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April 01, 2004 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-01

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12B -The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, April 1, 2004

Eve prepares
authentic European
fare as a reminder
of the high stan-
dards of quality and
service In the south
of France.

EXPECT

A FULL

'EVE'NING

FRENCH INSPIRATION EQUALS SATISFYING, BUT PRICEY DINNER

By Anthea Stolz
- Daily Arts Writer
As graduation nears and the uncertainty of
the post-collegiate years creeps into my
thoughts, I crave comfort. Like many in chaot-
ic situations, I look to the idyllic past for an
escape from the impending reality of gradua-
tion in ... gasp ... four weeks. I cannot think of
a more carefree and stable time in my life than
my semester in the south of France. Dinner,
made from scratch, arrived on the table every
night at 7:30 p.m. sharp, served by my charis-
matic and lovable host grandmother. Comfort
food is important to most people. Right now,
comfort food for me is escapist food: a vicari-
ous culinary return to paradise without ever
leaving the city limits.
Hankering for an evening hiatus from reali-
ty, I headed to Eve for dinner with a fellow
friend seeking escapist cuisine. Transporting
ourselves from Ann Arbor to France, we
arrived at the cozy restaurant tucked in the
Kerrytown Market to find it bustling with live-
ly diners and others awaiting tables. Very lim-
ited bar seating and virtually no other conve-
nient place to wait should encourage future
diners to make reservations.

Once seated, the ambiance is lovely. Small
tables covered in white linen and adorned with
a single white candle lighten up the brick walls
without destroying the intimate atmosphere.
With space at a premium, the tables are placed
fairly close together, a la frangaise, and ani-
mated yet hushed discussions abound, but
everyone is concerned only with their own
conversations.
Chef and owner Eve Aronoff believes in the
French philosophy of cooking, which she
describes on the back of her chic menu to
mean "making almost everything from
scratch, following the seasons and savoring
and caring about the food." Because Eve's
dishes follow seasonality dictated by produce
rather than the calendar, she is still following
her winter menu.
While carefully studying the menu, boasting
Asian-inspired fusion fare, we awaited a bottle
of Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone 2001. Far
from the most coveted bottle on the wine list, it
was one of the "Excursions" (wines under $25
per bottle) and evoked memories of the red
wine from the same region that sat on the din-
ner table each night in France.
The culinary trip back to France really began

with a cutting board of good crusty bread
accompanied by three flavored butters: garlic
and herb, salmon and guava. Each delighted
with a very distinctive taste, which made
choosing a favorite impossible.
My entree, macadamia nut-encrusted
salmon, topped with a citrus sour cream and
served with coconut rice and sauteed seasonal
vegetables achieved a delicate complexity that
combined substance and freshness. Salmon's
natural richness was nicely complemented by
the macadamia crust, which contrasted with
the spicy tomato-cilantro salsa in texture and
in taste. With a distinct hint of ginger, the
sticky coconut rice sweetly cooled the heat of
the salsa.
Eve's food is undoubtedly prepared in the
French style, though it does not arrive in
minuscule European portions, but rather in
larger American servings. While I had no room
for a third course, I couldn't resist a peek at the
dessert menu. Overtaken by my red wine haze,
I temporarily forgot about the limitations of my
stomach and ordered the apple and dried cher-
ry cobbler. Delightfully warm, the fruit cobbler
was topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
and served with a small pitcher of maple syrup

and cream for drizzling on top. A dessert that
could have been too sweet was carefully bal-
anced by the tartness of the cherries, resulting
in a delectable treat and a perfect finish to the
leisurely meal.
Three hours after being seated, the meal
unfortunately came to an end. Without a
morsel left on our plates or a drop in our wine
glasses, we had nothing to prove that we had
escaped to France for the night, except the
indescribable satisfaction and happiness that
radiated from our faces, stomachs and minds,
put to rest by the comfort of the cuisine from
our idealized worry-free pasts. Eve is a pricey
excursion for the student budget - entrees
range from $20 to 30 - but dinner is far less
expensive than a plane ticket to Paris.

PARKING
Continued from Page 3B
really concerned, have someone get
out of your car and direct you. This is
cheating because you can't take full
credit for the parking job, so if you
'have faith in your inner-parking
mechanism, go it alone.
First, pull up to give yourself room
to maneuver. Checking your rear and
side-view mirrors obsessively,

employ the hand-over-hand method
taught in driver's training. Slowly turn
the wheel to the right, nudge it to the
left and gently glide the car into the
space. Make sure not to slam into
anything. Again, Costanza's wisdom
is apropos: "It's all geometry, know-
ing all the angles, when to make that
first turn and then when to swing it
back in, that's the key."
When you emerge triumphantly
from your vehicle, admire your work
and exclaim to everyone within

earshot, "What a

beauty!" Stare at

them until they nod in agreement.
Smirk at your friends because they
doubted you. Call your mother and
tell her that you're back, baby - Ann
Arbor's reigning champion of parallel
parking has done it again. You walk
into your destination, which happens
to be Mr. Greek's, feeling like the new
American Idol.
Leaving the restaurant, you
glimpse a thin white envelope on your
windshield. In all the excitement, you

forgot to pop some quarters in the
meter. Wailing "Nooooooo!" in
opera-worthy woe, you realize you've
destroyed the perfect park -the final
leg of the Greek's challenge is return-
ing to a ticket-free car. The ticket will
run you $5 if you pay at City Hall
within the next 24 hours, $10 if you
mail your payment within 14 days.
However, this is a small price to pay
for entering a restaurant and not being
compared to a horny Englishman
with bad teeth.

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