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Michigan Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


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The lake does have an effect on the timing of the growing season in Michigan. Our Chicagoland weather comes whipping across the plains with nothing to buffer it, so our soil temperatures take a while to warm up in the spring (it's the soil temperature that controls how quickly spring comes along). With that big body of water at a nearly constant temperature, probably somewhere in the 30's no matter what the air temperture, the soil temps in Michigan get going earlier due to the moderating effects of the lake temperature.

I won't go further, but there are other differences in the soil between Illinois and Michigan.... (I'm also a Master Gardener...)

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  • 5 months later...

I'll be visiting the Dearborn and Detroit areas in the next few weeks and am looking for some restaurant suggestions. I think we'd prefer a nice neighborhood spot with a certain level of sophistication, maybe a young 30s crowd but not a meat-market type place. Just an upbeat spot with great food.

Really looking forward to suggestions! Thanks

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I'll be visiting the Dearborn and Detroit areas in the next few weeks and am looking for some restaurant suggestions. I think we'd prefer a nice neighborhood spot with a certain level of sophistication, maybe a young 30s crowd but not a meat-market type place. Just an upbeat spot with great food.

Really looking forward to suggestions! Thanks

Detroit's a sprawling place. Where will you be staying and how long a drive will you be willing to make?

"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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I;ll second, third and forth Zingerman's. I live in Canada, and I;m about a 2 and a half hour drive from AA. My friends live in Chelsea so I spent a lot of time there. Zingermans has great sandwiches and well as really great gourmet products. I picked up some fluer de sel there and my friend recently sent me a 20yr old balsamic for xmas.

Btw, the whole foods in AA is fabulous too.

I'll have to check out the farmers markets this summer.

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Shamless plug for my beloved adopted home, if'n any of you dare to travel north of the bridge, pay us a visit in Marquette - chez nous, Waterstone. Autumn is beautiful up here, but all year round is a wilderness of beauty.

Our own little 28 seat bistro is humming along quite nicely, and it would be good to have you in.

Paul

Formerly Chicagoan, decidedly a country boy

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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I was just about to order a case of san marzano tomatoes and some walnut oil and tuna packed in olive oil, but I thought Id check here first,

I;'ll be in AA next week. Is there a good Italian market around where I can find the tomatoes, artisinal pasta and the like. Im already going to Zingermans, but I find them a tad expensive.

Thanks

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I'll be visiting the Dearborn and Detroit areas in the next few weeks and am looking for some restaurant suggestions. I think we'd prefer a nice neighborhood spot with a certain level of sophistication, maybe a young 30s crowd but not a meat-market type place. Just an upbeat spot with great food.

Really looking forward to suggestions! Thanks

Detroit's a sprawling place. Where will you be staying and how long a drive will you be willing to make?

I'm looking into that now and will post again as soon as I have more info on the area we're staying in. Thanks!

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I'm just visiting Detroit from Miami for a couple of days. (I know, I know... don't ask.)

Anyway, I've had two very good inexpensive meals here since I arrived.

The first was at La-Shish. Mideastern food. There are a few of these around the Detroit Metro area. I went to one in Dearborn and was heartbroken not to be able to take home the leftovers. (No refrigerator in the hotel room.)

The 2nd great meal was lunch at Agave, near the Symphony Hall on Woodward. Fresh, novel interpretation of Mexican food.

As a side note, if you're thinking of staying at the Ramada in downtown Detroit, please, please, please do not. It's the closest thing to a flophouse I've ever stayed at. I know Ramada's not supposed to be top-of-the-line, but I can't believe the company lets this place bear its name.

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I;'ll be in AA next week.  Is there a good Italian market around where I can find the tomatoes, artisinal pasta and the like.  Im already going to Zingermans, but I find them a tad expensive.

