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Detroit Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


ChocoKitty
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I don't have a full length report for Le Papillon - that was before I got into writing up my dining experiences.

It's an unassuming little restaurant tucked away next to a strip mall. It's not a stunning room, but the service was good and unobtrusive. I went with a group of six people, and we all shared bites around, so I got to try a bunch of stuff. Everything was really good. The sugar snap pea soup is a standout, and the Noisettes of Red Deer with Cabernet-Truffle Reduction made me moan. Another memorable appetizer was a seared scallop with caviar and grapefruit, but I don't see it on the menu anymore.

I've you're looking for an upscale meal while in Silicon Valley, you certainly wouldn't do wrong going to Le Papillon.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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4. Tribute (Detroit)

7. Cafe Bon Homme (Detroit)

8. Loving Spoonful (Detroit)

(Reports found here, if anyone's interested.)

I've got a long list of Chicago restaurants I'd like to eat at (or eat at again, in the case of Trio),  but I don't get to Chicago that often (so I have to live vicariously through all of you...).  But I have a foodie friend who visits me in Ann Arbor every once in a while, which gives me a good excuse to try someplace new, thus the query.

Thanks!

Tammylc - could you elaborate on the three Detroit restaurants that you listed (in the order you indicated)?

I am not familiar with Detroit as a dining destination, and we don't have many posting Heartland members from the Detroit area. That is the obvious explanation for how little Detroit is discussed. If you care to share your experiences at Tribute, Cafe Bon Homme, Loving Spoonful, and anywhere (and anything) else in Detroit that is food-worthy, I would like to know more. I think others would as well.

No vicarious living required. :biggrin:

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Tammylc:

We need a Detroit person really badly here in The Heartland. Any information you can share, any Motor City food topics you can post, will be enormously appreciated.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Tammylc - could you elaborate on the three Detroit restaurants that you listed (in the order you indicated)?

Ask, and you shall receive... I just posted my reviews of those three. Thanks for the encouragement!

Go forth and post, sweet Tammy! No woman is an island. :biggrin:

We eagerly await and are ready to recieve.

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Tammy, I enjoyed the report of your meal at Tribute (was a while ago, yes?). I wish I could read more honest reviews from our guests; while sometimes humbling, such comments are quite helpful.

"Avant garde" is quite a fuzzy category, often relative to what else is available in any particular city. While Takashi (Yagihashi, the executive chef) and I (the pastry chef) flirt with the cutting edge, and at the very least, discuss and remain aware of what most consider "avant garde" in the food world, by no means do we feel we do/can practice it here in sleepy Farmington Hills.

It is true, in my view, that Detroit lacks a vibrant high end food scene. There are contenders, but few who can take the prize. Setting aside Tribute, if I may, the best dining in the state can be found at Tapawingo, as Matthew mentioned, though it is quite a detour (three to four hour drive from metro Detroit). Chef Stuart Brioza is an amazing, refreshing young talent and has recently been recognized as one of Food and Wine's Best New Chefs for this year. He came to Tapawingo via Chicago, logging a fair amount of time with John Hogan, and was part of the opening team of Savarin.

Perhaps the most in-depth thread on Detroit to surface on eGullet, and from a time when I was anonymous and fairly frank (and known as mlpc)... it may be a good place to start, however...

Anyone From Metro Detroit?

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Michael - thanks so much to the link to the other thread - very interesting!

Yes, that trip to Tribute was a few months ago now (November). I've been talking with some friends about booking the chef's table sometime, and we're all excited about that. Unfortunately, being in the midst of buying a house has put a damper on most of my fine dining for the time being.

And Tapawingo moves ever higher on my to-eat list...

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Michael, yes, thanks for the link to the earlier thread. Plenty of good information. I'm going to provide that link on the "Michigan" thread that I started.

And, FWIW, your literate & engaged postings convince me that I'm missing something by not having dined at Tribute. I'll probably be on the east side of the state toward the end of this month. How soon should reservations be made? :biggrin:

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Setting aside Tribute, if I may, the best dining in the state can be found at Tapawingo, as Matthew mentioned, though it is quite a detour (three to four hour drive from metro Detroit). Chef Stuart Brioza is an amazing, refreshing young talent and has recently been recognized as one of Food and Wine's Best New Chefs for this year. He came to Tapawingo via Chicago, logging a fair amount of time with John Hogan, and was part of the opening team of Savarin.

I just made a reservation at Tapawingo for my anniversary (June 21st). It's been on my to-go list for a while, but all the talk on the board inspired me to actually make a plan.

Now we just need to find a campground. My husband wanted to go camping for our anniversary, and I wanted a nice dinner, so we're compromising and doing both. Good thing I don't need a blow dryer to do my hair...

Look for my report in six weeks or so!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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  • 1 year later...

So I've been in Ann Arbor for about 3 years now, and it's been really hard to find good chinese food in Ann Arbor. Like i think the places I find to be passable here would be places I wouldn't eat at if I was back in Houston.

Since recently i haven't really had time to cook so the imparative to find good chinese food has risen considerably.

So far the only places that I would really eat at in the Ann Arbor area, would be TK Wu on Liberty and Modern Kitchen on Washtenaw.

So far I've tried Lucky Kitchen, China Gate, Great Lakes Resturant, Dinersty, Middle Kingdom, Kai Garden, New Star, Magic Wok, and others, which suddenly don't come to mind now.

