• Refined Italian at Pisolino

    POSTED February 21, 2020
  • Refined Italian at Pisolino

    POSTED February 21, 2020

The atmosphere at relaxed Avondale neighborhood eatery Pisolino may remind you of a charming, laid-back European bistro—and for good reason.

Chef and co-owner James De Marte spent over a decade cooking his way through Italy to craft and hone the skills on full display at the cozy restaurant today. “The restaurant is truly his dream-turned-reality and a showcase of his love for Italian cuisine,” says co-owner Rachel De Marte.

“It’s a neighborhood spot, so it’s quaint and feels residential. Pisolino—which means nap in Italian—has the perfect vibe to come relax, have a cocktail or some amazing wine, eat, visit and stay a while,” she says. Serving refined, yet hearty and comforting Italian classics, from pizzas and pastas to Negronis and Americanos, “we always joke that you come to eat at Pisolino and then you take a pisolino.”

Accommodating up to 40 guests seated and 55 for a cocktail-style reception with a full buyout, Pisolino is a popular spot for intimate private events from rehearsal dinners to surprise parties.

As a dedicated event planner and stylist who enjoys a creative challenge, De Marte can work with planners to customize everything from specialty cocktails and menus to décor. “I come from custom and I really want to hear what clients are looking for. Some want to relax with a classic pizza party while others are looking for a 12-course event and we’re happy to arrange all of it,” she says. “Whether that includes passed hors d’oeuvres and family-style dishes off the menu or an exquisite lobster risotto, I’ll sit down with our clients and chef to truly cater the dining experience to their original vision. Every event here is unique." 

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.


Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.


Located in Oregon’s wine country, The Allison Inn and Spa is offering some new team-building options for meeting planners. Experiences include:

» Smith Teas Tasting: Claire Boyer, Smith Teamaker’s head of education, offers a hands-on class uncovering the exotic world of tea.

» Lotion Blending: Awaken the senses and heighten creativity with a hands-on lotion and essential oil-blending workshop.