Maria's
now are the individual
Now owned by
gourmet-style pizzas that
Domenick Morda under its new name of
feature toppings of Italian favorites (chick-
Maria's Restaurant, it is still small, unpre-
en parmesan, chicken marsala, etc.).
tentious and warm ... Very informal but
Many long-standing customers of the
upscale with authentic Italian cuisine the
former Maria's restaurant under different
main dining feature, Maria's is being oper- names have returned with big smiles ...
ated by his son and general manager Joe
Fondly known as just Maria's, it has again
Morda, who at one time worked closely
become one of their favorite northwest res-
with Artie Oliverio, former Maria's execu-
taurants with food and service that put it in
tive chef and later an owner when the res-
a choice class.
taurant was called Maria's by Oliverio.
The Maria's Restaurant of today is open
attendees to the major pre-opening of West

Bloomfield's newest upscale res-
taurant, Prime 29 Steakhouse,
Orchard Lake Road and 15
Mile, Thursday, July 26, will be
the Jewish Community Center
Day Camps for children and
teens with special needs ...
They will receive 50 percent of
the fundraiser's gross receipts
for the evening ... Included
will be a sumptuous array of
outstanding entrees like steak,
seafood, etc. ... Since it is a
"Reservations Only" event, no walk-ins will
be admitted ... Reservation times will be 5
p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ... Call (248) 73-PRIME
or reserve at Prime 29's website, www.
prime29steakhouse.com ... Guests will
order their dinners off the menu.
Public opening of Prime 29, former site
of a Big Boy and 7 Restaurant & Lounge,
will be Sunday, July 29, three days after the
JCC benefit.
MAIL DEPT. ... "I would personally
rank the lamb chops at Pepino's in Walled
Lake with any in Greektown, and right up
there with the ones by my wife, Sharon."
... Dennis Green
NEW MENU that was recently installed
at RJ's American Grille, Northwestern
Highway, just south of 14 Mile,
Farmington Hills, includes two dishes long
requested by customers ... Homemade
meatloaf ($12) and homemade Eggplant
Lasagna Portabella Bolognese ($14).
RJ's new menu will change again when
it also takes on a different name the latter
part of August, becoming Detroit Prime
with a new interior look ... The menu will
then be that of a popular-priced steak-
house, also including seafood, poultry, etc.
... Steak dinners are expected to be from
around the $20 mark with complete meals
including 8-ounce steak, soup or salad
and two sides (selections from potato, veg-
etable, rice, etc.)
Grand Opening week of Detroit Prime

will have two by-reservations-only charity
evenings . . . Wednesday, Aug. 29, Michigan
AIDS Coalition, and Thursday, Aug. 30, JARC.
The RJ's site will not close during work
on the changeover, a portion of the restau-
rant remaining open.
SCENE & HEARD DEPT. ... Dimitri
"Jim" Syros, former owner of Dimitri's
of Southfield, and Al Balooly, who had
Topinka's, Pike Street, Jacques, etc., each
looking for sites in the northwest area
to open respective casual restaurants ...
Former Hollywood paparazzi Marvin Slof
talking about his yesteryears of mingling
with the stars of filmdom ... Dr. Ralph
Sachs with unforgettable memories ...
Jason Raznick recalling his days working
at the Detroit Jewish News 17 years ago.
the Jewish businessman persuaded to use
a Dictaphone on a trial basis, and if he
liked it could buy it ... The next day, the
Dictaphone representative called at his
office and asked how the machine was
... "Well, I'll tell you:' said the customer,
"it ain't so bad, but it talks with an awful
REUNION DEPT. ... 45th for
Southfield Class of 1967 will be a casual
get-together, Saturday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.
at Mr. Joe's, 12 Mile, Southfield ... Contact
Ronna Katzman, (248) 788-1562, or email:
CONGRATS ... To Jo Thompson on her
birthday ... To Simone Vitale on his birth-
day ... To Karen Gruskin on her birthday
... To Taylor Chimoff on her 20th birthday
... To Hillary Cherney on her 21st birthday
... To Bobbi Chess on her birthday ... To
Richard "Dick" Lulkin on his 75th birthday
... To Thelma Kerwin on her 90th birth-
day ... To Zena Davis on her birthday ...
To Dr. Maurice and Leanor Reizen on their
69th anniversary ... To Myron and Ellen
Gruskin on their 57th anniversary. ❑

Danny's email is dannyraskin@sbcglobal.net .



At Andiamo Bloomfield, perfection is our business. With our expert staff,
award-winning cuisine, and exquisite space, we can turn any occasion into
an event to remember. In addition, we offer two beautiful banquet rooms
accommodating 20 to 150 guests. Join us today!

6676 Telegraph • Bloomfield, MI 48301 • 248-865-9300


1 7E 07 .2 0


July 19 • 2012

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