I Wish Lessons’ professionally guided classes convene in various venues throughout Chicago, Boston, DC, and Detroit, uniting and educating like-minded learners in vibrant social settings. The company’s hundreds of teachers have educated countless learners while introducing them to new friends and planning private events, including birthday parties and baby showers. Classes broach a multitude of engaging, lighthearted subjects, such as beer and bacon pairing, scotch tasting, cupcake decorating, and sushi rolling.
As a backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bruce Gradkowski often has his hands full training and running drills. Whenever he gets a chance, though, he heads back to Toledo—where he first made his name as starting QB for the Toledo Rockets—to visit the restaurant he opened at the edge of campus. Echoing Gradkowski's love of his adopted hometown, the menu overflows with dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, such as the salmon filet, praised by the Toldeo Blade for its "light coating of salty parmesan cheese crust … cooked perfectly and served with a compound butter that added to the richness of the dish."
Burger Bar 419’s chefs beam with Toledo pride, boasting a menu built on meats from local butchers, produce from nearby farms, and praise from the Toledo Free Press. Rustic wooden tables and pumpkin-orange walls conjure a warm, comfortable atmosphere as hand-cut fries and homestyle mac 'n' cheese stuff bellies with recipes perfected at the owners’ family cookouts and Thanksgiving celebrations. In the kitchen, chefs fashion 15 specialty burgers from just-ground beef, topping the buffalo variety with bacon, blue cheese, hot sauce, and chips before loading it onto a round, tin plate. In addition to pouring Ohio-made draft beers, bartenders handcraft sodas and milkshakes that soothe throats after work presentations delivered entirely in falsetto.
Lorenzo Lizarralde's two passions—winemaking and aeronautics—may seem unrelated, but they coexist in harmony at Chateau Aeronautique Winery. There, the winery shares its space with an airplane hangar and grass runway on which the vintner frequently lands his 1956 Cessna 172. Fermented from Michigan grapes, the chateau's handcrafted wines span the gamut, from dry to semisweet, wafting strawberry bouquets, apricot aromas, and floral notes.
To spotlight his elixirs, Lorenzo regularly hosts events amid his idyllic environs, which take inspiration from the wineries in Bordeaux, France. Guests traipse across the grounds en route to a gazebo or the hangar, where they can revel with up to 80 fellow sippers. For more intimate flavor exploration, they flock to a private tasting room, replete with an ornate, wooden bar that provides the coziness of a grandparent's wine cellar, but with more wine and fewer Clark Gable posters.
In 1997, Kip and Dennise Barber sold their suburban home. But it wasn't because they were downsizing or moving to the city. Instead, they used the money to purchase a large, wooded plot of land in Grass Lake, which they cleared and planted with rows of grapevines. And thus, Lone Oak Vineyard Estate was born. Over the years, the couple worked to add more and more varietals to the vineyard, and today, their estate is home to 12 types of grapes spanning 25 acres. Handpicked at the peak of ripeness, each of the European grapes is transformed into estate wines, such as dry reds, semidry whites, and utterly sarcastic dessert wines.