Food and dining briefs: New chefs, new products and more

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Blake's launched a nonalcoholic, non-caffeinated probiotic beverage called Sorta Pop this month.

Blake’s launches new beverage: Michigan’s Blake’s Hard Cider company has launched a line of nonalcoholic, carbonated, probiotic soda. Named “Sorta Pop,” the new canned beverage comes in lemon-lime, strawberry and tangerine flavors. It’s being promoted as low calorie, low sugar and caffeine free. It’ll hit shelves in southeastern Michigan this month. They sell for $2.49 per 12-ounce can. Visit for more details.

New people, programs at the Whitney: After a break for some cleaning and kitchen upgrades, the Whitney reopens Thursday with a new executive chef, Mark Donovan, who comes back home to Detroit after more than 10 years working with Disney in Florida. Along with the new certified sommelier Danny Hochrein and longtime Whitney sous chef Gary Jones, Donovan will usher in some changes at the Whitney that includes a new three-course, seasonal dinner menu. Jones is spearheading the return of the third floor Ghost Bar’s prime rib dinners on Wednesday nights. Visit the website for more information. 4421 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 832-5700.

Moules à la maison is on Toria's new winter menu. The Northville restaurant recently added lunch service, too.

New lunch, winter menus at Toria: European-inspired bistro and bar Toria has launched new lunch and dinner menus. Offered daily 11 a.m.-3 p.m., the new lunch service features include caramelized French onion tart, baked spinach and ricotta cannelloni and beer-battered haddock. For dinner, find a bone-in ribeye, butterbean and barley fricassee and “moules a la maison,” mussels, shallots, fresno chili with a butter cream sauce, tomato and baguette. 115 E. Main, Northville. (248) 924-3793.

Free popcorn at Emagine: In celebration of National Popcorn Day, Emagine theaters will give away one small, classic movie-style popcorn to each guest. No purchase is necessary, and you can upgrade to caramel, cheddar or OlivEpop popcorn for a fee. The deal is good during normal operating hours on Thursday. Visit for theater locations.

Steak and whiskey pairing at Marrow: Enjoy four pours of whiskey — one rye, a bourbon, a Scotch and a sherry barrel Scotch — each paired with a cut of dry-aged meat: a porterhouse, porkerhouse, pork coppa steak and a tomahawk. The event also includes a discussion about the best practices for preparing each cut and ticketholders will get a 10% discount from the retail case for post-class shopping. 6-8:30 p.m. Jan. 25. $125 per person. 8044 Kercheval, Suite 1B, Detroit.

The Original Tomato Pie at Mootz Pizzeria with mozzarella, pinched sausage, oregano, shaved Parmesan and olive oil.

Mootz is on DoorDash: Mootz Pizzeria + Bar, which is celebrating its fourth anniversary this month, is now on DoorDash, making it possible to have it delivered to you for lunch or dinner within 5 miles of the downtown Detroit restaurant. Later this month, Mootz will celebrate its anniversary by hosting six-time World Pizza Games champion Bruno DiFabio, who created many of the popular dishes at Mootz. 1230 Library, Detroit. (313) 243-1230.

Melody Baetens