Tuesday, April 30, 2013

[Model D] Top of the Pontch, Jefferson House, Urban Cellars opening in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Pontchartrain

Photo by Nicole Rupersburg.

As the Crowne Plaza Hotel Pontchartrain undergoes a serious exterior overhaul to prepare to welcome its first guests this June, the overhaul happening inside is just as ambitious, both in design and concept. 

The Jefferson House will be the Pontch's primary restaurant, located across from the lobby. The look is modern meets old world: copper leaf ceilings, plush cream-colored chairs, dark-stained wainscoting covering the walls. It's warm and rich and comfortable, refined without being too stuffy. They'll serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will also have a 40-seat outdoor patio on Jefferson. Attached to the Jefferson House is Urban Cellars, the hotel's sizable bar, which will specialize in craft cocktails.

Read more.

[Model D] Restaurateur Tony Vulaj to open Midtown Zeff's and Tony V's Tavern in Midtown

Anton Vulaj, who goes by the nickname "Tony V," has two new restaurants opening in the coming months in Midtown.

Vulaj is no stranger to the Midtown restaurant market: he's been in the game for 14 years now as the owner of the Olympic Grill on Warren and Campus Diner on Cass, both just steps away from the Wayne State University campus. "I like the neighborhood," he says. "Clientele-wise I know I won't have a better clientele than I do with Wayne State University."

Read more.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Week We Ate (The EID Week in Review)

This is a person who makes fun of Guy Fieri.

Eddie Huang of Vice came to Detroit, found burgers, abandoned buildings and poor people. [Eddie Huang Twitter]

Cork Wine Pub: dunzo, at least in the way in which you've known it. After a legal dispute between former partners that dragged out for what felt like forever, Cork is changing hands to the owner of the actual building, who plans on keeping it open as Cork but with a bit of concept revamping. [EID FB]

Spring fever = PATIO FEVER. Patios were all over the news and Facebooks this week; here's a few highlights: Brooklyn Street Local in Corktown is pouring themselves a proper patio; Mae's patio is now open (weather permitting); Foran's Grand Trunk Pub owner Tim Tharp gives the what-for re: the city saying they can't have a patio this summer because of the M-1 Rail construction, then saying just kidding you totally can n/m. [CBS Local]

Congratulations to the lovely (in the British sense, though I suppose also in the American physical sense too, but I meant it in the British sense) Cait James (and her equally lovely sisters and business partners) of Drought Juice on being named one of Crain's Detroit Business Class of 2013 20 in Their Twenties! [Crain's]

The Daily Meal names America's 35 best hot dogs: Lafayette Coney Island made the cut (while American Coney Island got snubbed). [Daily Meal]

I don't always support crowd-funding campaigns, but when I do, it's for someone whom I know first-hand can't just go out and get a business loan for the amount of money they need to make it happen. Rock City Pies has a space in Hamtramck and is moving along with the intent to open Rock City Eatery this summer, but owner Nik needs some help to get there all by himself. Plus there's good incentives! [Rock City Eatery Indiegogo]

St. Cece's Pub: pop-up incubator. [Freep]

A high-end national chain steakhouse has opened in BirmTroyFieldingham. Wherever. I might have even covered this before. Does anyone care? Would anyone know the difference? This one is called Eddie Merlot's, which is clever because, it's like, "Eddie" is such an everyman's name, but "Merlot" let's you know that they're serious. [MMX]

Hygrade Deli is a Detroit institution, and sadly, not one that is part of the current "comeback" narrative.  [Crain's]

Rodney Henry of Dangerously Delicious Pies Baked in Detroit will appear on the 9th season of Next Food Network Star, premiering June 2. [Biz Journals]

Also, Dangerously Delicious Pies now has a new home at the 3rd Street Bar, which is really great news for both parties (better location for DDP, plus 3rd Street will finally have food again). [Thrillist]

A lot happened in the 'burbs these last couple of weeks: Bill Roberts' new restaurant ML is now open in Bloomfield Twp., Local 212 is now open in Royal Oak, and Steelhouse Tavern is now open in Troy. [RO Patch]

The Cinco de Mayo fundraiser for the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program will feature food from Dave Mancini of Supino Pizzeria, Wolfgang Puck Steak's Marc Djozlija, Andy Hollyday from Michael Symon's Roast - Detroit, Will Branch from Corridor Sausage Co. and pastry chef Christina Gibbs, followed by boxing! Dinner at 5, boxing at 7. Tickets at different participating levels available through this link. [Downtown Boxing Gym]