Thanks

You might want to try Big Ten Market. They usually have pretty good prices on the tomatoes and will probably give you a discount if you buy a case. They have the best cheese counter in town and definitely the most helpful salespeople. I'm not sure if they'll have the walnut oil, but they might, and they do have a good selection of pasta. You might want to try the locally made "Al Dente" brand pasta, which is carried there among other places in town. I don't know of an Italian market in Ann Arbor - there is one in Dearborn though if you'll be around there at all.

For restaurants - I second the recommendation for La Shish. In Dearborn, Annam is very good upscale Vietnamese. In Detroit - others you might want to try include Atlas Global Bistro, Small Plates, and Sweet Lorraine's.

Editing to add one more idea (especially for the person who will be here for a couple of weeks) - the American Harvest restuarant at Schoolcraft Culinary Institute. Service tends to be a bit slow, but you can't beat the value. I take classes there and drool every time I walk past the restaurant (and especially the pastry case) on my way to class. http://www.schoolcraft.edu/harvest/default.htm

Edited by annarborfoodie (log)
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Alright, so I finally heard back! We'll be in the Plymouth/Northville area. Again, I'd love any good neighborhood eats suggestions! thanks in advance

I'm a Northville native and can provide a few ideas:

Northville:

Emily's - Hands down the best in town. Rick Halberg's menu and presentation are terrific.

Little Italy - OK Italian food. Fun atmosphere in an old Victorian house.

Plymouth:

Cafe Bon Homme - Nice french restaurant. Haven't been there in a few years. Good location in the center of the downtown.

If you want an out-of-the-box culinary idea, try the restaurant at Schoolcraft College. It's called American Harvest. Supervised by several CMC instructors and run by students in their culinary arts program. Supposed to be very good. Dinner only.

Dress warm. It's gonna be cold here for a while!

Gary.

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Alright, so I finally heard back! We'll be in the Plymouth/Northville area. Again, I'd love any good neighborhood eats suggestions! thanks in advance

I'm a Northville native and can provide a few ideas:

Northville:

Emily's - Hands down the best in town. Rick Halberg's menu and presentation are terrific.

Little Italy - OK Italian food. Fun atmosphere in an old Victorian house.

Plymouth:

Cafe Bon Homme - Nice french restaurant. Haven't been there in a few years. Good location in the center of the downtown.

If you want an out-of-the-box culinary idea, try the restaurant at Schoolcraft College. It's called American Harvest. Supervised by several CMC instructors and run by students in their culinary arts program. Supposed to be very good. Dinner only.

Dress warm. It's gonna be cold here for a while!

Gary.

What he said.

Also, M-14 gets you to Ann Arbor in 20-25 min., so go to Zingerman's if you get the chance. This and other threads have more info about A².

You mentioned Dearborn in your first post. If you're there for some reason, maybe around lunchtime, I second La Shish.

"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! Emily's---can you suggest some dishes and tell me how much dinner will cost?

They serve this pureed sweet potato side dish... cream & vanilla & magic. Yum yum. It's usually paired with a meat (duck??).

I've had the sea bass and it is terrific too.

Salads/Appetizers: $5 - $9 (plus an optional $16 fois gras option)

Entrees: $20 - $38 (top price for some kobe beef dish)

Desserts: $7

Wine: ???

Rick Halberg is a "slow food movement" sort of guys... at least that's what he said in his cooking class I attended. You will not have a bad meal at Emily's. Also, you won't have to deal with overbearing waitstaff and a temperamental chef. Rick is laid back and his restaurant is better because of it. No compromises on the food. Just a great experience w/o attitude. Refreshing ain't it?!?

I have a menu at my house. I'll try to post some items/prices tomorrow.

Happy eating!

Gary

ps. When are you coming to town?

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My recommendation is the pumkin ravioli with gorgonzola cream sauce. Nice size serving. Not too overwhelming.

Meals always start with a nice antipasta tray of olives, lupini beans, mortadela, salami, bread and a tomato/eggplant sauce (for the bread). I can't restrain myself and alway seem to eat too much of these treats.

