Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

ChocoKitty

Detroit Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

Recommended Posts

Hi! Me too! Well, actually just a hop across the river in Windsor. I guess that's Detroit's Canadian suburb!

I haven't actually made it to Zingerman's yet. It's one of those places that I keep thinking that I have to go to, but forget everytime I'm in Michigan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heather,

You really need to get to Zingerman's. I was there on Tuesday and had a terrific pastrami sandwich in their deli.

The real treat is all the specialty foods. Bread, cheese, olives, ham, bacon, etc, etc. Non-perishables are great too.

The closest description I can think of is "food pornography". Just make sure you bring enough money 'cause the stuff there ain't cheap.

The awesome thing is that you can taste ANYTHING you want. They have secret storage cabinets hidden throughout the store with tasting samples. I even got to taste 6 different chocolate bars. HEAVEN!!!!

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone's coming in to Ann Arbor for a Zingeman's trip (or anything else, for that matter) - feel free to PM me - I always love to give the foodie tour of the town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary - Zingerman's sounds great! :wub: Unfortunately I usually don't make it past Dearborn (Merchant's Wine) before my wallet becomes suspiciously light. I'll have to make a trip one of these days and remember to stop in Dearborn on my way home! My family usually asks me to go to the US to buy olive oil, balsamic vinegar and chocolate so Zingerman's sounds like it could easily become the favorite.

Tammylc - Thanks for the offer! I may take you up on that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Egullet

I have been trolling these boards for a long time thanks to an old friend, Michael Laiskonis. I guess its finally time to step up and write a hello. I am a long time resident of the metro detroit area being born and raised in Ypsilanti. I have been lucky enough to get a great culinary education at Schoolcraft and then with Takashi at Tribute. We all miss him very much but our new chef is doing great food and I can't encourage everyone enough to come check us out. Don Yamauchi formally of Le Francais, Carlos and Gordon of Chicago. I dont know if he has been formally introduced on these forums.

As far as the Zingermans thread, I could not agree more. One of the finest bakery/delis I have ever eaten at, and we are lucky enough to have it right in our back yard.

Yours in Food,

James Valvo

Chef de Cuisine

Tribute

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello Egullet

I have been trolling these boards for a long time thanks to an old friend, Michael Laiskonis.  I guess its finally time to step up and write a hello.  I am a long time resident of the metro detroit area being born and raised in Ypsilanti.  I have been lucky enough to get a great culinary education at Schoolcraft and then with Takashi at Tribute.  We all miss him very much but our new chef is doing great food and I can't encourage everyone enough to come check us out.  Don Yamauchi formally of Le Francais, Carlos and Gordon of Chicago.  I dont know if he has been formally introduced on these forums. 

As far as the Zingermans thread, I could not agree more.  One of the finest bakery/delis I have ever eaten at, and we are lucky enough to have it right in our back yard.

Yours in Food,

James Valvo

Chef de Cuisine

Tribute

Welcome to the eGullet forums, Chef. It's great to have you with us. Please, don't be a stranger. :smile:

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Havn't been there myself really, but i hear that Intermezzo and Small Plates in downtown detroit are decent. Outside, i've heard that Boocoo and Mitchells seafood market are worth a try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, supercheesewiz, to the eGullet forums. It's very nice to have you with us. Thanks for the tips.

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Havn't been there myself really, but i hear that Intermezzo and Small Plates in downtown detroit are decent.  Outside, i've heard that Boocoo and Mitchells seafood market are worth a try.

concerning small plates, i would suggest it to those who have not been. they have a cool concept with an all appetizer format, including a pizza oven. it has also really started to attract a cool downtown crowd and can host everyone from opera goers (its right behind the opera house) to foodies to the local street crowd. it has a comfortable yet sophisticated atmosphere. they have been open for a few years now and things are going so well they are working on two new locations, royal oak and rochester i belive. chef aaron richardson is a good friend of mine and a dedicated culinarian. go have a few small plates.

James Valvo

Chef de Cuisine

Tribute

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, who can forget Laffayette Coney Island. That place is an institution!

Twingo's is downtown too, but i'm not sure if it's still any good. When I was a student down there, their quiche was always a treat.

I've also had some surprisingly good food at the Majestic. I got a asain sea bass on a cedar plank that was plain amazing.

Another place is the Traffic Jam and Snug. Again haven't been there in ages.

Finally a little student secret is the Chinese restaurant on the corner of John R and the lodge, next to the kroger and block buster. The location is scary, the place is a scary, and my dad tells me that they dont speak any chinese dialect he's ever heard of, but they make a seschwan style tofu that'll blow your socks off. (And i'm a chinese food snob)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is anyone here from the Metro Detroit area? I'm curious to see what people think about how food trends from the coast filter into the Midwest, and into Michigan specifically. Any thoughts/observations?

