Friday, March 30, 2012

Bistro News March 30, 2012


What a great day I’ve had. For the first time since opening, over 5 months ago, I stayed at home and was able to do some office catch up. I don’t know about you, but, when my work space is a riotous mess I’m crazy. Usually, I’m riding Picasso in the early morning but today, for reasons unknown, he was put out to pasture and there was no coaxing him back in. As luck would have it Courtney, my friend and groom, (in her 80’s), called to warn me before I headed out to the stable. So, I took Pico and Niki on an extra long walk, worked in the yard, fed the birds and the barn cat, Uma, then, retired into a warm house and “officed” for 8 hours straight. Thankfully I have a balance ball chair that forces me to have good posture as I sit at my desk… Luv It!

I am often asked if I’m related to “the” Diamond Jim Brady. My answer is always the same: “If I were, I’d be sitting on a beach in Hawaii.” James Brady, my father-in-law, was the founder of this restaurant, Diamond Jim Brady’s in 1954. It was his idea to associate the two, as Diamond Jim was somewhat of a legend in the 20’s and 30’s.

He earned his name as a result of the tremendous jewel collection that he accrued during his lifetime. It included a 33-carat scarf pin that cost close to $2 Million. When questioned as to the authenticity of the diamond, he would carve the initials D.J.B. in the doubter’s window to assure that they’d never forget.
Diamond Jim’s equal claim to fame was the monstrous amounts of food that he consumed during a day. He was an expert diner. Ironically he was born the son of a saloon operator. His career was that of a salesman of railroad equipment, a profession at which he excelled and became a multi-millionaire. For breakfast he’d consume a full gallon of OJ, hominy, eggs, cornbread, muffins, flapjacks, chops, fried potatoes and a beefsteak. He never drank alcohol but did would drink OJ all day, and, thought that it extended his life.
A mid-morning snack was served at 11:30 and consisted of two or three dozen clams and oysters. An hour later was lunch: more oysters, clams, crabs, lobsters, a joint of beef, salad and several types of pie. An afternoon stand-by was a heaping platter of seafood. Then, time for a nap and dinner. Again oysters began the meal, which were specially picked by Maryland dealers who knew about the legendary eater. Following would be six crabs, two portions of turtle soup, lobsters, a steak, two whole ducks, a steak, vegetables (thank heavens) and platters of French pastry. A two pound box of candy was the late night snack.
In the end the strain of eating took its toll. At the young age of 56 he was diagnosed with a stomach six times larger than normal. When offered an operation to reduce its size he never considered it. He wouldd have to live with care and a “normal” diet to get another 10 years out of his life. He opted out and died five years later in Atlantic City.

After writing about all this food I’m hungry. Luckily, a friend gave me a dozen beautiful little pee-wee eggs from his Japanese Silky hens and I’ll make a frittata with sweet potatoes and fiddlehead ferns just harvested today from my woods. Maybe I’ll share with the pooches.

As a reminder we will be open on Easter, a first in many years. Sharon and I will both be working and look forward to seeing you. Check out our cool menu. We are taking reservations, so, please call to make yours.
And, our Happy Hour, a.k.a. Rush Hour (don’t you dare sit in traffic, sit at our bar) is gaining momentum. Sunday thru Thursday we have great beer, wine, drink and food specials. REALLY A DEAL!!! Check Sharon’s facebook updates daily!!!

Last week we started to take reservations all times other than Friday and Saturday evenings. It has worked out great. We are grateful to everyone who has been patient with us over the last 5 months. Thank-you so very much.

