It was a much quicker return to Rocky’s in Northville, then I had expected, but otherwise I was thrilled. I mean it is a restaurant that my Bride and I have been going to, since from the time that we were dating, and that is about when they opened. Of course, this evening was with my dinner club and I guess three of the members were impressed enough to go with Rocky’s. As I have stated before, this club has been around since the late 1800’s, but like all clubs, it is having problems getting new members. There was some concern, about a future meeting still in the current fiscal year that is going to short one-member host, and we had an emergency discussion and everyone may have to divvy up some money out their wallets for the next meeting. I prophesized that a couple members that are always complaining about the rules of club and the expenses, will probably avoid attending the next meeting. Alas, the club was always a gentleman’s club and I am sure that the original members and even those members that were in the club during the Great Depression would be aghast at the behavior and attitudes of some of these newer members.
As always, we had to walk past the big bear that greets everyone as they enter the main room and bar of the restaurant, and our group was meeting in the back, by ourselves and that is how we prefer having it. Everyone remembered the hot house-made bread with scoops of soft butter in ramekins that was just waiting to melt. The house salad went beyond just lettuce and a tomato that we sometimes encounter and the house-made dressing was Raspberry Maple Vinaigrette. We had a selection of three entrées for dinner to choose from; a Breast of Chicken Piccata with Lemon Mushroom Caper Sauce, Rice Pilaf and fresh vegetable, Broiled Whitefish with Rice Pilaf and fresh vegetables and a New York Strip Steak, Red Wine Sauce, Mashed Potatoes and fresh vegetables. Followed by coffee and Hot Fudge Sundaes. I decided to go with the Whitefish, a Michigan staple and widely acclaimed especially if it is prepared properly and I knew it would be, as my Bride often times will order it, while I get something more hedonistic.
Since some of our members rebelled about paying for drinks, drinks are now payable by each member, at first, I thought it was petty, but I found a silver lining to this problem. A few of the members, when they were not being hosts would order exotic Scotch or Bourbon or even Cognac, but I always would just get a “well” Whiskey Sour or perhaps if they had something decent a glass of wine. Now that it up to each member, two of us chip in and get a bottle of something really interesting like the Celani Family Vineyards Vincenza Rosé 2018. I did have to do some selling to get this wine approved, because the initial thought was that is was “girly,” and we wine drinkers know better. Vicki and Tom Celani are from Detroit, own the winery in Napa, and are regarded as philanthropists for certain charities in the Detroit area, and I have written about some of their wines at an event I attended some time past. Tom Celani’s grandfather came to America and first found work at a mill in Pennsylvania and then moved to Detroit to work at Ford Motor Company. One of his sons and then his grandson Tom ended up with a beer distributorship and it became one of the largest Miller distributors in the United States. Tom’s first introduction to wine was helping his grandfather make wine at home, but then he discovered a true appreciation for wine, both overseas and domestically. It is no surprise that he eventually found and bought a Tuscan-style estate with seventeen acres of grapes and one-hundred-twenty olive trees in the foothills of the Vaca Mountain range. The wine was an estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé that was mouth watering with its refreshing taste. Strawberries and rose petals wafted up to tempt the nose, after studying the deep pink color of the wine, and the wine delivered in spades, essences of strawberries, cranberries and red fruits with a layer of mineral terroir to make this wine an excellent dry finish and so satisfying. In fact, I left my last share of the pour, to take home to let my Bride taste it, and she was as happy as she could be, since she was not with me for the dinner.