Wednesday, March 31, 2010

3D Tours: Chazzano Coffee Roasters

Did you know that coffee has 1500 unique flavor profiles? Neither did we, until we discovered Chazzano!

The next tasting tour from Discover Detroit Dining (3D Tours) will take you around the world to discover how coffee is much like a fine wine. Fresh-roasted coffee can have notes of blueberry, cherry, wine, tobacco, apricot, almond, caramel, squash, coconut, fresh-cut flowers…and some 1500 other things, give or take! (That’s twice as many as wine, which only has 750 flavor profiles.)

On Wednesday, April 7, 2010 from 6:00-8:00PM, we’ll be “cupping” (a roaster’s term for “tasting”) coffee alongside the talented and knowledgeable Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo, roaster and owner of Chazzano Coffee Roasters at 1737 E. 9 Mile Rd. in Ferndale.

On an unassuming corner of 9 Mile Rd. and the I-75 service entrance sits the nondescript building which houses Chazzano Coffee Roasters. Outside it looks drab, but inside is a fresh, modern meeting place with free WiFi and some of the best coffee in the state. This new retail storefront has been open fewer than six months, but Chazzano has been supplying local businesses such as Bacco Ristorante in Southfield and What Crepe? in Royal Oak with their wholesale coffee since 2007.

Frank will be taking us on a tour of his facilities as well as sharing some of his extensive knowledge of the art of roasting, brewing, and cupping. And he should know: he roasts about 8-12 thousand pounds of coffee beans every month! His coffee is also certified Kosher by the highest authorities and is all sourced from Certified Fair Trade, organic farms. We will discuss how the coffee transforms from the raw bean to the cup in front of you by tasting four different 5-oz. cups from South America, India, Africa, and more.

By the end of this event, you should be able to identify more than just the 2 or 3 (out of 1500!!!) flavor profiles most people can detect, as well as possess the language to describe them!

This event will cost $12.00 per person for the tour, cupping, and all the coffee you can drink. Purchase tickets online through the Discover Detroit Dining website by Tuesday, April 6. This event has limited capacity so get your tickets fast! We will be meeting at Chazzano at 6:00PM sharp; guests are responsible for their own transportation.

For more information about this or any other event, please contact me at

Real Detroit Weekly: Iridescence

"As one of Detroit’s only AAA four-diamond-rated restaurants, Iridescence is in the ranks of the top restaurants in the country — the crème de la crème of local cutting-edge cuisine. Sitting atop the Motor City Casino with 60-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, Iridescence boasts a most spectacular panoramic view of the city of Detroit. The décor inside befits a hyper-trendy Las Vegas or Miami hotspot.

'But image isn’t everything, and a restaurant needs more than just curb appeal to make it truly spectacular. Thankfully, the food at Iridescence is as exquisite as the dining room itself — every plate a shining example of pure culinary art. Chef de Cuisine Derik Watson utilizes his formal background in French and Japanese culinary traditions to put surprising spins on classic Americana dishes. His specialty is classic comfort food gone couture..."

Read the rest of the article here.

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)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Detroit Restaurant Week Menus Announced

Break out your Blackberrys(-ies? does one pluralize a phone's name?) and start filling up your calendars for April 16-25: the menus for all 17 participating Detroit Restaurant Week restaurants have officially been announced. All the complete menus are available on the DRW website under the "Restaurants" tab, and now it's time we play our favorite game: which restaurants will you be visiting during this 10-day feasting frenzy? I heard a great story from one of the bartenders at Atlas Global Bistro about a group of people that rented a limo and over the 10 DRW days last September visited ALL 17 restaurants, doubling up reservations at 5:00PM and 9:00PM on several nights just to fit them all in. And I thought I was committed to the cause! It's like the 12 days of Christmas...only it's 10...and it's in April...and you can spend them with people you actually like instead of people you're forced by genetic similarity to see once a year...the random acts of gluttony are pretty much the same, though.

Below is the press release, because they're fun. Also, all you vegetarians who were all WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH last year should be pleased.

Detroit Restaurant Week menus for the 17 establishments that are
participating in the 10-evening dinner promotion April 16-25 are now available
for viewing at A new addition to every menu for
spring will be a dinner option for vegetarians who crave fine dining paired with
exceptional value.

