Alpana Singh was a natural born star first serving as sommelier at Chef Jean Joho's Everest when she was only 23 years old. (Everest recently obtained the coveted AAA 5-diamond rating award.) Singh then moved to Lettuce Entertain You corporate and a job hosting Check Please! on Channel 11 for almost a decade. Seven years ago she wrote a book about her rather unique career and she recently left the PBS show to open her own restaurant The Boarding House at 720 N. Wells.
Rick Kogan interviewed her on his Afternoon Shift show on WBEZ a few days ago. Alpana said she had been open about six weeks and having a good time. The main focus of the restaurant is wine. The Boarding House, with Chef Christian Gosselin, is set up on three floors with a second floor lounge offering cocktails, wine and small plates and a formal dining room on the third floor. On the subject of photographing food, Alpana has an open mind. As long as the diners who want to take pictures of their food don't get in the way of other diner's experiences she encourages sharing. In fact, with a chandelier made of 9,063 wine glasses she mentioned that she would be surprised if guests did not want to grab a phone photo or two.
Tonight in downtown St. Joe “It’s Finally Friday” Chili Tour from 5-8 p.m. More than a dozen locations will offer samples of their favorite chili recipes to visitors, extended hours and in-store specials. “There’s a lot of competition heating up between the merchants to have the best chili recipe,” according to Jill Stone, executive director, St. Joseph Today. “And there will be an incentive to taste them all, too. We’ll have Chili Stop maps at each of the locations, and if you complete the tour, you can enter your map at any one of the locations and we’ll draw a winner for a downtown prize package.”
Chili Stop locations include The Buck,The Candlestick Maker,Eve,FuzzyButz Pet Bakery, HarborTown Interiors, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches,Lighthouse Fibers, Perennial Accents, Purely Michigan, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph Today, Welcome Center, State Street Antiques, Sweet Seasons Orchard and Waterfront Framing. Other downtown locations open late sans chili are G & M Variety Store offering 10 percent savings on all store items, including winter wear and Kilwin’s where you can take advantage of a selection of chilly desserts and hot chocolate.