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May 13, 2008 03:30 AM

Iridescence Detroit - Thoughts? Opinions?

Planning to take my mother out for her 59th birthday at the end of May and since we're planning on a trip up to the DIA we figured we'd experience something unique, yet fancy in Detroit. Already been to Tribute in the past (fantastic) and have been to some of the Mina spots out in Vegas (also fantastic) so we were thinking either Iridescence, Seldom Blues, Coach Insignia, or Mosaic.

Overall, looking for someplace that uses top notch ingredients, has a variety of options (my aunt and sister are picky as can be,) decent portion sizes for the dollar, and a good dessert list. Places my mom has really enjoyed in the past include Mastro's out in LA, Rosendales in Columbus, and the Emeril's establishment in Orlando.

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  1. My vote would be none of the above. The Whitney, The Lark or Opus One would be my picks in the fine dining range with The Lark being a big stand out.
    Emeril has two restaurants in Orlando, Emerils and Choup chop. They are pretty close to each other at Universeeew. Tchoup Chop was much better for us.
    If you want Casino fare I'd opt for Saltwater or Bourbon steak at MGM.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Docsknotinn

      Been to both Emeril's and prefered the original at City Walk.

      Its funny that you call the Mina options "casino fare" as though that somehow makes them lower end.

      Have you been to Iridescence?

      1. re: uhockey

        No they are not "lower end" but they are not in the same class IMO as far as service or quality as the other restaurants mentioned in greater Detroit. High price does not always equate to better Chow. If the dining room and price is more important than quality and service then Casino fare will indeed give you what you want. I think you will find any of the options at MGM better than Motor city.
        If you are looking for top notch ingredients and service that is on par with the Tribute of the past then any of the alternatives mentioned will be a better choice.

        1. re: Docsknotinn

          Understood, but if you've not experienced Mina's food before, it is sublime. I'm well aware that price does not always equal quality...from what I've heard, the snooty service at Lark can bring down a meal for many.

          I am curious, again, as to whether you've eaten at Iridescence.

          1. re: uhockey

            I'm no MM fan. Nice fancy diggs, high prices but the rest falls short. Detroit is not Vegas. Those listed at MGM are a step up from the MC in fact I'd rather go pack to Pucks first.
            Have you ate at the Lark? We've been several times and I've never seen any thing close to snooty service. Service at any of the casino restaurants here in Detroit is not even in the same class and the service at Iridescence was the lowest of that group for us. If your such an MM fan it seems like your choice would be rather easy.
            I hope you enjoy what ever you choose but there is a reason others are suggesting different options.

            1. re: Docsknotinn

              My personal opinion: I have eaten at Saltwater and Bourbon Steak at MGM, and both were excellent. I would put those on a level as high as any non-casino excellent restaurant. I ate at the Lark a few months ago, and it was a lovely and memorable experience all around and great for a very special occasion, particularly in terms of atmosphere and service -- but I probably actually enjoyed the food at the Mina restaurants more. And I definitely had superior meals at the Michael Mina restaurants to my last experiences at most of the other places listed on this thread. I celebrated my birthday at Tribute two months ago, and found the food excellent but place was not busy and service was lack lustre. I've also dined at Wolfgang MGM, and did not find the atmosphere to be that great. My entree at Wolfgang was excellent, but other things on the table were hit or miss.
              I think it all depends on what you are looking for, what your priorities are, etc...

              1. re: cherie

                I agree completely, It's all about personal choice. I do think the casinos suffer a bit on the service end or at least they did for us. To be fair I should say I've only tried them once each except I've been to many Pucks and have yet to be impressed.
                For me Tribute died when Takashi left. I have not re-visited the Whitney. If I was a MM fan then at least for me Bourbon Steak would be an easy choice but the Lark remains a personal favorite.

    2. I haven't been to Irredescence, but the pictures look beautiful.
      Like Docsknotinn, I wouldn't pick your other options either.
      I agree with the Lark for the truly special evening, and I think Bourbon Steak would be a great choice. As much as I liked Saltwater, the menu is small and so are the portions. Rattlesnake would be a great choice. For Italian, I like Bacco.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cherie

        Agree with Bacco or Il posto for Italian.

      2. There is nothing on the Bourbon Steak menu that I've not seen at the other Mina establishments. I'd sooner select Saltwater if it were all about me, but mom isn't hip to a 100% seafood menu.

        I still am not seeing anyone say "I ate at Iridescence and XXXX was bad."

        I'm not trying to argue, but it just seems that many are saying avoid it without giving a real reason. The menu is intriguing (especially the Sugar Cane-Crusted Scallops
        and the Tapas,) I love the focus on local/sustainable/organic (similar to BoMA and Worthington Inn) down here in Cbus, and I really can't argue with the 4 diamond the view looks dynamic.

        I'm certainly not opposed to the others, but I'd like a "Iridescence sucks and here is why." :-)

        6 Replies
        1. re: uhockey

          Well, I've not given Iridescence a full real shot, but I did try one of their appetizers once, and it was so awful, I honestly couldn't even swallow it. It was a oversized shrimp appetizer, one which they claimed was extremely popular, and it was inedible. I've never given them a chance beyond that. For the prices they charge, if they can't get their most popular app correct, then no-thank-you from me.

          Oh, and I should mention this: when I called to speak to a manager about the problem, I got the definitive "Sorry (but not really)...was there anything else?" attitude. Not exactly the way to sell someone on $30+ plates, in my view. I don't reward bad food *and* incompetent/lousy service and/or attitude with subsequent trips, and *certainly* not with my money.

          1. re: uhockey

            Then go to Saltwater. Over half the menu was re-written as of last week; still mostly Seafood but out of 9 entrees two were beef and a chicken dish. I had the soft shelled crab and bacon wrapped scallops, both new, this past weekend after work and they were simply amazing. Ate at the bar, service was friendly and attentive. Still dont like the Casino atmosphere but atleast the restaurant is non-smoking. Big plus.

            1. re: downriver1

              just curious - how much did your meal cost and did you feel that it was worth the price?

              1. re: xman887

                For the food it was a little over $40, then a few cocktails on top of that. As the bartenders are very polite, remember me and what I drink I left $100 to cover everything. And yes, absolutly worth it.

            2. re: uhockey

              This is starting to sound like a sound bite for Iridescence rather than an inquerry. I'm a little confused as to how you feel you "can't argue with a 4 diamond rating" if you've never been there?
              The view is definatly not so great. If that's all you want then Coach Insignia will be vastly better.
              The menu is not focused on sustainable or local. Simply because they wrote "Michigan Morels" on one item does not make it a local menu. It's also more than a bit of a stretch to call it sustainable just because they have Hamachi.
              We did not have a positive experience there. I'm reading a lot of negative reviews that were similar to our experience. If you want to go then by all means enjoy but why ask and then come back with argumentative comments if you don't hear what you were looking for? If your sold just try it for your self!


              1. re: Docsknotinn

                Any thoughts from the group now that Chef Don has announced he is leaving MGM for Forte in Birmingham?