“All of the restaurants have once again put together
menu pairings that will make your mouth water,” said Jason Huvaere, Executive
Director of Detroit Restaurant Week. “The addition of vegetarian dishes to each
of the menus will bring new customers into these establishments who appreciate
the fine dining experience and will enjoy tasting exciting new dishes prepared
by our chefs. For the Spring Edition of Detroit Restaurant Week, participating
chefs are planning their vegetarian menus to delight every diner while
incorporating the season’s finest ingredients.”

An example of the tasty
vegetarian dish that will be offered during Detroit Restaurant Week is the
Himalayan Red Rice Cabbage Rolls on the menu at 24Grille.

“There is an
entire world of fresh full flavored ingredients out there and when prepared the
right way you can create diverse dishes that appeal to all varieties of people,”
said Executive Chef Jason Gardner. “Our menu for restaurant week will offer
vegetarian guests much more than the traditional stir fry dishes they are used
to seeing on restaurant menus.”

The rice Gardner will use for the dish
is actually harvested in the foot hills of the Himalayan Mountain Range which he
says will offer a great balance of texture and earthiness to the Napa cabbage.
Accompanying the cabbage rolls will be char-grilled tofu and a carrot puree,
which will have a deliciously intense flavor.

The chef of each
restaurant develops a special menu for Detroit Restaurant Week, however for this
edition of the dinner promotion many chefs said they drew their inspiration from
the spring season when creating their menus.

Chef Paul Grosz of Cuisine
said, “When I think of spring I think of lamb. The first use of a grill outdoors
was inspiration for our grilled pear salad. The chill in the air at night was my
inspiration for a corn soup with crab salad. In spring I think of light flavors
and hearty meals.”

Diners from across Southeast Michigan and Windsor
will again be able to order a three-course dinner for an exceptional price of
$27 per person (exclusive of beverage, tax and gratuity).

Reservations not Required, but Highly Recommended
Huvaere said reservations are not required, but they are encouraged so that
restaurants can provide an outstanding experience for each guest. Last fall more
than 27,000 people filled the restaurant reservation ledgers.

To make a
reservation, visit and select a restaurant to
obtain contact information for each establishment. Reservations can be made by
contacting restaurants directly or through the Open Table link, which can also
be found on the web site.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Real Detroit Weekly: Woodbridge Pub

"My latest CPC adventure had me crunching into a filling nibble of crostini, a drizzle of bacon shallot vinaigrette, an earthy bite of just-picked wild mushrooms, and the farmfresh flavors of strawberry and rhubarb. Does Detroit have a new four-star restaurant? Well … sort of.

'Our little Woodbridge Pub is all grown up, and she’s debuting a brand-new spring menu. Gone are the pizzas and about half the old sandwiches, replaced with more healthful options, as well as traditional entrees. What began in August 2008 as straightforward pub grub has since evolved into a sophisticated yet affordable menu, thanks to the addition of Chef Eric Welsh in December 2009..."

Read the rest of the article here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid (Except By Me)

Sometimes, there's a man. Sometimes, there's a man... Well, I lost my train of thought here, but I done introduced it enough.

(The Big Lebowski. Greatest movie ever EVER ever. Don't argue with me.)

Sometimes there's a man, and sometimes there's a catch-all blog post. Here goes:

Seldom Blues Space for Rent
The space once occupied by the Frank Taylor joint (get it? like "Spike Lee joint"? Ohhh how I'm in a mood today...) has become prime property up for grabs, and several prominent local restauranteurs are eyeing it like a pack of hungry wolves. The Vicaris, who own the Andiamo Restaurant Group, want to open a second location of their Novi-based upscale Mexcian eatery Rojo Mexican Bistro (note: their Andiamo on the Riverfront, located inside the Ren Cen, is their highest-grossing location--little wonder they'd want to see a second restaurant in the same building). Matt Prentice wants to open another fish house, though promises it will be distinctly different from his Northern Lakes Seafood Co. in Bloomfield Hills. Rumor is that the brokers of the space really want to see a seafood restaurant in this location, but there are also hush-hush hints that an old Detroit dining institution may be returning in a renewed form...many would be excited to see this happen, though I regretfully cannot tip my hand here. Hyde Park Prime is another name thrown in the mix, which was supposed to open in aught-eight in Bloomfield Hills though it ultimately never did. The overall consensus is that this is a killer space that can make killer money if managed properly. Read between the lines if you will; I only said what I said.