My quote for the week ~
“You’ve got a life to live. It’s short, at best. It’s a wonderful privilege and a terrific opportunity – and you’ve been equipped for it. Use your equipment. Give it all you’ve got. Love your neighbor—he’s having just as much trouble as your are. Be nice to him; be kind to him. Trust God. And work hard.”
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s Philosophy of Living

And, as always ~
“It’s a Million Dollar Day”

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bistro News March 23, 2012

Greetings from the Bistro!
What a fun week we’ve had! St. Patrick’s Day was awesome – lots of yummy corned beef, lamb stew and beef n’ beer. We sold out of specials “just in time.” Meaning, we made it through the weekend. My culinary staff did a great job preparing them. Our kitchen looks big to you, but, believe me it’s a major organizational feat to transform hundreds of pounds of meat into beautiful meals. We only have 12 burners, all in the front, so any prep had to be done before opening or after closing. Great job! Which leads me into a favorite quote from Hermann Rusch, one of America’s first master chefs and a brilliant cook and educator. I had the pleasure of meeting him once at a competition and was so inspired that I read this quote, his, each day, to remind me how grateful I am to be in the hospitality profession. And, a chef to boot.
“Cooking is an art; a noble science --- Chefs are ladies and gentlemen.”
This saying has done more for me in my career than I can explain. My goal each day is to be fair, kind and generous in spirit to all. I sincerely hope that you feel this from me and my team each and every time you visit. We try really hard to make your time in the Bistro a special one.
We are proud to be ladies and gentlemen.
On a home note… my cable was out for the “big game” on Sunday. So I had to listen to MSU squeak a win via radio. At first I was very irritated not to be able to sit and watch the action but after a few minutes of listening I was kind of enthralled with listening vs. watching. The former, to listen, takes much more energy and concentration. And, I had to visualize; players running up and down the court, 3 pointers, missed shots, bad shots and the good ones too. I do admit that the last minute was torture… not to see what was happening. But, at the same time, it was exhilarating to hear the excitement in the announcer’s commentary and the crowd’s momentum. My cable is back. I’ll watch the games when I can but maybe with the sound off and radio on.
There is also the dilemma of what to do with no TV … so, when on the treadmill or elliptical I watched educational horseback riding DVD’s vs. one of the morning shows. At night I pulled out Tom’s copy of Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. This was a favorite book of his, then ours, read many times by each of us. All of the Messiah’s quotes are thought provoking, but our favorites were;
The bond
that links your true family
Is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.
Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.
There is no such thing as a problem
Without a gift for you in its hands.
You seek problems because you need their gifts.
I’m so happy that cable was out. What a pleasure to get back to grass roots.
A Couple of other things you should know about. We will be open on Easter Sunday and offering “just like home” comfort food. Fresh ham with mac and cheese, lamb chops and scalloped potatoes, eggs benedict in addition to our brunch and dinner menus. Also we will accept reservations. Reservations have been an “issue” for us until now. After 5 months of trial and error, we feel that we are in sync to be able to take them certain times. A reservation means that a table will be available as close to your arrival time as possible. We can’t “hold” tables while there are parties waiting. In other words, no empty or held tables at any time. And, it is imperative that all members of a reservation are here for seating at the designated time. Please bear with us and understand while we work through the infant stage of this process. Our intention is to make you happy, please know that we try are best. Reservations are available for lunch (everyday), and dinner Sunday- Thursday.
We’ve also started our “Rush Hour” a.k.a Brady Happy Hour. (We always happy.) Sunday thru Thursday Chefs Sharon and Greg will have a fun food treats and Maddy, Moe, Amy and Whisper are concocting new drink specials. Last night the deviled eggs and beef tacos sold out. And, for the late nighter's the above applies: a reverse happy hour. 9-11.
Finally, we’ve had some great press. We’re “national” with the Buffalo News's review of our wings and beef on weck. Also, the Novi News and Jewish News wrote great articles. Links are on our website.
The south deck is open weather permitting. It’s been full all week which has lightened the wait time. Glorious! And, our canine friend’s have been there to support us. Doggies are welcome. Come one, come all.
Remember to drop a bag of food for our needy furry critters too. Meals On Wheels distribute the food to need pets.

XXOO, Mary

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bistro News 3/16/2012

Greetings from the Bistro!

