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Apr 10, 2007 08:51 AM

Detroit Special Occassion Restaurants

My boyfriend birthday is coming up and he has mentioned a few restaurants in the Detroit area that he read about in Johnny Apple's Guide to the US.

Tribute, Forte, and Whitney (Five Lakes Grill and Mon Jin Lau were also listed I think.)

I was looking for suggestions and also what type of dent in my wallet will I be looking at for dinner for 2? (We usually get appetizers, main courses, and 1 dessert...1/2 bottle of wine or a glass...probably just a glass though since we'll be driving back to Ann Arbor that night). Any help would be greatly appreciated since I'm an out-of-towner.

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  1. Hi there! Actually, a friend of mine andI just went to a favorite of mine alst night (pre-christina aguilera BTW! :) Lelli's in Auburn Hills...not sure if that's too far for you...but if either of you enjoy filet, I will personally guarantee it will be the best you've ever had and probably will ever have! They use Zip sauce which is amazing. You get an extra cut filer with antipasto tray, amazing salad, minestrone, small plate of pasta, your entree and a plate of spumoni for $41.75 (it's the extra cut..means a bit larger portion---for leftovers of course!). Not sure about the prices on wine though.

    However, if you were planning on staying in detroit, Mosaic of greek town is also amazing...though not sure on the prices...actually here's a link:

    Then you could head off to the casino for an even better time! Be sure to call ahead for the poker room as it fills up. Hope this helps!

    2 Replies
    1. re: FOTOgrlNic

      I also love Lelli's, especially their minestrone! When I used to eat meat, their filet w/zip sauce was the best. Used to go to the downtown location all the time for years until it burnt down and have gone to the Auburn Hills location since it opened. I highly recommend it. Everyone I have referred there has loved it!

      1. re: FOTOgrlNic

        I just read in the paper that Tribute is now offering a $50 prix fix it may be a less expensive way to enjoy the "Tribute experience"?

      2. tribute is at the top of dining in town. built to be the best in the city/state/region in mind (the wisne family sold their automotive supplier business to comau for $900 million in 1999) so no expense was spared. considered by many to be the best in detroit. expensive.

        the lark in west bloomfield is in the same league. i prefer it a little more than tribute.

        forte - owned by the same family as tribute. nice room in downtown birmingham. in my opinion, very tired. it was the place in b'ham 12 years ago, but time has taken a toll. 220, streetside seafood, cameron's, mitchell's fish market, and city cellar have all passed it by.

        whitney - beautiful old mansion on woodward just north of downtown. recently changed hands with revamped menu. have not heard any buzz yet.

        agree with the mosaic suggestion. also consider seldom blues in the ren cen, the woodward in the compuware building, atlas bistro a little north of the fox on woodward, ratlesnake club on the detroit river.

        five lakes - a very good place. closest to you in ann arbor. owned/run by brian polcyn who has had a good run at a few places places (golden mushroom, pike street, chimayo, acadia) over the past 20+ years. moderate+ prices.

        mon jin lau - very good ecclectic chinese. moderately priced. located in troy which is pretty far from you. a comparable place is hong hua (orchard lake, north or 12 mile).

        1 Reply
        1. re: xman887

          molly abraham reviewed the new whitney in yesterday's detroit news. she gave it 4 stars.

        2. you asked about prices as well. Including starter, salad, main course, dessert and 1 glass of wine and tip you can spend
          lark - $125 - 150 each
          tribute - similar I beleive, tho I have never been there
          forte, rattlesnake club, seldom blues - a little less - $100 or so

          of course with all of them, the sky's the limit
          and you can go cheaper if you try (except that the lark is prix fixe - about $70 + wine + dessert + tip)

          have fun