Two New Spots in Greektown
And neither of them are Greek. Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Monroe St. will open March 29, offering "the best $5 burger a man can eat" according to GQ. Just down the street Red Smoke Barbeque is taking shape nicely...looks like a trendy-but-not-in-that-way-that-Slows-is-trendy kind of place. Like, traditional southern "trendy"...something that would be a happenin' spot in Charlotte, NC. The true test of a BBQ joint is its ribs (sorry, but Slows fails there)...I'm curious to see what Red Smoke can bring. Yee-haw!

Speaking of BBQ (and Slows)
There is also going to be a new BBQ joint on Woodward at Adams; construction is currently underway but a source tells me that when he walked by and inquired about the renovation he was told, "You know Slows? It'll be like that, only better." Sounds like someone got ahold of the Open Pit recipe and is having their way with it!

(Proof) Space Has Been Leased Out to an Eastside Bar
Perhaps Dooley's, or some other big eastside joint. know, the jokes just write themselves here. I almost feel like it's beneath me. Take a heaping helping of the White Trash Trifecta (muffin tops, tramp stamps, and skunk streaks), throw in some T-tops and mullets, be generous with your cracks on Tigers fans, and set it to a soundtrack of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock. Though I will say--those eastside bars know how to promote themselves and always get a strong crowd. Now give me the beat boys and free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away...

Some Detroit Restaurant Week Updates
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has agreed to participate in the Detroit Restaurant Week Press Conference April 13, 2010. “Detroit Restaurant Week highlights the many fine establishments we have in our city -- where a plate can be found for every palate,” said Mayor Bing. “As more people look to spend their money locally, I welcome them to Detroit, and invite them to discover the rich flavors and tastes we offer here, not only during Detroit Restaurant Week, but every day.” The press conference will be held at 10 a.m. and attened by media, representatives from the participating restaurants. Details about the location will be announced at a later date. Also, DRW, the participating resturants, and the event producer Paxahau Event Productions were recognized at the Downtown Detroit Partnership's annual luncheon on March 4, 2010. Also also, I get to preview five more restaurants and you're jealous.

There's probably more. In fact, there's most assuredly more. But that's what the quote-unquote neeeeeews is for, and I don't want to put anyone out of a job.

*chirp* *chirp*

DRW Preview #1: Mosaic

Yippee skippee, it's here again! My favorite time of the year, Detroit Restaurant Week! The Spring Edition will be April 16-25, and I'll be bringing you previews of select restaurants' menus every week until then.

Just this past Tuesday I filmed a DRW promo spot for "Nikki Does Detroit" on Do Detroit TV, during which I was forced to eat food from Atlas, the Whitney, and Iridescence, and immediately afterwards was my first DRW preview dinner of the spring cycle at Mosaic in Greektown. I really just don't think people realize how hard it is to be me sometimes. I do it all for you.

Also, all this free food is making me fat.

But on to business: Mosaic.

Mosaic, owned and operated by Greektown business moguls the Pappas, has been a favorite downtown dining destination for several years now. Attracting both the fine dining clientele as well as the younger, trendier scenesters who pack the exquisite bar on Saturday nights, Mosaic has wide appeal and a steady reputation as the place to be seen in downtown Detroit's most popular social district.

In November 2009, Executive Chef Tim Voss took over the kitchen at Mosaic, and while much of the menu has maintained its familiarity for patrons, Voss has created a menu for Detroit Restaurant Week that is new and fun, something that will be as much of a draw for those who have never visited the restaurant before as for those who dine there regularly.

If the name Tim Voss sounds familiar...well, it should. He's had quite the established culinary career here in metro Detroit. His repetoire includes opening Tribute, nine years at Forte, and the Executive Chef title at the much-loved Fiddleheads in Royal Oak, may it live on in our memories forever. And as of earlier this week, Voss appeared in a new feature in the Metro Times on metro Detroit's new breed of chefs, twentysomething and tatted up who use fine dining as their ultimate act of iconoclastic rebellion the way their middle-aged counterparts once used rock music and motorcycles.

Voss strikes me as the kind of guy who has never uttered an unkind word about anyone in his whole entire life, and if he did it would be done in the most diplomatically possible way. In other words, just a hellova nice guy who smiles frequently (though shyly) and has an absolutely unassuming, quiet demeanor about him. Despite having trained and worked alongside some of the biggest industry names in Detroit and Chicago, Voss has maintained his humility, though make no mistake: this guy definitely knows his stuff, which is most evident when he rattles off excitedly about some of his favorite dishes.

