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Murphy pours the wine

There were several sightings of the beauteous Nicole Murphy in the D last week while she was in town promoting her new sparkling rose, Destiny Moscato. She attended a reception at the elegant Prime 29 Steakhouse, where late-night dinner guests were treated to complimentary glasses of the rose-colored bubbly with which to wash down the award-winning fare at the popular West Bloomfield Township restaurant. Wearing a midriff-baring crisp white top over a full, flirty brown skirt, Murphy — mother, model, businesswoman and former wife of comedian Eddie Murphy — greeted guests, signed bottles and took photos while the Brian Alexander Band entertained.

“This is my second trip to Detroit, and I must admit I’m enjoying it much more this time,” Murphy said, recalling the brutally cold temperatures she experienced at the Charity Preview in January. “I’m scheduled to stop at 15 stores to sign bottles of Destiny tomorrow. I’m really up for it. The people here have been great and the weather is perfect.” Well, the people may remain great, but as far as perfect weather, Nicole, as we say in Michigan, just wait a few minutes ... it will change.

Tea-rific Detroiters make American Made finals

In the early 2000s, Joseph Uhl of Grosse Pointe walked away from his stable, three-piece-suit career as an attorney to follow his longtime passion: researching the world’s greatest tea growers and producers. After years of traveling, watching and learning, a little over two years ago, the tea aficionado founded Joseph Wesley Black Tea, a line of estate-grown teas from some of the most celebrated tea gardens in the world.

Uhl’s hard work and expertise have not gone unnoticed. His company was recently named a 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Audience Choice Finalist by Martha Stewart and her panel of 16 judges. Several other Detroit-based companies also are finalists in the contest, including Bon Bon Bon, Banza, Drought, Detroit Denim, Firebrand Candle and Smith Shop. Public voting will begin Sept. 21, and winners (Editors’ Award Winners & Audience Choice Winners) will be announced Oct. 23 and go to New York. (P.S. Uhl also authored a book, “The Art & Craft of Tea: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Brewing, and Serving Exquisite Tea,” due out in October on Quarry Books).

La Strada and Adore open in Birmingham

You could say Zharko and Dalis Palushaj are pretty busy these days. He’s the general manager of the posh Tre Monti restaurant in Troy; she owns and operates three nail salon/spas (VIP, Adore and Love). After a fairytale wedding last year, the two brought their first child, Skyler Nora, into the world in July. If that weren’t enough, this month Zharko is opening La Strada Dolci e Caffe, a sophisticated European coffee bar, on Merrill Street in downtown Birmingham.

“La Strada is an old world coffee bar with bistro and lounge-style seating and baristas dressed in tuxedos making the coffee,” Zharko says. Next door, of course, guests can enjoy relaxing spa treatments at Adore. The Asian-influenced Adore is already open, and La Strada Dolci e Caffe will open for European breakfast (no eggs), lunch and dinner in October.

chuckbennett@hotmail.com

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