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Looking for Ann Arbor dinner recs

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Hi Gang,

I am Boston area foodie. I will be in Ann Arbor on a Wednesday night and I am looking for dinner recommendations. I am staying at the Campus Inn. I am looking for a nice-ish dinner. I am taking a friend out for his birthday.

Thanks.

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  1. What kind of food do you prefer? There are the traditional places that are high end and then there are the newer places that are high end. If you are into wine I would say go to Vinology for some tasting but don't eat there, they don't have anything truly substantial.

    1. Thanks for your reply, Phaedrus. I am open when it comes to type of food. I am an open-minded omnivore. Can you suggest both traditional and new places?

      Thanks

      1. I'm still a sucker for The Earle downtown on Washington street. I've had several enjoyable experiences there, though if it's "just a friend," it might not be the right place, since it's quite a romantic setting. Good place, though.

        1. I'd second the Earle downtown--it is dark, but it's not just couples there.The Earle has an amazing wine list, if that's an issue. Always a solid choice.

          Another option would be Cafe Zola across the street. Good bistro dining, with some unusual twists. Fun cocktails.

          Pacific Rim is new Asian cuisine. It's excellent but quite small. It's downtown on West Liberty.

          These are all about a 15 minute walk from the Campus Inn. Even closer is the Earle Uptown (related to the Earle downtown, but much fancier and more $$$). Also nearby is Zanzibar, a nice restaurant with a tropical fusion influence. It is on State street near Liberty.

          1. Traditional I had in mind is The Earle, which everyone has recommended. Weber Inn and the Gandy Dancer are other recs. I have heard that the Gandy Dancer has slipped in many's estimation. I thought it was good for a town this size.

            I have heard great things about the Metro Cafe and Pacific Rim.

            Zingermann's Roadhouse is pretty good, a tad expensive for what you get but the food is excellent I thought.

            Rush Street had good food but the decor and the noise level was unbearable to me. I wanted some conversation but I couldn't hear myself order.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Phaedrus

              I really like the Earle, but I always warn people that it's got great drinks (wine, etc.), very good service, very good atmosphere, and decent, but not great food. So it depends on what you're looking for.

              I think Rush St. still has that early dinner at a big discount. Good food, minus the crowd (before 6?) and cheap.