I was wondering are there any good chinese places that you'd eat at in the Metro Detroit Area? Personally I'd be willing to drive an hour or more, so long as it wasn't food that either made me think I could do better in my own kitchen or just made me want to cry. The first chinese resturant I ate at when I first moved here actually made me want to do that.

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My family has always been fond of The House of Lee on Grand River Ave. in Farmington. We have always felt that it was better than most of the places in Ann Arbor. The only caveat is that they don't have a liquor license. So, if that is important you may want to look elsewhere. Also my wife's family is quite fond of Ah Wok on 10 Mile Rd. in Novi and also Kim's Garden on Novi Rd. in Novi.

Good Luck!

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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We like Szechuan West on Stadium.

You said you're willing to drive - are you willing to cross international borders? Windsor has quite a thriving Chinatown just off the exit from the bridge. BBQ duck and squid in shop windows and everything... Wah Court on Wyandotte has great dim sum.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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When we lived in Detroit in the mid-1970s (Indian Village and then downtown), we would have to travel to Ypsilanti for decent Chinese food, at Old China. I doubt it's still there, but if it is, I hope it's still as good. Get the Hot and Sour Soup, but remember to stir it before you dole it out. :shock:

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There is also a place on Orchard Lake Rd. Just north of 12 Mile Rd. in Farmington Hills that has gotten good reviews. Supposed to have "more authentic" cuisine. I haven't had the chance to try it yet but did see a menu once. Was very impressive looking. I seem to recall several variations of Shark Fin Soup ranging in price from several dollars to forty some. I will post the name if I wver remember it. :smile:

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I remembered the name! Hong Hua, 31005 Ochard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills....just around the corner from Tribute.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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Hey everyone, thanks for all the suggestions. It looks like I'll be busy for the next few weeks trying different places out.

I think Old China might already by closed though. My friend's parents who went to U of M for grad school, used to go there and suggested we try the place when she came to visit, but we had a really really hard time finding it, and we highly suspected that one of the closed shops was the remains of Old China.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We will be staying at the Novi Sheraton for a few days in early July.

Looking for good quality food (not to pretentious though).

Anyone have any suggestions. We dont mind driving up to 30 minutes for a good meal.

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Stalder, 30 minutes can get you to a multitude of places. Right in Novi, though, is Steve & Rocky's -- solid, creative American cooking, especially with seafood. Perhaps 15 minutes away is Five Lakes Grill -- dinner only. If you don't mind spending some money for a cutting edge meal, Tribute is less than ten minutes from you. Also dinner only. Here's a recent thread about Tribute. For Chinese food, Hong Hua is about ten minutes away; Ah Wok is in Novi.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Thanks for the quick response!

Tribute is the only one of those resaurants I had heard of, and the thread you directed me too certainly makes it sound like somewhere we will try to go :)

My wife is playing in a backgammon tournament so Friday and saturday there is only about 1.5 hours for dinner, but Thursday or Sunday evening we have as long as we need.

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Tomatoes Apizza is a must.

Naples style thin crust pizza from a CIA trained chef. Really, really good.

The Citysearch entry with map: http://detroit.citysearch.com/profile/5275484/

Order the white with extra garlic. You won't regret it.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Also, Ann Arbor is only about 30 minutes away, so a visit to Zingerman's Deli wouldn't be out of the question and is highly recommended - www.zingermans.com. Or look at any one of the many Ann Arbor threads on the board to see if there's something else that makes it worth the trip. If you decide to make a visit to Ann Arbor, let me know - I love to show people around and introduce them to our culinary highlights...

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Thanks for the quick response!

Tribute is the only one of those resaurants I had heard of, and the thread you directed me too certainly makes it sound like somewhere we will try to go :)

My wife is playing in a backgammon tournament so Friday and saturday there is only about 1.5 hours for dinner, but Thursday or Sunday evening we have as long as we need.

You're welcome.

Ah, backgammon. Back in the late 70s-early 80s, I was pretty devoted to the game. I decided to give it up, though, when stepping up to the next level meant playing for $5 a point instead of $2.

If you make a reservation and let them know your time constraints, Steve & Rocky's should be able to get you out in 1½ hours. I think they're only about 5 minutes from the hotel.

Here's an article by Corby Kummer in the Jan 2002 The Atlantic about Five Lakes Grill.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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There's also the Lark a little farther north in West Bloomfield. My experiences there have been excellent. Prix-fixe or a la carte. The web site gives the current menu. Be sure to look at the fine print under the prix-fixe. It might surprise you. :laugh:

(Note: There has recently been a change in the kitchen; Marcus Haight is no longer at the helm. I haven't eaten there under the new chef, but I can't imagine Mr & Mrs Lark allowing standards to slip even slightly.)

Charlie

Walled Lake, Michigan

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  • 7 months later...

Just raising my hand here and saying "hi... I'm from Detroit". Well... Northville actually. And having Emily's just down the street from me is a constant source of frustration... that I can't afford to eat there more often.

A trip to Zingermans is scheduled for Feb. 1st. Hope to talk with other eG locals soon.

Gary.

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  • 1 month later...

I am from Detroit! or maybe I should say Livonia by way of Akron by way of Livonia by way of Novi by way of Denver by way of South Lyon by way of Ann Arbor.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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