Society confidential: Partying with the car guys

Susan Whitall and Chuck Bennett

Partying with the car guys

Visiting journalists and car folks from over the world converge on Detroit to partake in auto show action, but for us, it’s about the nightly revelry. The party scene got started last Friday when Cauley Ferrari celebrated the arrival and delivery of the LaFerrari, the most extreme Ferrari ever built (it costs almost $2 mil and only 499 were produced). Local collector Ken Lingenfelter took delivery of one of these bright red beauties, and the event featured wine, a spread of Italian fare and music from celebrated violinist Siobhan Cronin. On Saturday, the Gallery event was held at MGM Grand with guests paying $1,000 to enjoy a scrumptious dinner from Wolfgang Puck, who was on hand, kissing cheeks and shaking hands. Guests also had a chance to enjoy a Neiman Marcus fashion show and get up close and personal with a couple dozen luxury vehicles valued collectively at about $7 million.

GM design chief Ed Welburn and his team unveiled a trio of fancy new Buicks at Eastern Market on Sunday with the help of an a cappella singing group from the television show “Sing-Off.” Servers from Forte Belanger delivered cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres to guests who chilled on white leather lounge furniture. And on Monday, Jocelyn Allen and her GM Diversity team hosted Design by Detroit, an edgy media mixer showcasing the artistic influence GM has had on design in the city of Detroit. There were cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and really good dance music at the event, held at Detroit Mercantile. Now we nap.

Spa cows at the Chop

As a treat to the large crowds of pre-auto show revelers packing the London Chop House all week, executive chef RJ Scherer decided to offer a special befitting the legacy of his iconic workplace. “We offered a Strube Ranch ribeye, one of the finest cuts of the highest quality beef you can get,” Scherer said. And it ought to be, costing interested diners $90 each. But get this: Instead of lasting for a couple days as a special to auto show folks, the good beef was gone within a couple hours. “They say the Strube Ranch is like a spa for cows,” explains London Chop House general manager Bjorn Lagerfeldt. “They’re massaged, they lay around and drink beer to fatten them up, and they’re fed the very best grain. By the time the beef gets to your plate, it is healthy, tender and oh, so juicy.” Lagerfeldt and Scherer haven’t made a final decision on whether Strube Ranch steaks will be a regular menu item at the London Chop House, but it will be a regularly recurring special.

Pages bookstore open on Grand River

We’re happy to report that itinerant bookseller Susan Murphy, whom we wrote about late last year, has landed her Pages bookstore at 19180 Grand River, inside the Always Brewing coffee house. Murphy, who used to work for GM, originally called her store Pages on Livernois because she had a spot there for a time and hoped to open a permanent location on the fabled, former Avenue of Fashion. Now she’s hoping to be in northwest Detroit, which is a bookstore desert at the moment. Pages is a general interest bookseller, with an emphasis on fiction. For hours, call (313) 473-7342.