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Best Meal In/Around Detroit and Milwaukee - money not a concern - please help!

Traveling to Detroit and Milwaukee on business for the first time. Live and work in NYC and am passionate about food and wine. Would love to hear your suggestions for the top food in town - if you only have one meal left to eat in these cities and money is not a concern - where would you go? Care more about great quality food than ambience; have car with GPS and willing to travel for good eats. Would also love suggestions for good breakfast and lunch spots that are local favorites - anything that is not to be missed. Thanks in advance!

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  1. As a Chicago native who frequently travels to Milwaukee, I have one recommendation far above all others: Sanford. It is THE VERY BEST restaurant in Milwaukee (widely acclaimed as such by pretty much all the critics), and is as good as the very best places in Chicago. It is wonderful and deserves all the praise it receives. It's in a trendy neighborhood just north of downtown. Website: http://www.sanfordrestaurant.com

    One other tip - the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal (the big newspaper in town) has restaurant reviews and listings on its entertainment website at http://www.onwisconsin.com/dining Their reviewer, Dennis Getto, writes an article each year about the Top 30 restaurants in town, although his list is a mix, not just fine dining but also ethnic and neighborhood type places. This year's article is at http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.a... His most recent detailed review of Sanford is at http://www.onwisconsin.com/dining/din...

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      One thing about Dennis Getto. I was in Milwaukee earlier this year and knew nothing about the restaurant scene. I went to Coast based on his glowing review and it was so horrible on so many levels I have to wonder what he was thinking?

    2. In Detroit, Five Lakes Grill or Tribute. Both have websites,
      Both are great.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dinerminer

        But very different. Tribute is as high end as it gets in Detroit, while Five Lakes is much more laid back (and on my one trip there, disappointing).

      2. If you are willing to drive, I would suggest going to the West End Grill in Ann Arbor: http://www.westendgrilla2.com/Home_Pa...
        Plus, Ann Arbor's a nice town to walk around in after you are done eating.

        1. If money is not a concern, go to the Lark, in suburban Detroit. One of the best French country-style restaurants anywhere.


          1. I agree with the first post with regard to Sanford. One of the best restaurents I have ever dined in. Excellent food and service. I would also recommend Roots in Milwaukee, in Brewers Hill. Food is outstanding, and the view is fantastic.

            1. In Detroit proper there is a BBQ place that is as close to the south as you get up here (I lived in Dallas for a few years) "Slows Bar-b-q". Great place, can have a wait. http://slowsbarbq.com/menu.html

              In Troy, MI there is the Alibi for great pizza and greek salad with lots of garlic!
              6700 Rochester Rd
              Troy, MI 48098
              (248) 879-0014

              Dowtown Detroit in Greek Town, our favorite is Pegasus. They have amazing stuffed banana peppers, or the best moussaka I have ever had!

              For lebanese try La Shish in Dearborn. They have many locations but I like this one. http://www.lashish.com/chefscorner.html
              Or Cedar Gardens in Saint Clair Shores.

              Hope you dine well!

              1. Sanford is good, but if you are truly food obsessed (and you sound like you are), make the relatively short drive to Chicago and eat at Alinea, The Peninsula, Moto, Schwa, Charlie Trotter's, Arun's, Trio . . .

                1. ABSOLUTELY make sure you spend one of your evenings at Sanford's. I disagree with the other poster who suggested that you bypass Milluakee for dinner at one of the great places in Chicago. While the places s/he named are indeed worthy of a night out for any foodie, they don't trump a night at Sanford's by any means.

                  As far as Detroit goes, eh, not the best town for dining, IMO. Tribute has long been considered the most worthwhile destination for dining between Chicago and New York. While I would still say it is worthwhile, I have heard from folks who left when Chef Takihashi left (or shortly thereafter) that it is not the same, it does not rise to the level it once did. Those sentiments are not based on my own experience rather are from others who either worked there with Takihashi or are folks whose food opinions I value.

                  I would skip a dining night in Detroit and set aside fine dining and head to Ann Arbor to experience Zingerman's deli for food shopping and Zingerman's Roadhouse for American eats and cocktails done with the finest eye on ingredients.

                  1. I haven't been there since Takashi left, but I'd guess that Tribute is still the best dining experience in Detroit. As others have said, Detroit isn't a great food town.

                    I second Luckygirl's suggestion of coming to Ann Arbor and doing the Zingerman's thing.

                    1. I'll never understand the Zingermans cult. It was okay back in the day but long lines for tired food never did it for me.

                      The Cook's Shop in Windsor is another destination spot, jump over the Detroit River and have classic bistro food. You'll need your birth certificate or passport.

                      Has anyone mentioned Sweet Lorraine's? The original in Southfield is still great, I haven't been to the downtown one but it's a nice looking room.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: CestMoi

                        I don't go to Zingerman's for the sandwiches. I go for the amazing meats and cheese and olive oil and vinegar and bread and chocolate. I agree that the sandwiches are overrated.

                      2. Never fear, Tribute is still wonderful. I'd go there.

                        But I also love Bacco (upscale NY-like Italian and Assagi (gourmet bistro in Ferndale).

                        I still say Tribute. Great wine, food and service.

                          1. Ok I would not skip Detroit....(see my post above with Slows, and Pegasus) Would I come to Detroit or Ann Arbor to eat if I didn't live here? No, but there are worth while places if you look for them. Zingerman's is over rated.

                            You could try Sweet Georgia Brown
                            1045 Brush St, Detroit
                            I haven't been there myself but have only heard good things.

                            Also in Detroit is
                            Traffic Jam and Snug
                            511 W Canfield St
                            The food has been hit and miss lately (they serve vegetarian as well and non veg dishes) But their dessert is amazing, The Carlotta Chocolatta has wonderful homemade coffee ice cream served with it, I won't tell the rest you'll have to try it.

                            A little north of Detroit in Grosse Pointe Farms "The Hill" is very worth while, alittle more up scale, seafood, steaks, ect