Week of 8.14.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Meadow Brook Concert & Cuisine

More than 350 ($85 - $125 tickets) convened at Oakland University for the annual summer fundraiser for MBT - “Michigan’s answer to Broadway.” Before the food stations opened, folks lollygagged outside sipping beer and wine from the Rochester Tap Room and bid $9,000 for the silent auction items Colleen Brnabic and Maryann Foxlee had set up in the hallway. Generous local restaurants (see photo gallery) served savory fare for dining on the stroll before the theatre doors opened. Artistic director Travis Walter conducted a live auction with his trademark good humor. He got $500 from two bidders for two Dickens packages that included a walk-on role in MBT’s “A Christmas Carol”  and $900 for a Fender Squire Guitar signed by The Grass Roots Band.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

August 2017

HORSE RACES: Democratic aspirations of taking a majority hold on Congress after the 2018 General Election will hinge on the party’s ability to take two dozen congressional seats, which may include upsets in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts, according to recent rankings of 82 districts by The New York Times. The piece split the districts into eight groups to watch, based on competitiveness ...more»
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New Meeting House opens in Rochester

The Meeting House
Lightly smoked chicken breast, maple basted spaghetti squash,
baby carrots snap
peas sage (gf).
Photo: Laurie Tennent
(click for larger version)
01/04/2013 - What are the chances? A three-year-old learns to handle pasta dough from his great-grandmother.

Thirty years later, after earning an Oakland Community College culinary degree, working under chefs Steve Allen and Rocky Rachwitz at Steve & Rocky's in Novi, then nine years with the Roberts Restaurant Group, rising to Executive Chef of Roadside B&G in Bloomfield Township, Chris Johnson partners with 34-year-old Jason Mood in their new Rochester eatery, The Meeting House. It opened December 4, 2012.

The partners met when both worked at Beverly Hills Grill. "For four years," says general manager Mood, "we entertained the idea of our own restaurant. Because Chris was born, raised and now lives with his family in Rochester, this city was on our radar."

It's easy to note that both partners are passionate about food perspectives with the cornerstones of great food and warm hospitality.


Patrick Thompson of PTD Design in Detroit masterfully captured a somewhat zen-centric setting with touches of vibrance captured by red arm chairs at four-top tables, against an essentially black background, highlighting blond wood tabletops. Tables for two line a wall and offer seating flexibility.

Although modern, it's easy to catch glimpses of an original 1887 building brought to life in the 21st Century. It's simple, classic, comfortable, and current.

It creates the perfect backdrop for the "simple, seasonal, good American cooking," Chef Johnson brings to the table. "I want our menu to be approachable with sophistication and refinement."

What's on the menu?

Avoiding the well-worn categories using French terms such as entrée incorrectly, Meeting House dubs appetizers suitable for sharing, "Smalls & Such." Here, tasty stuff has a balanced price point, $4-$9. Chicken Wings are cold smoked and wood roasted, garnished with white truffle oil, toasted garlic, and parmesan. Fire-roasted Wild Mushrooms are enhanced by roasted garlic and goat cheese. Littleneck Clams are enlivened by cooking in white wine and finished with smoked paprika butter.

Daily seasonal soup specials are offered by the cup or bowl. Traditional salads are small while main course size are creative. Grilled Flat Iron Steak is accompanied by a corn tortilla, avocado and blue cheese dressing, $14. Apple Cider Pulled Chicken Salad highlights crushed hazelnuts, Fuji apple, mixed greens with Michigan maple dressing, $12.

Three wood fired pizzas offer a casual note. Chef Johnson has developed the wood fired oven into more than a way to cook pizzas. Fire roasting and smoking of other items create unique flavors.

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Tags: at the table

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