Here's a good guide to restaurants in Hamtramck (which you can use well beyond Blowout). [Metro Times]

In case you missed it:
~La Palma Mediterranean Cuisine is now open in Midtown. [Model D]
~A list within a list (but including at least one tidbit I haven't already posted). [RDW]

Ann Arbor-based Fair Food Network is expanding its healthy food incentive program that it launched in Eastern Market Corporation 5 years ago into three Detroit grocery stores. The program will match purchases of fruits and vegetables made by those using food assistance programs and is the first of its kind in the country. [Crain's]

Detroit duck farmer Suzanne Scoville gets profiled in the Freep and her answers are once again thoughtful and hilarious. [Freep]

You know you want it: Crain's Detroit Business gives us a first look inside the new Whole Foods Market Detroit. [Crain's]


Illinois rounding out this list of America's best craft beer states (at least Michigan beat them) ended up being only the second-most annoying thing that happened in beer this week. [USA Today]

 This was the first: 2013 Beer City USA nominations opened. Ann Arbor wanted on the ballot which, fine, okay Ann Arbor, you are special and unique, we know. Then the mayor of Kalamazoo said "US TOO!!!!" and wrangled a bunch of votes to get them on the ballot. Which is just a really, really fantastic way to split the Michigan vote three ways, and in particular between Grand Rapids and K-Zoo, which are all of 40 minutes away from each other and which could easily be considered part of a greater collective beerie region. But yeah, sure, one popular brewery (Bell's), two not-popular brewpubs (you wouldn't recognized the names if I told you), and a beer store TOTALLY make for a Beer City USA!!!!! -_- Perhaps this will be a good lesson to Michigan about sharing. Let's just all vote for fucking Asheville. And, as for next year, WARREN FOR BEER CITY USA 2014! And and: fuck you, Kalamazoo. [MLive]

At least there was this. [First We Feast]

From rumor to reality: Larry Bell will open a second brewery called Upper Hand in Escanaba in 2014. [Upper Hand Official]

Tickets to the REAL Summer Beer Festival go on sale this Wednesday. [Michigan Brewers Guild]

And here's news about the *other* summer beer fests. [Detroit News]

Props to MLive Detroit writer David Muller for wrangling all these brewers and getting them to tell him what they have planned for spring and summer. As someone who has attempted to put together lists like this multiple times and finally decided no more, I can say that brewers, bless them, are really f-ing flaky. LOVE YOU GUYS. But it's true. [MLive]

First one on this list of great IPAs from First We Feast: Bell's Brewery, Inc. (Official) Hopslam. As well it should be. [FWF]

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

[Real Detroit] The Dish

Black Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Float at Moo Cluck Moo, made with creamy Calder's ice cream and natural Black Cherry soda

-HOLY DUCK: Monk. The new concept just opened last week in the Bastone complex in downtown Royal Oak in what was formerly Café Habana. Same owners, same chef and an even Belgian-ier version of sister restaurant/brewery Bastone. Think: burger with foie gras, goat cheese and pancetta. Duck fat fries with four different kinds of house-made mayo. Pork belly waffle sandwiches. And 38 bottles of Belgian beer on the wall.

-Hard rawker fans of 101.1 WRIF can now enjoy their very own signature beer. Made in Detroit by Detroiters for Detroiters, WRIF Lager, a collaboration with Detroit's Atwater Brewery, is a light traditional German-style lager. Geared towards the Every Man, the beer's tagline is "Word hard, play hard." Find it on tap at Atwater, CJ Mahoney's in Troy, State Bar in Detroit, the Blarney Stone in Berkley and Albert's on the Alley in Garden City.

Read more.

[Real Detroit] Nick's 22nd Street Steakhouse

This post written by EID Co-Conspirator Stefanie Cobb.

Photo by Stefanie Cobb.
In case anyone hasn't noticed, steakhouses are totally THE thing now. And while it seems as though we can't get enough of them, each one is just as overpriced and gaudy as the next. Nick's 22nd Street Steakhouse in Shelby Township is proud of their originality and knack for standing out amongst their cattle hungry competitors. Nick's Steakhouse is a third generation establishment that has continued to thrive for over two decades.

Owners and brothers Bill, Harry and George Andreopoulous certainly acquired the knowledge of the ins and outs in running a successful restaurant. As a family with a long history of entrepreneurship, they've managed to maintain their passion of buying run-down businesses and transforming them into thriving restaurants. They are also the owners of Catch 22 Bistro in Algonac.

Read more.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

[Model D] La Palma Mediterranean Cuisine now open in Midtown

Details of the stone, brick, and woodwork at La Palma in Midtown.