Voss presented me and my dining partner with every single dish he will be featuring in his upcoming Spring Detroit Restaurant Week menu. We started with the "Soup du Jour," which was a Roasted Tomato and Asparagus Bisque with pesto and parmesan. (Note: come April 16 this may no longer be the featured soup.) This was a hearty winter dish full of robust flavors that meshed nicely.

From there we moved on to the Trio Temptation Sampler, with Taramasalata, Baba Ganoush, and Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Cheese spreads served with flash-fried pita chips. I would like some of that tomato & feta spread in a quart-sized to-go container, please and thank you.

The Spring Mix Salad is made with a roasted Vidalia onion vinaigrette and buttermilk fried onion crisps, and while I'm not exactly Miss Onion Detroit, onion rings on a salad made for a fun contrast of flavor and texture.

The Parmesan-Citrus Crusted Snapper (which will be either Whitefish come DRW or whatever fish is freshest and available at the time) was served with pearl couscous, spinach, apricots, and a Michigan cherry red wine butter sauce. The snapper was delicate and part of me was admittedly a bit relieved to see a fish served on anything other than polenta cake (even though I've had good luck with polenta lately, still), but the real standout here was that cherry-red wine-butter sauce. This is going to be a strange comparison (when is it ever not?), but I remember from years ago that the only dish I enjoyed at Don Pablos was their sopapillas (my dining experiences were a bit simpler back then); I liked them because they were essentially just simple fried dough served with a decadent brandy butter sauce. This cherry wine butter sauce had just the right touch of tart sweetness with all the richness of a butter sauce...I say fry up some dough balls and serve the whole damn thing to me in a bowl with a spoon!

The Twin Medallions of Veal Tenderloin were stuffed with pancetta, scotch bonnet pepper, and gouda, served with a Michigan morel demi-glace and sweet potato risotto. At this point my sides were already about to split but I soldiered on. The pancetta was explosively salty while the gouda and demi-glace added richness to the dish, and the light sweet potato risotto worked to offset the heaviness of the meat and sauce. This dish is what I like to call "hardcore."

When Voss came out with the server to present the Roast Chicken Breast, all I saw was purple, and he seemed to get great joy out of saying "purple Peruvian potato puree." The server commented that it looks like "Play-Doh and nacho cheese." My dining partner later noted, "Purple potatoes taste just like regular potatoes."

One thing Mosaic does tremendously well is presentation, and you see this reflected throughout the decor of the entire restaurant as well as in the dishes themselves. This chicken was served with, yes, purple potatoes, as well as a crisp spring mushroom and chevre cheese roulade (which reminded me of a deep-fried spring roll with the pungent tanginess of goat cheese) and a carrot-ginger sauce (i.e., the "nacho cheese" color). The end result is a dish that is visually extravagant though comprised of simple, hearty flavors. The color was absolute Mardis Gras.

Another visually impressive item were the Towers of Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna Pinwheels. This isn't the kind of lasagna you're familiar with: no meat, no red sauce, filled instead with a golden tomato pomodoro with a salad of roasted gold peppers and Swiss chard on top and a Trebbiano vinegar reduction drizzle. If its so-called "traditional" red-sauce-and-ground-meat counterpart is the ideal winter dish, then this reimagined lasagna is perfectly spring. This is like no other lasagna you've ever seen or tasted.

And now, on to desserts (at this point I was about to do a face-plant into my food). We started with a kind of deconstructed chocolate lava cake with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream; not part of the DRW menu but an added bonus for us. One bite made even my sweet tooth hurt!

From the proper DRW menu, we tasted the Milk Chocolate Mousse which is a simple layer cake served with a berry sorbet. And when I say "simple layer cake" I mean "one of the best layer cakes I've ever tasted" and "puts most wedding cakes to shame." Despite the fact that I was already painfully full, I couldn't let this go to waste.

But, oh, we still weren't done. Not to be upstaged, the Meyer Lemon Semifreddo (made with "gorgeous" Meyer lemons, as Voss noted--this was another one that he was clearly excited about) is topped with a white cake pistacchio streusel and strawberry "caramel." A semifreddo is kind of a partially frozen mousse or custard, creamy like gelato though a little more dense. Lemons and strawberries made for a stellar spring dessert combination, and this dish in particular nailed it: a perfect pairing of tart and sweet, with the dreamy creaminess of the semifreddo offsetting the tartness of the lemon and the strawberry caramel acting as the ideal contrast. It's like strawberry lemonade conceived as a fancy dessert, and it was superb.

So often restaurants either nail their desserts or bomb them (usually because, in the absence of an actual pastry chef, the head chef is either not properly trained in pastries or just simply does not care about them, considering them only as an afterthought); here, the desserts just may have been my favorite part of the meal.