What fantastic weather. N’est pas? I’m just back from a fast and furious 2 day trip to St. Pete to visit with my mom, 3 aunts, a cousin, my sister Is and her husband Joe. Mom was up both mornings and out the door to do her 18 holes of golf. Then we’d lunch. Yesterday, her 83rd birthday, I cooked dinner for us all. A pre-St. Pat’s celebration including beef and beer. It initially seemed strange to me to make a “winter dish” in 80 degree weather but, the birthday girl requested it and I obliged. I’ll have to say, it was a great choice as I got to prep the night before and then as the stew slowly simmered for hours I had some wonderful visit time. A good choice Mom!!!

Our St. Pat’s celebration begins today in the Bistro and continues through the weekend. Of course there will be corned beef and cabbage, lamb stew, beef and beer, Guinness chocolate cake, Kinsale style scallops and lot’s of brews and Irish libations. My favorite is a Jameson McCree made with Jameson Irish Whiskey, pureed raspberries, Chambord and cranberry juice. Yum!

St. Patrick’s Day, in years past, was a time to honor Ireland’s patron saint. It is said that St. Patrick drove all of the snakes, which were of tremendous population, from the Emerald Isle. In present time the day is an excuse to drink a few stouts and eat lamb stew or corned beef and cabbage.

Ireland is a country of limited resources and a peasant background. Economic factors dictate the use of inexpensive and simple food products. An Irish proverb says “the newest of food and the oldest of drink.” Ireland boasts fresh food from it’s bountiful supply of produce and livestock. Simple food becomes simply splendid.

Onions, leeks, garlic, cabbage and carrots are some of the most common crops. Watercress and sorrel are used with the same frequency as iceberg lettuce in the U.S. What a delightful difference: greens with a taste. Potatoes were brought to Ireland around the 1600’s. The Irish were the only people in Europe that ate the tubers.

Other foodstuffs, particularly dairy products, meat and fish are top quality. The bacon is meaty – not all fat. The oatmeal in-comparable, and, the lamb has a special sweetish flavor.

Irish cooking today is much different than yesteryear. It is more seafood oriented and lighter. Irish salmon is some of the most coveted in the world. Vegetarianism is on the rise. The cooking of Ireland is not regionally driven as in most other countries. The only dish that changes from area to area is lamb stew. The base is lamb, onions and potatoes. From there the stew changes from town to town, or even, house to house, with the variations being limitless.

So, head into the Bistro this weekend for your favorite Irish fare. With the beautiful weather forecast we’ve taken liberty to set up the outside patio so bring the pooches for our St. Patty’s celebration too!

Remember, there will be Celtic music on “the day” from 6-10.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has brought in food for our furry friends. It is much appreciated by them and their owners. We’ll remain a drop for such indefinitely. Plus, we still need a name. There have been some good one’s submitted but remember, we need all-encompassing one, not just for dogs.

“Erin Go Bragh!” 

See you at the bistro. XXOO, Mary

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bistro News 3/9/2012

Greetings from the Bistro!

What another wonderful week. The only bad news, in my estimation, was that the Michigan State basketball team lost to Ohio State. I knew when they were up 26-13 that it was a done deal. I’m a Sparty – my gut said there was no way a win was going to happen. Bring on March Madness, the Spartan’s are ready!!! We’ll have brew and bite specials during the games so watch your face book and e-mail….


