D’Amato’s offers high-quality Italian food served in a luxe setting (loved the tomato caprese, but I’m kind of obsessed with that salad right now). The wailing of the occasional passing train – the restaurant is located near the train tracks in downtown Royal Oak – only serves to add to the ambience.
222 S Sherman Dr.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
On a weekend in late September every year for the last five years, Clinton Township has held an event called the Festival of the Senses, with food, live music, activities for kids, and local vendors selling all kinds of cool wares (honey, rustic birdhouses, and handcrafted jewelry were just a few of the offerings I saw). I’ve wanted to go for the last few years but have always had work or something else going on. And this year I arrived in the late afternoon on Sunday just as it was starting to rain – so they weren’t exactly favorable conditions in which to visit. Still, it seemed pretty cool, and I’m always encouraged by any event that supports local vendors and gives them a chance to connect with a community.
Held at the Clinton Twp. Civic Center
40700 Romeo Plank Rd.
Clinton Twp., MI 48038
They say The Whitney is haunted . . . and after visiting it last weekend, I can see why departed souls would be reluctant to leave it. It is absolutely gorgeous. The detailing and craftsmanship in this beautiful old mansion, as in other aged architectural landmarks that have been preserved in Detroit, fills me with such awe and appreciation that such lovely places still exist, evading the demolition and decay that have taken too many of the others.
4421 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
Heirloom tomatoes from this week’s share
So I realized I would be remiss if I didn’t count this place as one of the 100 places I’ve visited on this quest. I joined this farm’s CSA (stands for Community-Supported Agriculture) half-share program this summer, which means that every two weeks since about mid-June, I’ve been making the journey to this organic, solar-powered farm at 30-Mile Road in Lenox to pick up my share of the week’s harvest (mostly vegetables, although occasionally some fruit has been thrown in). It’s been a real creative challenge to figure out all of the ways to use these vegetables in my one-person household, and I haven’t been the greatest at it (examples: lettuce wilting in my fridge before I could give it to someone or figure out how I, as a non-salad-eater, could use it; an increasing accumulation of redskin potatoes, currently at about nine pounds worth – there are only so many of those suckers one person can eat at a time!). But for the most part I’ve enjoyed the challenge, which has led me to discover hot-pink beet-laced hummus and chocolate-beet cupcakes and the benefits of creating my own vegetable stock (genius for getting rid of all of that excess zucchini and squash of a month ago!). Plus, I love knowing that all of the produce I’m getting from there is organic and that I’m supporting local, naturally-grown agriculture.
34700 30 Mile Rd.
Lenox, MI 48050
Cherry rooibos tea latte – amazing!
A super-cozy place to enjoy a delicious cup of tea. I can already see myself here in my sweatpants with a book on a chilly January evening.
117 West 4th St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
It was so relaxing to go to this place Monday evening and spend a few hours just talking to a friend and painting a piece of pottery. I love activities that access the right side of my brain, because I can feel how such processes are much more intuitive and for me, therapeutic after a long day of having to use the left (analytical) side.
Creative Arts Studio offers much more than just painting of preformed pottery. It also has pottery wheels where you can form your own, glass fusing, jewelry making, canvas painting, and more.
114 W. 4th St., Royal Oak, MI 48067
On the way home from RenFest today, I hit up downtown Clarkston again, this time visiting the Union. This place is known for its macaroni and cheese, but its Union Pot Pie was what I found especially amazing.
There’s a great beer selection here and a cute patio. Even more notable is the fact that the restaurant is housed in an old church from the 1840s and still contains pews for seating! Pretty awesome.
54 S. Main St.
Clarkston, MI 48346
I found a Groupon for this place where you can get 10 fitness classes for only $25 and decided to check it out. I liked that it offers a variety of fitness classes, including a hot yoga class on Saturday mornings, which I went to today. It was great – a mix of challenging (I’m not the most flexible gal – I could definitely benefit from more yoga!) and relaxing, and I loved the heat. I kept thinking it would feel amazing to come into on a frigid winter’s day!
I can’t wait to try some of the other classes.
35490 Groesbeck Hwy.
Clinton Twp., MI 48035
Another great one in Ferndale. The pizza and raspberry cheesecake are awesome! Good happy-hour beer specials, too.
22646 Woodward Ave.
Ferndale, MI 48220