Traffic Jam to give away ‘Hamilton’ tickets, plus more dining news and events

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Detroit’s Traffic Jam and Snug seeks couples who fell in love there.

Traffic Jam to give out ‘Hamilton’ tickets: In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Traffic Jam and Snug wants to hear from couples who had romantic times or fell in love within the brick walls of the Midtown Detroit restaurant at some point during the business’ 50-plus years. Couples who have had a special experience should type up their story and send it, along with a photo, to by Feb. 12. The pair with the “most endearing” story will win dinner at Traffic Jam, tickets to see “Hamilton” at the Fisher Theatre and dessert after on March 21.

Epicurean Group adds Big Red Orchard and more: Metro Detroit-based Epicurean Group restaurant group has expanded into Macomb County by adding Big Red Orchard and Farm, Beef & Jeff’s Meatery and Smokehouse and Big Red Hard Cider. Epicurean Group says this acquisition will allow their catering facilities and list of local restaurants to offer an “authentic farm-to-table dining experience.” Some of the group’s restaurants include Novi Chophouse, Soul Cafe in West Bloomfield and Nomad Grill in Southfield.

River Bistro to help furloughed workers: Detroit chef Max Hardy is joining the growing number of restaurants owners and other entities offering to help government workers who are affected by the current shutdown. He’ll serve a free plate of Caribbean curry chicken over rice at his River Bistro, 18456 Grand River, to any furloughed government employe who can show proof of employment. The offer runs noon-8 p.m. through Friday.

Bigalora Plymouth now open: The latest Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina has opened at 777 W. Ann Arbor Trail in Plymouth. The restaurant is open daily at 11 a.m. and 10 a.m. on weekends. Call (734) 233-6200. The causal pizza and Italian restaurants from chef Luciano DelSignore are also found in Ann Arbor, Southfield, Royal Oak, Rochester Hills and at Ford Field.

Dining calendar

Welcome to 2019 Wine Dinner at the Rattlesnake: Sommelier Maria Papp hosts a wine pairing event featuring cuisine from chef Jeff Lanctot. 6-8 p.m. Fri. $75, plus tax and gratuity. 300 River Place, Detroit. welcome-to-2019-wine-dinner.

Variety Detroit’s Chili, Wings and Soup(er) Bowl at Townsend Hotel: A friendly competition to see which local chefs have the best chili, wings and soup with celebrity judges, including former Detroit News food writer Kate Lawson. Proceeds benefit Variety Children’s Charity of Detroit. 6:30-11 p.m. Fri. $100-$150. 100 Townsend, Birmingham. or (248) 258-5511.

Beer tasting at McShane’s Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar: Sample more than 20 varieties of stouts and porters at this Corktown restaurant’s monthly beer tasting. There’s also live entertainment and a chef’s tasting menu. 6-9 p.m. Sat. $25-$30. 1460 Michigan, Detroit. Search tickets at

Birmingham Restaurant Week: Several restaurants in Birmingham will offer three-course lunches for $18 and three-course dinners for $36 for this 14th annual dining promotion. It runs Monday-Feb. 1 and Feb. 4-8.

Felony Provisions at Gather: As part of Gather’s guest chef series, Jason Osburn and Rece Hogerheide of Felony Provisions will offer two seatings Monday. Their five-course meal incorporates modern techniques and practices with traditional slow foods, charcuterie, fermentation preserving and more. 6 and 8 p.m. Mon. $65. 1454 Gratiot, Detroit. Search for tickets on

Gerard Bertrand Wine Dinner at Lady of the House: This Corktown hot spot will host the Gerard Bertrand Winery for their first wine dinner. The five-course meal will be accompanied by wines that are exclusive to the restaurant in this area. 6 p.m. Feb. 7. $150 plus tax and gratuity. 1426 Bagley, Detroit. Search tickets at

Greater Detroit VegBash at Royal Oak Farmers Market: Restaurants, food trucks and caterers will gather to offer their best vegan and vegetarian cuisine. The party also includes a full bar, vendors, kids’ activities and live music. 6-9:30 p.m. Feb. 7. $11 in advance, $13 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger. 316 E. 11 Mile, Royal Oak.

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Dinner at Carbon Athletic Club: Get a hot chicken paprikash dinner with all the fixings. Open to nonmembers. 5 p.m. Feb. 16. $13 at the door. 111 Gates, Detroit.

Detroit Mixology 101: Hennessy at Detroit Mixology Professional Bartending School: Learn how to make Hennessy cocktails to enjoy at home or at parties. Tickets include class, a minimum of three drinks and light refreshments. 6-8 p.m. Feb. 16. $30 and up. 11000 W. McNichols, #120, Detroit. (313) 662-4707. Search tickets at

Romance in Tuscany Dinner at Cafe Cortina: A contemporary, multi-course Italian dinner paired with Buoncristiani Family wines. 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17. $145. 30715 W. 10 Mile, Farmington Hills. (248) 474-3033.

Brewery Walking Tour at Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery: Motor City Brew Tours hosts a walking tour and beer tasting throughout Midtown at Jolly Pumpkin, Traffic Jam & Snug and Motor City Brewing Works. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. March 2. 42.50. 441 W. Canfield, Detroit.

Melody Baetens