Tim Voss is new to Mosaic since the first round of Restaurant Week, so this is a perfect opportunity for you to check out what he's been doing in the kitchen since he came in. He's excited to be involved in this event and see how it will bring different groups of people out and bouncing around from place to place. Mosaic is also a stunning location full of marble, granite, copper, sculptured glass, and woven teakwood--as visually appealing as Voss's food. See. Be seen. Eat. Win x3.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Real Detroit Weekly: Table 5

"Table 5, opened in September 2008 and owned by John and Mishelle Lussiel, is a quintessential Northville restaurant. Michelle's brainchild grew over several years before taking form in the former McKinnon’s location, a Northville icon for 25 years. When they acquired the space, they gutted it and started from scratch: an epic undertaking for two people.

'But this is Northville. People from the community — friends, neighbors, even passers-by — would stop in and help carry out wheelbarrows full of refuse. They had so many people help that they put names on the barstools of all the people who gave a hand. 'There’s always a fight over the bar stools,' Mishelle laughs. 'They say "it takes a village," and it took a village to get this place running!'...

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kitchen Confidential Detroit

My favorite Editor Who I Don't Work For But Am Still Fond of Regardless wrote a story about the Dreadlock Mafia running the kitchen at the Whitney (and other culinary crusaders who opted for chefs' knives over switchblades) and it's on the cover of this week's Metro Times. Check it out: "Sharp Young Things."

Bravo to Michael Jackman for a killer story, even though I don't work for him.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Michigan Beer Dinner at Grange Kitchen and Bar

I've been meaning to write about Ann Arbor's Grange Kitchen and Bar for awhile now. Five months, to be exact. I had great ideas on how I was going to present my experience of their fall menu and talk about their committment to sustainable cuisine with an entirely locally-sourced, organic menu and so on...

Well, it ain't fall anymore. Sometimes things slip by despite my best efforts. Perhaps you've noticed, but I'm kind of a busy lady. Ah well.

The least I can do for penitence is to feature their upcoming Michigan Beer Dinner on March 24th.

Chef Johns combines his critically acclaimed menu with the best beer Michigan has to offer, creating beer-food pairings that simply can’t be missed by beer lovers or anyone who enjoys the compliment of food and drink together. $50pp including beer. Tax and tip not.

Grange hosts a number of different themed dinners and monthly events that are worth checking out; the upcoming Slow Food "Ark of Taste" dinner is also particularly noteworthy. See more of their events here; and maybe one day I'll get around to writing that review of the place. (I even have a draft started and all the pictures uploaded, I swear! Even the intro is done!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Real Detroit Weekly: Gus O'Connor's

Fair warning: Irish hospitality often comes in the form of Jameson shots.

“As a public house we feel we’re more than just a neighborhood bar,” says Executive Chef and General Manager of Gus O’Connor’s in Rochester, Michael Keys. “A public house is a spot where everyone is comfortable and feels welcome. We’re a meeting place for the whole community.”

Talk about true Irish hospitality — as soon as I walked in the door, I was invited to join a group already sitting. Within minutes I had a pint of Magners Irish Cider in front of me, a true Irish cider that until recently wasn’t even available in Michigan. This stuff is Veuve Clicquot compared to Strongbow’s Tosti Asti Spumante — real cider, not that sugary kids' stuff. I followed this with a shot of Jameson (this is how the Irish say hello and goodbye), which was followed by a perfect pint of Guinness. Well, hell, when in Dublin …

Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Real Detroit Weekly: Phat Sammich

Calories? Pshaw. I laugh in the face of calories.

"If you ask proprietor Jeff McArthur why he named his newest restaurant Phat Sammich, he’ll give you a simple answer: 'Because the sandwiches are so good they’re sammiches, and because they’re phat!'

'The sandwiches at Phat Sammich are so big they topple over. To properly eat them, you have to crush them down. Goodbye, polite nibbling: I dove right in, my hands and face a mess of sauce as Jeff and I talked shop. Jeff is the kind of guy who grins ear-to-ear when he starts talking about food. This exuberance is reflected in the youth-influenced menu: ingredients include Doritos, Funyuns and grilled cheese. Yeah, the Heart Attack, which is an eight-ounce burger loaded up with bacon, Funyuns, lettuce and tomato, is smushed between two Grilled Cheese Sammiches. Believe it..."

Read the rest of the article here.