Also, with respect to Detroit in particular, I'm intrigued how there are a number of high-end restaurants (e.g., Cuisine, Rattlesnake Club) plopped into a city that is essentially a war zone. I've heard more than one media commentator call the city "Beirut". The contrast just strikes me as a bit strange, even surreal. I drove by Duet a few weeks ago, and it's this shining little beacon among boarded-up buildings.

I suppose it's no less strange than seeing the much-praised Tribute nestled between a gas station and a Quality Inn right off the interstate in a bedroom suburb. I drove by it for years before even noticing it was there!

Also, are there any other urban areas where this strange dichotomy of great food/bad location appears? I'm sure there are plenty, but I'm curious to see some more examples. But then, maybe Detroit IS as awful as its image!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, does this ever bring back memories ... we've been away from Troy, MI for 25+ years, but still recall going down to a converted gas station across from the Renaissance Center (Mommas?) for the greatest ribs and sweet potato pie. We'd probably never go into the place had it not been raved about in the Free Press. I'm sure it's gone now. Sigh

Sidecar Ron

Is anyone here from the Metro Detroit area? I'm curious to see what people think about how food trends from the coast filter into the Midwest, and into Michigan specifically. Any thoughts/observations?

Also, with respect to Detroit in particular, I'm intrigued how there are a number of high-end restaurants (e.g., Cuisine, Rattlesnake Club) plopped into a city that is essentially a war zone. I've heard more than one media commentator call the city "Beirut". The contrast just strikes me as a bit strange, even surreal. I drove by Duet a few weeks ago, and it's this shining little beacon among boarded-up buildings.

I suppose it's no less strange than seeing the much-praised Tribute nestled between a gas station and a Quality Inn right off the interstate in a bedroom suburb. I drove by it for years before even noticing it was there!

Also, are there any other urban areas where this strange dichotomy of great food/bad location appears? I'm sure there are plenty, but I'm curious to see some more examples. But then, maybe Detroit IS as awful as its image!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another place is the Traffic Jam and Snug.  Again haven't been there in ages.

We went to Traffic Jam and Snug before the Pixies concert a few months ago and had a great dinner. Wonderful soups and salads, and they make their own cheese. My only complaint was that the cheese was served cold, but after leaving them out a while, they were quite good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I am in the Metro Detroit area and new to eGullet.

I'm having a friend over from San Diego and we have reservations at The Tribute. However, I have some other friends from Los Angeles a couple of days later who are really food and dining savvy. I do not want to eat at the same place a few days in a row. So, I am open to suggestions for restaurants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

I am in the Metro Detroit area and new to eGullet. 

I'm having a friend over from San Diego and we have reservations at The Tribute.  However, I have some other friends from Los Angeles a couple of days later who are really food and dining savvy.  I do not want to eat at the same place a few days in a row.  So, I am open to suggestions for restaurants.

Five Lakes Grill in Milford. Emily's in Plymouth.

Me, I'd go to Tribute twice. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another place is the Traffic Jam and Snug.  Again haven't been there in ages.

We went to Traffic Jam and Snug before the Pixies concert a few months ago and had a great dinner. Wonderful soups and salads, and they make their own cheese. My only complaint was that the cheese was served cold, but after leaving them out a while, they were quite good.

It's also been a while since I've been to Traffic Jam, now that I live on the west side of the state. My history with TJ dates to the early 70s, when I was in grad school at Wayne State, just down the road from TJ. At the time, it was the place to go (along with Verne's) for a beer and sandwich. They later stepped up the cuisine and the beer/wine selection. Some time back in the 80s I had the most wonderful trifle of my life there -- intense chocolate cake soaked with Frangelico, cocoa whipped cream, and sliced pears. :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

I am in the Metro Detroit area and new to eGullet. 

I'm having a friend over from San Diego and we have reservations at The Tribute.  However, I have some other friends from Los Angeles a couple of days later who are really food and dining savvy.  I do not want to eat at the same place a few days in a row.  So, I am open to suggestions for restaurants.

Five Lakes Grill in Milford. Emily's in Plymouth.

Me, I'd go to Tribute twice. :cool:

I was *very* underwhelmed by Five Lake Grill. Emily's, on the other hand, was great - I was just there last week. I've written up reviews/reports of all three here, if you search back you'll find them.

Another place to consider would be Jeremy. Espeically if you're looking for the tasting menu experience like you'd get at Tribute, as I undrestand they've recently started offering a 6 course tasting menu there. But I haven't been there yet, so I don't have first hand experience to offer.

But I'd highly recommend Emily's. It was great, and cheaper than Tribute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I was convinced about Emily's since a lot of people have mentioned it to me. The other plus was that they are nearby ( I'm in Canton.). Uunfortunately, they are not open on Sundays.

Where is Jeremy's? I've heard it mentioned a few times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, I was convinced about Emily's since a lot of people have mentioned it to me.  The other plus was that they are nearby ( I'm in Canton.).  Uunfortunately, they are not open on Sundays. 