My Mom’s 83rd birthday is on Tuesday. She is an amazing woman, who with my dad raised 7 children. YIKES… I’m tired thinking about it… I just visited via phone, she is in St. Pete, Fla., with my sis Isabelle, and mom complained she was tired and sore from walking 18 holes of golf today. OMG… I consider myself to be an exercise maven and pray that I’m in the great physical shape that my Mom is at her age.
My mother, Marjorie Edick-Smith, is from Buffalo, as was my Dad. She is one of 10 and her surviving siblings; Annie, Mary, Bea, Dorothy, Georgie and “baby brother” Danny, the youngest, meet in Florida every year. It’s been my tradition to shop at the St. Pete’s farmer’s market and prepare an a’la minute meal for them when I visit. The Edick’s are great cooks. I learned much of what I know from them. Basic, classic cooking skills. They ate lean and mean. Back in their day, depression era, proteins were very limited. Beans ruled. Reasonable cuts of meat, that required long and slow cooking were the requisite. My Grandpa and uncle’s fished on the Niagara river for perch. Friday’s were fish and chip days. What a treat. What a memory. Forty aunts, uncles and cousins gathered every week to enjoy this glorious meal. How lucky I was. And, am, to still be able to share a meal with them.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has brought pet food donations to the bistro. We are in the process of officially “teaming-up” with the Meals on Wheels people and will continue use our lobby as a drop point for food. They picked up the first load this week and were thrilled at the amount we’ve collected. LET’S KEEP IT GOING! Smaller bags are better for the older folks to handle. Open packages are acceptable too. I had intended to name our group Pets On Wheels, POW, but the name is already registered. If anyone has a catchy idea for a name send it my way. If your suggestion is chosen we’ll donate $100 worth of food to the cause.

We look forward to seeing you and the Bistro!
And, Remember: “It’s A Million Dollar Day”

XXOO, Mary
Ask and you shall receive!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


March 2, 2012  

Well, my contemplative walk with Nikki and Pico went down the tubes today. We were rained out, kaput, nadda, no-way-Ray.  They don't seem to mind in the least. Both are keeping me company, snoring softly, cozy and curled up on Grandma Smith's 200 year old wicker that graces my office. If she were alive I'm sure there would be some eye-raising. I'm of the opinion, if you've got it use it. There are so many memories that are conjured up when I look at the beautiful "back-of-a-sage leaf" green hued chairs and sewing chaise.  They were her parent's, purchased over a century ago as newly weds. Back then they were hunter green with striped cushions. As a little girl I sat and read on Gram and Gramp's front porch every summer visit wistfully enjoying their smells and creaks.  Happily, Tom and I inherited "them" (they are family you know)  in the early 80's and had the wicker repaired and changed to their present sage vs. broccoli green color. Over the years Tom kept them washed and touched up. A huge project  which he enjoyed doing.  Last spring after hours of gentle scrubbing and hosing then painting I made the executive decision to move them inside from the side porch.  Now, the pups enjoy some doggie beds extraordinaire and I still cuddle into the chaise with a book and remember past times.  

These pieces of furniture were made by passionate, proud craftsman. It shows in the glorious weaving of willow branches around a simple frame. Probably young apprentices learned from the master's weavers but could not earn a living  by spending weeks producing one chair or table or settee.   So, over the years, wicker became man-made poly "something" and the beauty was lost.  Yes, it is easy to clean; it's cheap and very throw-away-able. And, it is a sad loss of memory making.

Old is good. It is good that we have managed, through thick and thin, to remain in business for 57 years. It is good that there are many original Brady traditions. Our chili and burgers rock. The Caesar is still the best around. It's good to have customer's come in who have great stories to tell about 7 mile. It's good to be blessed with staff that has been with me for decades. I am so grateful and appreciative.   

Then there is the new. Our Bistro could not be more beautiful, at least, in our eyes. We've had an absolute smooth transition of "old" and "new" employees. It's like the "old" are "new" and the "new" are "old." We're an easy going family. We like and respect each other for what we are.  There are many new first time customers too. What a delight to meet you. And, better still, to see you walking through the door again and again.  

