Eating out with… Erin Cummings
Actress Erin Cummings and I don’t remember exactly when we became friends. We do know that she was living in Detroit at the time, playing the role of Dr. Abbey Ward on the now cancelled Detroit-based national TV show, Detroit 1-8-7. At the time, she was surrounded by a small circle of people who happened to be friends of mine as well – Grace Keros(American Coney Island), Jason Brown and Monica Cheick (PublicCity PR). They were launching a charity founded by Erin called Mittens for Detroit. We remember in the beginning, a night at Hob Nobble Gobble, several phone, and in-person interviews and a fun dinner at Florine Mark’s (Weight Watchers) home.
Over the last five years, we’ve always kept in touch and always been thrilled to hear from and catch up with one another. Erin, sassy, fun and talented, is one of those lucky actors who work consistently. With numerous movie and television credits to her name, you probably have seen her most recently on the small screen with recurring roles on such shows asMad Men, Pan Am, Made In Jersey, Masters of SexandThe Astronauts Wives Club. You can look for her in the ABC miniseries, Madoff, in January starring Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner.
Erin hasn’t been to Detroit in several months. Since she was last here, quite a few new restaurants have opened. We decided to take her to one of our new favorites, Central Kitchen + Bar, which is owned by our friend, Dennis Archer, Jr., who also happens to be friends with Erin. Also, ironically, Central Kitchen is located in the same building, First National Bank Building, which houses the offices of Mittens for Detroit. Central Kitchen has a very cool vibe. It is industrial, contemporary and warm all at the same time. It has quickly become a spot to see and be seen.
“For my day to day dressing, I’m all the way down with comfort,” she explains. “I’m all about the stretch jeans and boots. You never know what the world is going to throw your way these days. If there is a zombie apocalypse, I am fashionably appropriate.” At dinner she wore a light-weight, wheat colored pullover sweater over black stretch jeans, black buckled boots, and a sheer crepe polka dot scarf that she got from her mother in law last Christmas. Following the advice of a wise, stylish woman that she knows, she tries always to have a good bag and good shoes. Thus, a beautiful steel grey Ralph Lauren tote. “But red carpet is a different story,” she adds. “On those occasions, I’m sexy and sophisticated, and I embrace my femininity while maintaining decorum and mystery.”
“I couldn’t be more excited that we are launching the sixth year of Mittens for Detroit, providing new mittens and gloves to Detroit children and adults in need,” she says. “Last year, we collected about 48,000 new pairs, distributing them through close to 100 partner agencies, schools, organizations, and charities located in Detroit. This season’s goal is 55,000 pairs.”
“Oh, you know what the love is in my life,” she announces.
Erin is over the moon about her engagement to fellow actor, Tom Degnan (currently appearing in the CBS sci-fi drama, Limitless). Tom recently proposed to Erin with a well-planned, over the top, proposal that sent her on a romantic and sometimes trying scavenger hunt throughout Manhattan. She was instructed to visit some of her favorite haunts for clues to find an awaiting Tom, who was prepared to pop the question at Bethesda Fountain in a beautiful setting under a weeping willow tree. With a round of applause from a crowd that had gathered, she said, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
We decided to go for an assortment of dishes and share them with everyone at the table. We started with chicken wings, PEI mussels and carnitas nachos (slow cooked pork, green chili and queso cotija). For entrees, we selected the tasty Central Burger, the fig flatbread and the lamb loin chops. Everything was quite good, except the fig flatbread fell a little flat for me this time. Everything else was perfection. We finished with ice cream for dessert.
We visit Central Kitchen + Bar often. We’re quite fond of it. With this being Erin’s first time, she was very impressed, but not surprised. “I know Dennis, and he adds his natural finesse to everything he touches. This place has certain coolness about it. I love the atmosphere and the food. I’ll definitely be back.”
And so will we.
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