Hopefully your host's idea of Italian food in "Northville" isn't the chain restaurants (Bravo! or Papa Vino). They don't have small-town Northville charm like Little Italy.

Am I to understand that Emily's is out as a candidate for dinner?

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Thanks for the recommendations! I appreciate it.

As for Emily's, I really don't know. As it is now, it's not looking likely. I think we've already got plans for the other nights, but I think I'll be back in the future and if that is the case, I'll make sure to go to Emily's....after checking here of course!

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I have to put in a vote for Villegas in Okemos. Consistently excellent, innovative specials, featuring a revolving foie gras set. I once asked my server if Chef Eric could explain what "sous vide" was, after having read about it in the forum here. The server returned to our table with two books entirely devoted to the subject; one of them was written in French.

www.restaurantvillegas.com

There's also an excellent Indian place in East Lansing called Sindhu.

http://www.restaurantdb.net/restaurants/profile/96

My favorite sushi spot is in Livonia: Akasaka

http://www.metrotimes.com/metropolis/resta...iew.asp?id=2490

Although Miki in AA is also great. Great to see a Michigan thread!

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OK, in the hope you Southerners venture further afield in joining us North of the bridge, a first swipe at our newly minted website:

Waterstone

Cheers!

Paul

Edited by paul o' vendange (log)

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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OK, in the hope you Southerners venture further afield in joining us North of the bridge, a first swipe at our newly minted website:

Waterstone

Cheers!

Paul

Looks great, Paul! Perhaps you could start a separate thread about Waterstone.

We trolls don't get to Marquette very much; Ms. Alex journeys there every 2-3 years for a good friend's family gathering. I'm sure she'll pay you a visit next time.

Obviously you did your research and concluded that Marquette could support a place like yours. Are you counting on regular business from the university community?

"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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OK, in the hope you Southerners venture further afield in joining us North of the bridge, a first swipe at our newly minted website:

Waterstone

Cheers!

Paul

Looks great, Paul! Perhaps you could start a separate thread about Waterstone.

Congrats on the launch!

I agree that the site looks great and it would be wonderful if you were to start a dedicated thread for discussion of Waterstone.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Will do, gents, thanks for the support!

So far, outside of some post-new years doldrums, we have been graced, especially given a low (read: zero) advertising budget; the university, the rather large medical system (a regional draw), the fact that Marquette is the economic hub for the area, coupled with a growing body of repeating regulars, all have kept us relatively busy our opening months. We were also blessed by a good amount of publicity on local T.V., Mining Journal, Business Journal (U.P. Business Today). Our only mission is to keep our heads down and keep to work. We love this community and are really happy to be here.

Will post thread in heartland...thanks again!

Paul

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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And, there are at least three solid actual butcher shops in the city. (Did you know that Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan?)

what are the three? when I go back to Michigan to visit dear ol mom, we normally go to Franks market on Fulton. Which ones am I missing?

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And, there are at least three solid actual butcher shops in the city. (Did you know that Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan?)

what are the three?  when I go back to Michigan to visit dear ol mom, we normally go to Franks market on Fulton.  Which ones am I missing?

I think that Matthew's on sabbatical from eGullet, so I'll take an educated guess about the shops he was referring to. I'm sure that one of them is Van Ball's Prime Beef, on Plainfield between I-96 and 3 Mile. I imagine another is Kingma's Meats, inside Kingma's Market on Plainfield between Knapp and 3 Mile. The third might be the meat department at our local supermarket, Forest Hills Foods, at Cascade Rd and Forest Hill Ave. There's also Sobie Meats, on Remembrance Rd between Leonard and Kinney, which opened just last year. He also mentioned Heffron Farms Market (Plainfield just north of I-96 and Clyde Park north of 54th). The "near-organic" meat is pre-cut and frozen, but I've been happy with the quality.

"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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