Downtown's YumVillage joins the pop-up scene

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

The folks behind YumVillage are hoping to take locally sourced pop-up dining to another level.

Area chefs are chosen to present a dinner or lunch in a space in downtown Detroit, typically a Bedrock or Opportunity Detroit building. YumVillage founder Godwin Ihentuge says what sets their pop-up meals apart from others is that after the meal, guests rate the courses, the chef and their overall experience.

"That information goes to the chef, and we use it as well, and they can use it to better themselves or test out new menu items," says Inhentuge, who is also a chef. "They get live, aggregate data that they can use in the future."

On Nov. 13, Chef Jeff Rose of C.A.Y.A. Smokehouse Grill in Wolverine Lake will create a four-course meal of seasonal items. The event is at the One Woodward Avenue building.

For $50, or $85 a couple, guests will start with crispy risotto made with mushrooms, spinach, butternut squash puree and Parmesan foam. Roasted root vegetables follow, along with braised beef short ribs. The final course is a pumpkin cheese cake.

Tickets must be purchased in advance — before 10 p.m. Monday. Visit

Yardbird hosts first craft beer dinner

Following the popular trend of barbeque and craft beer, Yardbird Smoked Meats opened in September with a carnivore-friendly menu.

Next week the Keego Harbor restaurant, which was formerly Jeremy Restaurant & Bar, will host its first beer dinner with a mix of local and national brands. Each beer on the four course menu was a medal-winner at last month's Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo.

The $40 Veterans Day meal, which is 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Nov. 11, starts with a label you may not expect in a craft beer setting: Coors Banquet. The old school beer actually won a bronze medal in the American Style/Light Lager category.

First course is pig cakes with Shiner Bock from Texas, followed by smoked salmon with buttermilk slaw paired with Apricot Ale from Seattle's Pyramid Breweries. Salt and pepper rubbed brisket comes up in the third course along with Alaskan Brewing Co.'s Alaskan Smoked Porter. Dessert is butterscotch pudding and Griffin Claw's Screamin Pumpkin Ale from Birmingham.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling (248) 681-2124. The Yardbird is at 1978 Cass Lake Road, Keego Harbor.

Veterans get free meal at chain restaurants

Are you a veteran or active member of the U.S. military? Several casual restaurants around town are offering free meals Nov. 11 for Veterans Day. All Texas Roadhouse locations are offering one of 10 entrees during lunchtime, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

At On the Border restaurants in Novi, Auburn Hills and Allen Park, military folks can get a select combo meal free of charge. Some locations of Outback Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Chili's and Applebee's are also offering free meals for U.S. veterans and active military. Proof of service is required.

Food and beverage events

Rubbed After Dark: Five-course dinner at Rubbed in Corktown, with cured meat, cheese, spinach bisque, salmon ceviche, lamb tartare. 6 and 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $40. 2015 Michigan, Detroit. (313) 265-3684.

Whiskey Business at Royal Oak Farmers Market: Sample Scotch, bourbon and rye whiskeys, along with whiskey-inspired appetizers. 8-11 p.m. Fri. VIP entrance at 7 p.m. $50, $70, $15 designated driver. 316 E. 11 Mile, Royal Oak.

Motor City Brew Tours Brewery Bus Tour to Kalamazoo: Travel to three new Kalamazoo-area breweries: Arcadia Ales West, Tibbs Brewing Company and Rupert's Brew House. Tickets include transportation, tours, food and beer samples. 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sat. $75. Pickups at 514 S. Lafayette in Royal Oak (9:30 a.m.) and at M-14/Miller Road Exit Park and Ride (10 a.m.).

10 Alarm Chili Challenge at Corktown Tavern: A benefit for the Detroit Firemen's Benevolent Fund, this chili challenge pits fire departments from all over Metro Detroit against each other. Noon-6 p.m. Sat. (votes collected until 4 p.m.) $10 donation. 1716 Michigan, Detroit.

Detroit Lions Breakfast Buffet at TAP at MGM Grand Detroit: Before each Lions home game, enjoy a buffet that has all the breakfast fixings, including an omelet station. 7-11 a.m. Sun., Nov. 27 and Dec. 7 and 14. $18, $10 children. 1777 Third, Detroit. (313) 465-1234.