Cucina Italiana gets a royal visit

Italian Count Sebastiano Capponi popped into the Rugiero family’s Antonio’s Cucina Italiana restaurant in Canton last week to get a taste of Mama Rita’s (Rugiero’s) home-cooked style Italian fare before he headed back home to his Villa Calcinaia. The count was in the U.S. selling his wine, which has been in his family since 1524.

Checker Bar BQ gets its own night at Lelli’s

Aside from the fact that Mark Zarkin owns Lelli’s on the Green, one of this town’s most celebrated Italian restaurants, he’s constantly saluting other establishments — past and present. Mark’s current obsession is with Checker Bar BQ. “I remember ordering a rib snack all the time after school from Checker Bar BQ in Lincoln Center,” he recalls. “I want to relive that memory. I want to bring that back.” On June 4, Mark will host the first Checker Bar BQ Night at Lelli’s on the Green in Farmington Hills. There will be three seatings that will feature all of the old Checker Bar BQ favorites. Call (248) 994-1111.

Allee Willis wins Spirit of Detroit award

The very colorful award-winning songwriter Allee Willis has racked up a couple more awards to add to her multiple shelves of congratulatory statues in her L.A. home. A native Detroiter, Allee won the Spirit of Detroit award at the Detroit Music Awards on Friday, just prior to dashing off to accept the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction in New York next month. Some of her biggest hits include Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September” and “Boogie Wonderland,” and The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance.” Everyone can enjoy the kooky, quirky and never dull world of Allee Willis on May 18 and 19 at her one-woman show, “Allee Willis Loves Detroit” at the City Theatre.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of and hosts “Chuck’s World” from 4-5 p.m. Saturdays on 910AM Superstation.

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