My heartfelt, sincere, honest and true thanks to staff and guests old and new.
It's true: "It's a Million Dollar Day."

xxoo, Mary

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bistro News February 17, 2012

Greetings from the Bistro!
As has become my habit I write this after walking Niki and Pico. I live on a dirt road and have a filthy car to prove it. And today, a couple of muddy doggies too. It is hard to believe that it’s the middle of February and almost forty degrees before noon. I think, on this walk, about what was noteworthy over the last week. We had a great Valentine’s celebration. I love holidays. Everyone is in a celebratory mood and generally happy-go-lucky.  I particularilly love working these special days and wish that each and everyone of us would allow ourselves to declare everyday as exceptional. How much easier life would be.  Many of you may remember the older woman, Marion Simpler, who would eat dinner with us every night in our “former bistro.” Marion had a saying that she started her day with: “It’s a million dollar day.” How very smart of her – she set herself up to have a spectacular day.  Now, part of my morning routine includes repeating her mantra and a byproduct of the positive reminder brings a smile to my face as I remember sweet Marion.
Another woman I greatly admire is Margaret Davey, the executive director of the Western Oakland Meals on Wheels Program (MOW). She and her staff coordinate the preparation and delivery of  meals for in-need seniors. MOW was recently awarded a grant to start a new pet distribution program designed to assist homebound MOW participants with food for their pets. According to research reported in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society independently living seniors with pets have better physical and mental health. Because of economic or health reasons some seniors are unable to feed their animals. So, the Northville PetSmart, the Banfield Pet Hospital and now, officially, Diamond Jim Brady’s Bistro, are drop-off sites for pet food contributions. There will be a container inside the front lobby to place your cans or bags of food. I will make sure that they get to Margaret and she’ll get them to those in need. Help us look good – let’s get the lobby full! 
I know that I’d be lost without my pups. And, they certainly make everyday a million dollar one.
See you at the Bistro with pet chow in hand. XXOO, Mary

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bistro News and Specials Beginning 2/10/2012


I’m just in from a brisk walk with Niki and Pico and thinking I need to  get them a valentine treat.  Maybe doggie cookies from the local puppy bakery.  Valentine’s day is one to profess your love, not only for each other, but, our beloved animal friends too. Remember them – their love for us is un-conditional.

Now for a history lesson. St. Valentine lived in Rome during the rule of Emperor Claudius.  Claudius wanted to have the largest army in the world and thought that by making marriage unlawful that he’d get many more young men to join. Fr. Valentine thought this was absurd and continued to secretly marry couples. He was ultimately caught and sentenced to death. While in jail many young people threw flowers into his cell. He was befriended by the prison guard’s daughter who spent many hours visiting with him. On the day of his death, February 14, 269AD, he wrote her a note thanking her and signed it Love Valentine. Valentine is the patron Saint of Love and thus the celebration of his day. Over a billion valentine’s day cards are sent every year.  Teachers receive the most. And, many are just signed “Love, Your Valentine” from supposed anonymous admirer’s. 

Many foods are associated with the day too.  Oysters are considered to be a natural aphrodisiac and what would Valentine’s be with out chocolate, champagne or lobster? All are featured on our board menu today through Valentine’s.  I think that we have some of the best specials since re-opening.

We can’t wait to see you at the Bistro! 

XXOO, Mary

P.S. Remember your pets!!!

Bistro Specials


Oyster Rockefeller ~ Plump Oysters On-The-Half Shell Topped With An Anise Flavored Creamed Spinach With Bacon. Sprinkled With Parmesan And Baked Until Bubbly.

Main Plates

Lamb Shanks “Just Like My Mom’s” ~ Slowly Braised In A Rich Veal Stock With A Mirpoix Of Carrots, Onions And Celery. Presented Over Cheesy Polenta With Root Veggies And The Cooking Jus. Finished With A Crispy Onion Hat.

Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops ~ Served Around Angel Hair Tossed With Spinach, Roasted Garlic And Tomatoes With A Touch Of Saffron Fumet.

Florida Grouper ~ Accompanied With A Southwest “EggRoll” Filled With Black Beans, Corn, Tomato And Scallion.  A Dollop Of Guacamole And Drizzle Of Red Pepper Coulis Complete The Mix Of Flavors.

Crab Stuffed Lobster Tail A’la Valentine ~ Served With Champagne Risotto, Grilled Asparagus And Drawn Butter. You’ll LOVE This!!!


Flourless Chocolate Tort ~ Garnished With Raspberry Sauce And A Dollop Of Whipped Cream.