May 22 • 08:11 PM

Valentine's celebration's 'A Matter of Taste'

February 20, 2008
What comes in an oblong white box tied up with a fancy bow? Those of you who don't know my aunt, Zizi Teresa, probably think 'a dozen roses.' Well, in Zizi's world, the oblong flower box contains a dense, devil's food cake topped with glossy white frosting covered with pink and red buttercream roses. Wow!

That was a very tasty Valentine's Day surprise from Ziz that was delivered to the office. Always thinking, always creative I found out later she'd called the front desk a few weeks ago to inquire about nearby bakeries. Receptionist Rosie Ruby recommended Buccilli's in Almont, creators of the unique Valentine's Day gift.

But it doesn't end there. To celebrate the holiday of love, Ziz invited my sister Dawn and I to lunch at one of her favorite restaurants called 'A Matter of Taste.'

The restaurant, located on the shores of Union Lake in Commerce Township, is definitely worth the trip. From its grand entryway into a cavernous foyer to the glass-walled dining room that's reminiscent of a converted old warehouse, 'A Matter of Taste' offers a unique setting for a leisurely dining experience. The atmosphere is casual—the menu is top notch.

I was lucky enough to enjoy the experience on Saturday, guest of my own personal fairy godmother.

Ziz came across the restaurant while doing business in the area, was curious about the large sandstone colored building that edged up to Union Lake.

When she asked someone about it, she was told that it was a fantastic place with great, fresh food and a beautiful view. Ziz checked it out and has spread the word—and the experience—ever since.

Saturday was a bright, sunny day and the high- ceilinged restaurant was full of light. Ziz tells me during the summer they open the glass doors, which transforms the dining experience into an al fresco event. She says it's so pleasant and peaceful to watch the ducks paddling around the lake, the colorful boats, the sparkling water.

Ziz found out the owners began their endeavor as a catering company. They still offer their catering services, which are wildly popular (and I can see—or should I say taste—why.) Attached to the restaurant is a take-out only shop where complete, freshly made meals are packaged to order. Of course our lunch included a trip into the shop and we walked away loaded down with such delicious and unique offerings as 'potatoes guyere,' grilled vegetables, 'spa chicken' and stuffed tilapia. What can I say? It's almost too good to be true.

We began our meal with some delicious appetizers, one of which was a blend of woodland mushrooms and carmelized onions in a light cream sauce. I'm not exaggerating by saying it was heavenly. Accompanied by a glass of chardonnay from Chilé, I was re-introduced to the extreme pleasure of savoring a good meal—something that gets a little overlooked in the day-to-day grind.

Dawn and I both ordered the 'Margherita Pannini,' a colorful and fragrant stack of roasted peppers, zucchini and sauteed onions topped with fresh mozzerella cheese wedged between two pieces of light, crusty bread and grilled to perfection. Ziz had the baked gnocchi, a good portion of which was packaged for her to bring home.

We followed everything up with a three-way split of the absolutely most delicious carrot cake in the entire universe. It was divine.

We spent hours at 'A Matter of Taste' enjoying conversation and great food, though the time went fast. It was wonderful.

Shortly afterwards, I felt like I could sleep for hours—and that is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. When I was little, I heard stories (and even remember a little bit) of being the same way after a satisfying meal. 'Camaré Suzy,' (my sister Virginia's godmother) would babysit us sometimes. Needless to say she was a fantastic cook who loaded us down with pasta and bread and whatnot. My mom tells me that sometimes I'd be so stuffed that I'd sleep for 24 hours straight.

To me, that's not so bad. In fact on Saturday I was reminded how good it is. Great food, outstanding company, taking time to enjoy the pure pleasure of a meal and feeling a euphoric sense of satisfaction that is calming and delightful.

It feels like love.

Email Catherine at

Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
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