Midtown workers and residents have yet another option for weekday lunch and dinner: La Palma Mediterranean Cuisine, located at the corner of Canfield and John R.

Opened just two weeks ago, La Palma is an open, airy space with prepared foods and select pre-made hot items displayed in cases by the cash register, and options for carry-out or sit-down service.

Read more.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Week We Ate (The EID Week in Review)

Will this burger save Detroit? 

Here are some pretty, pretty pictures of the new Urban Bean Co., which just re-opened in Capitol Park. And is quite pretty. [Curbed]

I would like to know what kind of parachute journalism led to Grub Street plucking Townhouse Bistro in Birmingham out of obscurity to highlight as THE bar to represent all of Michigan's craft cocktail scene. As opposed to Roast or the Oakland or Sugar House or any number of other places with far more of a reputation for craft cocktails. I'm actually impressed by how impressively ill-researched this is. Congratulation, Grub Street, on being the worst parachute journalists of the week. [Grub Street]

Erp. Make that second-worst. Business Insider blog-sourced this little round-up of Detroit's "coolest businesses" and managed to not only only highlight those not yet out of diapers, but also included a business that exists only as a roaming pop-up, two more that haven't even yet opened, and another that has closed. But, you know, congrats to Rodin, Green Dot, et.al. JOURNALISM! [Business Insider]

Detroit Restaurant Week started last week and runs through this Saturday; here is a preview of the three newcomers to this year's spring lineup -- Santorini Estiatorio, Brizola, and Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina. [Model D]

Southfield wants in on that action too, and are debuting their first-ever restaurant week this week. [Southfield Chamber]

We really need to have a viewing party for this. Tune in to The Cooking Channel on April 27 to see The Root Restaurant and Bar and "fearless Executive Chef, James Rigato" who has a "youthful zeal" profiled in a full episode of "America's Best Bites". [Cooking Channel Official]

Rifino Valentine has another gold medal under his belt with Valentine Distilling's Liberator Gin. [CBS Detroit]

Feast your eyes on this ridiculousness: Thrillist stopped by the new Monk Beer Bar in Royal Oak. There is a burger with foie gras, pancetta and goat cheese. Pork belly waffles. Duck fat fries with four kinds of house-made mayos. And so much more. Like beer. Just look. o_O [Thrillist]

Open door, insert 7-Eleven. [Dig Downtown]

St. Brigid's Bathtub Pub is downtown's newest bar. And no, I have no idea what the name is meant to imply. [FB]

Dangerously Delicious Pies Baked in Detroit have a new home at Third Street Bar. [DDPBD FB]

In case you missed it:
-Lockhart's has debuted a new menu with MOAR MEAT. [Real Detroit]
-Shinola will open their flagship store in Midtown this June, which they want to not just be a store but also a hangout space where they'll serve items from Avalon International Breads and DROUGHT juice. [Model D]
-Santorini Estiatorio Detroit is bringing the Greek back to Greektown with a contemporary Greek concept and design that recalls the sands and surf of Santorini. [EID]

The takeaway from the Guardian's version of the Dan Gilbert Saves Detroit story is an implication of a rumor of the possibility of a Shake Shack downtown. Because we would like to reclaim our title as fattest city, thanks. [Guardian UK]

If you couldn't snag a res at the Whitney for Detroit Restaurant Week, why not stop by for breakfast instead? The Whitney now serves weekday breakfast. [Detroit News]

McDonald's basically paid out "go away" money to a group of Dearborn Muslims for falsely advertising their chicken nuggets as being halal. [USA Today]

Oh.Em.Gee. WHAT WILL REPLACE CUPCAKES???? Was I right when I said it would be French macarons? Is the suspense just, like fucking killing you????????????????? [WSJ / Fox News]


Crain's has the scoop on Griffin Claw Brewing Company, scheduled to open in June. [Crain's]

The new Old German is now under construction in the basement of Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, by the same guys behind Jolly Pumpkin Brewery and the recent Monk Beer Bar remodel. (And about a dozen other things.) Plus more A2 beer news, including a book I've been conned into photographing. [AnnArbor.com]

This is called "reward-driven learning." [io9]

Detroit City Football Club fans, MillKing It Productions has come on board as a jersey sponsor for this year. Futbol brought to you by beer. [Detroit City FC Official]

While I am in favor of less legislation vs. more in the craft beer industry, Larry Bell does raise a good point here about bars that don't clean their tap lines, which can lead to some heinously off flavors in your beer. [MLive]