Understated Ann Arbor bar 327 Braun Court celebrated its four-year anniversary last month with a stellar revamp of the food and beverage menus.
Previously, the upstairs bar would lend the kitchen out to pop-up chefs, but didn’t really have a steady offering of food. Now, owner Eric Farrell has cultivated a made-from-scratch menu that has bar staples like personal pizzas and chili fries mixed with sophisticated plates such as miso deviled eggs with bacon and scallions and dates that are stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon.
Farrell, formerly an employee of Zingerman’s Deli, also offers weekly specials. Recent offerings were pasta with spinach and bacon (they like bacon here) and a vegan mulligatawny soup. There also is an all-Zingerman’s Deli charcuterie plate.
The dimly lit, 38-seat bar has a refreshed cocktail menu, too. Farrell says some patrons were skeptical when he first opened with craft cocktails averaging $9, but four years later it’s pretty standard at newer bars and lounges.
Besides house specialties, classic cocktails and all the appropriate craft beer offerings, the new beverage menu has an entire page dedicated to vermouth.
“Because vermouth is delicious and not enough people are drinking it,” Farrell explains. Choose from one of the 13 botanical-infused wines, or pick a fight of four one-ounce pours for $10.
Check out the chalkboard behind the bar for other drink specials, including the drink of the day. On Tuesdays, it’s gin with house-made tonic; Wednesdays, it’s old fashioneds; and Thursdays, it’s champagne cocktails, each $7. On Fridays, they kick the weekend into gear with $5 a house-made rotating punch.
327 Braun Court can be found exactly at 327 Braun Court in Ann Arbor. It’s open 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Tues.-Fri., 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat. and 6 p.m.-midnight Sun. Call (734) 585-5440.
■Jim Brady’s Detroit opened Monday in Royal Oak. An homage to the original Jim Brady’s restaurant that opened in Detroit in the 1950s, the new Jim Brady’s is at 1214 S. Main. Lunch service starts on Dec. 14.
■Vegetarian and vegan food truck Shimmy Shack has released a 2016 calendar featuring local vegetarians as models. Visit shimmyshack.com to order one. Look for the seafoam green Shimmy Shack truck outside Ford Field before Lions games on Thursday and Dec. 27.
■Wayback Burgers have two new menu items for December. The alpine burger has two patties with Swiss cheese, pickled onions and peppercorn sauce between a pretzel bun. For dessert, check out the red velvet milkshake. Find locations at 2585 S. Rochester and 1256 Walton in Rochester Hills.
■The Whiskey Six restaurant and bar in the Village of Grosse Pointe is planning to open by Dec. 15. The bar, at 646 Saint Clair, will focus on locally made whiskey and beer, and the menu will have American fare like pizza, sandwiches and seafood.
Food & beverage events
Chefs John Vermiglio and Josef Giacomino at Yemans Street: Chefs from the upcoming Midtown restaurant Grey Ghost present a five-course pop-up that features products of the cow, from veal tongue to cow’s milk sorbet. It will be Yemans Street’s last pop-up of the year. 7 p.m. Fri. Sold out. 2995 Yemans, Hamtramck. yemansstreet.com.
Prohibition Repeal Day Party at the Sugar House: Prohibition-era drink specials with live music and a chance to win a Fernet-branded bicycle. 5 p.m. Sat. 2130 Michigan, Detroit. (313) 962-0123.
Prohibition Repeal Day Party at Detroit City Distillery: Hosted by the Detroit Drunken Historical Society, this party has jazz music, dancing and a photo booth. Period clothing is encouraged. “Prohibition Detroit” author Mickey Lyons will give a presentation and offer a toast. 7 p.m. Sat. $10. 2462 Riopelle, Detroit. (313) 338-3760.
Wine & Dine at Bistro 82: This new Wednesday dining feature includes a fixed-price, five-course meal with three wine pairings. The feast starts with Chesapeake Bay oyster, followed by seared scallop and foie gras, roasted cobia (fish), flat iron steak, and dessert, pumpkin genoise (sponge cake). Wednesday evenings. $75, $50 without wine. 401 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak. (248) 542-0082.
BFF Wednesdays at St. Cece’s Food & Spirits: Every Wednesday this Corktown spot offers two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts for $30. Bottles of wine are half-off, too. Their refreshed winter menu includes New York strip steak, braised pork belly and polenta cakes. Wednesdays. 1426 Bagley, Detroit. (313) 962-2121.
Melo Farms pop-up at Parks and Rec: Larissa Popa, the butcher at Republic in Detroit, has studied whole hog butchery at charcuterie in France. She’ll show off her skills with a pork pop-up dinner at next door Parks and Recs. Proceeds from the dinner will go toward helping Melo Farms of Yale, Michigan, pay for a new tractor. The five-course meals features tenderloin, bacon ham hocks and other products from the farm. 6 p.m. Dec. 10. $55. 1942 Grand River, Detroit. (586) 552-9518.
Champagne and all that Bubbles at Plum Market West Bloomfield: Sample and learn about French Champagne, Spanish cava and American sparkling wine. 6:30-8 p.m. Dec. 10. $25. 6565 Orchard Lake, West Bloomfield. (248) 626-7000.
Chef Brent Foster at Revolver: Foster serves a five-course Asian-inspired all-vegetarian meal. It starts with sweet potato banh mi bruschetta, followed by miso-glazed tofu, edamame sliders, spicy udon and green tea cheesecake. 5 and 8 p.m. Dec. 13. $35 including tax but not tip. 9737 Jos Campau, Hamtramck. (313) 757-3093 or revolverhamtramck.com.
Buon Natale Cena at Cafe Cortina: This Christmas Eve dinner celebrates the holiday and the restaurant’s 40th anniversary. Reservations are being taken between 4-6:45 p.m. Dec. 24. $85 per person, wine pairings starting at $22. 30715 W. 10 Mile, Farmington Hills. (248) 474-3033.
Brewery Bus Tour with Motor City Brew Tour: The first bus tour of the year, this trip visits Dark Horse Brewery in Marshall, Territorial Brewing Co. in Battle Creek and Grand River Brewery in Jackson. Ticket include transportation, brewery tours, beer samples, lunch and snacks. 8:15 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Jan. 9. $75. Pick up at Sixth and Lafayette in Royal Oak or at the M-14/Miller Road Exit Park & Ride in Ann Arbor. motorcitybrewtours.com.
Ultimate Funk Fest at Ashley’s Westland: More than 100 beers with non-traditional ingredients, fruity lambic, wood aged, sour beers and more. 6-9:30 p.m. Feb. 12. $40 in advance, $45 day of, $90 for North American Belgian Beer Festival combo ticket. 7525 N. Wayne, Westland. (734) 525-1667.
North American Belgian Beer Festival at Ashley’s Westland: This is the largest beer festival in the United States that features exclusively Belgian beers. Feb. 12. $35 and up. 7525 N. Wayne, Westland. (734) 525-1667.
Winter Beer Festival at Fifth Third Ball Park: More than 100 Michigan breweries will be represented at this annual celebration of our state’s craft beer industry. The festival is expected to sell out. 3-7 p.m. Feb. 26 and 1-6 p.m. Feb. 27. $45-$50. A transportation package is available through motorcitybrewtours.com. 4500 West River Dr. NE, Comstock Park, Grand Rapids. mibeer.com.