Where is Jeremy's?  I've heard it mentioned a few times.

Sunday in Detroit is tricky. Tribute's closed too, so you don't even have the option of eating their twice.

But you're in luck, because Jeremy *is* open on Sunday! It's in Keego Harbor. A little bit of a drive from Canton, but probably not too bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be in Detroit M-F for the next couple weeks and need dinner suggestions.

However, the following stipulations apply. I will be staying at the Renaissance Marriott (near the federal courthouse) and being from NY I will not be driving (that goes for any of my colleagues as well)....so choices have to be within easy cab distance.

Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For dining:

Coach Insignia in the RenCen

Opus One on Larned

The Rattlesnake Club in off of east Jefferson

Cuisine in the New Center area

For more reasonably priced eats:

Lafayette Coney Island

Pegasus in Greektown

Xochimilco or El Zocolo in Mexican Town

This is a start and will post more as they occur to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I will be in Detroit M-F for the next couple weeks and need dinner suggestions.

However, the following stipulations apply.  I will be staying at the Renaissance Marriott (near the federal courthouse) and being from NY I will not be driving (that goes for any of my colleagues as well)....so choices have to be within easy cab distance.

Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

thanks.

Although I haven't eaten there in a while, Sweet Georgia Brown (near the Greektown casino) served one of the best meals I'd had in years. Jimmy Schmidt 's Rattlesnake club in Bricktown, just north of the Marriott is a must. Both are walking distance from the hotel. For the Detroit version of the Coney Island (natural casing "Michigan-legal" hotdog with Greek chili) head to Lafayette Coney at Michigan and Lafayette, 1 block from the courthouse. American Coney Island is right next-door and owned by the brother of the Lafayette owner. Legend has it some family squabble led to the second restaurant but they share the same suppliers and serve the same food.

There is Coaches Insignia steakhouse on top of your hotel. I haven't eaten there because the food reviews have all been terrible but it has the best view in the city. You can see two Great Lakes, all of two big cities, and one foreign country. Come to think of it you will probably get a great view from your hotel depending on which floor.

There's a new (open one week) Cuban restaurant on Library Street called Vicente's, again just a couple of blocks away. Haven't been there yet. Right next-door is the best coffee shop in the city, Café De Troit. Nearby on Broadway is Small Plates, a tapas restaurant which I've enjoyed every time I've been there. For cheap Greek eats and saganaki, head to New Hellas in Greektown on Monroe and For 24 hour breakfast go to Plaka’s also on Monroe. AVOID ANY RESTAURANT IN GREEKTOWN THAT COMP'S CASINO MEALS.

Oslo, several blocks north of the hotel at John R, has the best sushi in the city. Avoid all other Asian cuisine you can get to within a 20 minute drive. You really need to get out of the city for that. About a mile further up Woodward are a string of restaurants, not on par with Sweet Georgia Brown and Rattlesnake Club, but each good in its own way. Atlas, my favorite of the trio, Union Street--best dish is their steak salad, and across the street the Majestic (in the theater where Houdini gave his last performance before collapsing and dying.) You might get a recommendation for Agave in the same area, but I've never felt their food was exceptional. Nice tequilla selection though.

A lot of natives like Roma in the Eastern Market area, it’s been there 100 years, but I've never had a truly great meal there either--besides there is a new contemporary Italian restaurant, albeit the 10th one, called Andiamo in the RenCen. Russell Street Deli (on Russell St.) in Eastern Market is very decent and Eph McNally's in Corktown near old Tiger Stadium makes a great sandwich, probably the best in the city, despite their draconian policies about sharing a meal and free water.

Good luck and please post your findings and reviews. You may discover something we locals overlook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are my recommendations - mostly repeats of what are above. I work in Downtown Detroit so these are mostly places I've been for business lunches.

- Andiamo in the Ren Cen; their "Pronto" cafe is good for a quick lunch too - I'm not sure if that part is open for dinner.

- Seldom Blues in the Ren Cen; I was just there yesterday. Service was a bit slow but the food was good and the presentation was beautiful.

- Sweet Lorraine's in the Courtyard Marriott across the street from the Ren Cen

- Zoup in the Ren Cen food court has excellent soup if you want a quicker meal; they have some good healthy options too if you're getting sick of heavy restaurant meals.

- Small Plates (five minute cab ride) is my favorite downtown restaurant

- For a bit of an adventure, go across the river to Windsor for chinese; we like Shin Shin but it was just written up in the Detroit News today so it may end up swamped. (you need a driver's license and birth certificate or a passport to get across the border).

- While in Detroit, you must try Middle Eastern food. The East Michigan Ave. location of La Shish would be about a fifteen-minute cab ride.

- I agree about Agave - not that great. But they have good margaritas and a nice outdoor area if the weather is good. Atlas Global Bistro is passable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×