Sunday, March 28, 2010

DRW Preview #2: Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille

Another week, another Spring Detroit Restaurant Week preview dinner!

Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille sits on Woodward facing Comerica Park and right next to the Fox Theatre, but you've probably never heard of it. They tend to fly mostly under the radar, though the brand Da Edoardo has been serving metro Detroit since 1978 (at the original Grosse Pointe location) and is in its third generation of family owners.

Da Edoardo was founded by Edoardo Barbieri, who immigrated to the States after WWII and toiled in kitchens learning the industry, later becoming a co-owner of the venerable Luigi's Restaurant in Harrison Township and eventually opening his own restaurants with the help of his son, growing his business into a decades-old, successful family enterprise that all began with one of those heartwarming "penniless immigrant with nothing but a bagful of recipes and hope becomes a prominent and successful business owner and passes his dreams along to his children" stories that Hollywood just loves to tell.

The fare at Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille is classic Italian-American (as opposed to the slightly chicer noveau Italian dishes you might find at Bacco or Cafe Cortina). Expect hearty rib-sticking dishes that are very familiar, in keeping with the traditional American perception of "Italian" food...or, rather, the heavily Roman/Sicilian/Neapolitan-influenced Italian-esque cuisine that was born and popularized in America by post-World-War Italian immigrants like Eduardo.

I began with the Calamari Arrabbiatta, fried calamari rings served with red and yellow peppers. Though not a true "arrabbiata" sauce, the play is on the peppers which give the dish a little bit of spice similar to the experience of an arrabbiata.

The Insalata Mista is a simple mixed salad with carrots, red onion, a cherry tomato, and served with a white wine vinegar--a light start to what will inevitably be a heavy meal!

The Paparadelle alla Bolognese is a traditional meat-and-tomato sauce served over wide ribbon pasta--not quite spaghetti-and-meatballs, but the same level of comfort and familiarity.

The Gamberoni alla Griglia is marinated, char-grilled shrimp with asparagus. This was my favorite of the entrees: the marinade used had a great flavor with a little kick and the simple preparation allowed the flavor to dominate. I also really liked the asparagus, which was sauteed to maximize its natural flavors (if a bit oversalted...all things in moderation, right?).

The Veal alla Milanese is a lightly breaded sauteed in olive oil and served with more of that delightful asparagus. The the breading itself had a great flavor and the veal is pounded out nice and thin; the oil used was not too heavy, making this a comparatively light dish.

Last but not least, tiramisu: lady fingers soaked (and I do mean SOAKED) in espresso and brandy, layered with mascarpone custard and cocoa powder. While it may be true that not ALL tiramisu is created equal, it's kind of like creme brulee in that regard: no matter where you go, no matter what you get, you know you won't be disappointed. This tiramisu had A LOT of espresso and custard and OHBYTHEWAY you know mascarpone is a kind of cheese, right? Do I lose points for partiality? Get this with a double espresso--or do it big with a proper espresso martini--and be utterly satisfied.
Da Edaordo Foxtown Grille is a bit hidden-in-plain-view (being directly on Woodward as they are). They run a strong catering business and don't do a lot of visible advertising. Instead, they're simply open, offering their classic Italian-American cuisine to anyone who walks through their doors drawn in from the adjacent Fox Theatre or by idle curiosity. The bar is also a comfortable spot for a pre- or post-show drink and is typically a good place to duck away from the swarming crowds during major downtown holidays (including but not excluded to any Tigers or Red Wings game day). If you haven't discovered Foxtown Grille yet, well...that's kind of what this whole Detroit Restaurant Week thing is all about now, isn't it? Wink and smiley face!
Da Edorado Foxtown Grille Detroit Restaurant Week Menu:


Insalata Mista
Insalata di Cesare
Calamari Arrabiatta

Veal alla Milanese
(Medallions of veal, lightly breaded)
Petto di Pollo Marsala
(Breast of chicken sautéed in Marsala wine and fresh mushrooms)
Gamberoni alla Griglia
(Large shrimps marinated and char grilled)
Papardelle alla Bolognese
(Wide ribbon pasta, Bolognese sauce)
Fettuccine alla Primavera
(Olive oil, garlic and fresh seasonal vegetables)

Turtle Sundae
(Alinosi’s vanilla bean ice cream, Sanders’ hot fudge and caramel, pecans)
(Lady fingers soaked in espresso and brandy, layered
with mascarpone custard and cocoa powder)
Gelato or Sorbetto
(A rotating selection)