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"Roast" at the Book Cadillac

Ate at Roast last night and wanted to share the experience. I am thrilled to have another Chef of this caliber downtown and pray that He is successful. Here we go.

Started at the Motor Bar upstairs with a cocktail. Beautiful room that everyone needs to see. Moved down to the restaurant and were promptly seated at a very nice corner booth. As my date is a foodie like myself we decided to really eat and enjoy as much as possible.

Began with the Smoked Seafood platter for 2. Trout was very good-nice smoke flavor, Salmon was good with more of a Salmon flavor than smoke, Sturgeon was good, not close to the other two. The pickled onion was good in small amounts; too much took away from the fish.

Next had the Beef Cheek Pierogie and the Charcutterie platter for two. Pierogie was absolutly outstanding. Incredible tenderness and flavor. Charcutterie platter was quite good. Loved the Salami and the "Speck"; I thought the Rabbit Terrine was wonderful, she didn't care for it as much. The whole grain mustard was a nice touch and again served with pickled onion, this time mixed with peppers.

We then split the Spinach Salad with Fried Pigs Ear. Served with a soft-fried egg that mixed wonderfully with what I believe to be a balsamic dressing. Very good salad with the pigs ear adding great flavor and texture to the Spinach.

Both had the Strip Steak, which were cooked to a perfect Medium Rare and presented nicely sliced on the plate. The steaks had great beef flavor with a bit of a chew to it. As the prices are very, very affordable, leads me to believe they are not using Prime nor Angus beef. And yes, chew is expected with a strip steak and we both expected it. Had the Blue Cheese Onion (very good) and Roasted Mushrooms (Wow!) as toppers.

Sides included Spinach and Feta AuGratin (good) Creamed Corn with Bacon (Very good) Soft Polenta (alright) and Whipped Potatoes (good texture but plain).

The room is incredible with a very "Earthy" feel to it. Dark woods, soft booths, wonderful windows out onto Washington Blvd. As it was a Monday night they had the room closed off with dividers behind our booth that at first I didn't even notice as dividers. Fit the room perfectly and gave it a very cozy feel. Our server was neither over bearing nor absent. Appeared when she should and gave us plenty of time to enjoy ourselves and the meal.

Wine list, though only briefly looked through, looked affordable and interesting. Noticably abscent were half-bottles, which we would have ordered. Instead went with two glasses with dinner. Server picked a nice cab for me and my friend had the only Pinot offered by the glass. Both were very good, affordable and lent themselves nicely to the meal.

Roast is a great addition to our Downtown Detroit dining scene. The menu is quite affordable to what I would consider the "average" dinner; with the choices we went through plus cocktails and wine still came out below $250 before gratuity. I would recommend it to anyone and will get myself back down there soon. Hope you all enjoy.

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  1. Love it--thanks for the review and will try as budget permits. There used to be a Mexican place on Dragoon in SW Detroit that served beef cheek tacos--I think it's gone now, but they were good. Funny how the high end and the low end sometimes meet up.

    1. Were the steaks pan-fried or flame-grilled?

      1. Downriver1, I'm curious. Do you think this is the most exciting restaurant to open in downtown Detroit in the last 6 months? I'm a good writer from another city and I'll be in your city in a few weeks, hoping to dine at one restaurant that really speaks to what the Detroit food scene is all about right now.
        Since Symon isn't a local, I was actually hoping you could point me toward a more local restaurant, ie something that's smaller, maybe funkier, but still really good food from a locally known chef? Maybe something less fancy/corporate and more home-grown? Is there such a place, or are the Detroit foodies talking about Roast?

        6 Replies
        1. re: aaustin

          I would also look possibly at Brian Polcyn's Forest Grill in Birmingham.

          http://theforestgrill.com/_chefs_bp.php

          1. re: JanPrimus

            Thank you, JanPrimus. That looks really interesting. It's hard to tell, just by reading his menu, which meats he's curing himself and which he's not ( and since he does most? of his charcuterie in-house that'd be the reason to go, it seems)...
            I do like that he's from the area, that he's worked in the restaurants in the city that matter and is now making his own name for himself.
            Can you provide any first-hand experience or more info on him/Forest Grill?

            1. re: aaustin

              So far due to budget I have only been to Forest Grill once for lunch, but I have been to Five Lakes Grill a few times. The Charcuterie at both is always been top notch on every visit from great terrines, Lardo and sausages. I am saving up for a supersplurge weekend that involves both Forest Grill and Roast.

              The seasonal event menus that Chef Polcyn has at Five Lakes Grill have always been exactly what I dream of in a local chef.

              1. re: aaustin

                Polcyn co-authored with Michael Ruhlman a well regarded book called "Charcuterie". He is a true expert on this topic
                http://www.amazon.com/Charcuterie-Cra...

                1. re: coney with everything

                  Thanks--yes, I saw that. Anyone else have any other good restaurant suggestions?

            2. re: aaustin

              Try Slow's Barbecue. It's casual but stylish/funky. It would hold its own in San Francisco.

            3. welcome to the world of cleveland iron chef michael symon's LOLA & LOLITA.

              ROAST is his new detroit venture.

              you bet you like those beef cheek pierogies & charcuterie! good stuff, huh?

              and set in the book-cadillac, fittingly renovated by cleveland's ferchill group.

              yes indeed cleveland's got yer back, detroit!

              ps -- i wish you would have had the all too brief opportunity to try symon's modern greek food takes in manhattan. good news is i'd bet he'll do greek again one day, hang on for that.

              1. I have a res the week after next! Is there a dress code?

                1. Had dinner there last night! Thumbs up! Res was at 7:30, seated immediately, waitress was very prompt in taking drink orders. A fine Grey Goose martini to start while checking out the view of the kitchen and the view of a lovely pig roasting on the spit. Alas, the waitress informed us that the "beast of the day" was baby lamb and the pig was for tomorrow. Our waitress was very helpful in describing the dishes. Started with the beef cheek pierogies. I thought the filling was wonderful, but kind of heavy on the dough. The BF loved them. Also split the marrow bone appetizer. A huge roasted bone, sawed end to end showed up with parsley and capers topping it, a little pile of hot peppers, lemon wedges and thin toast. I have never tried marrow before and really wanted to...after a couple bites it was like eating solid butter. Absolutely too rich. I thought it was enough for four people to sample. The presentation was great...people at the next table were asking what the heck it was. Main courses: I went with the braised lamb shank and fried brussel sprouts. Wow! Shank was rich, not fatty, fell off the bone, complemented with shavings of fresh fennel. Sprouts were nutty, crispy on the outside. Waitress said they had a bit of anchovy in them. So good! BF had the 32 oz. ribeye, Symon's fave according to the waitress. Wild mushrooms and a balsamic glaze sauce on the side. Done perfectly. Side of rosemary frites served with a fabulous roasted red pepper/smoked paprika "ketchup". I kept dipping my lamb in it. I had two glasses of a very good and reasonably priced Zinfandel, the BF had a large bottle of Saison Dupont ale. At that point we totally hit the wall and were unable to get down any coffee or dessert. In fact, the portions were big enough that we took leftovers home. The bill was quite reasonable for all that we had and the service was right on the mark. Neither too solicitous or ignored in any way. The restaurant wasn't too crowded, maybe because it was a Sunday night, but I hope biz is good for Chef Symon. It was a terrific evening and I would love to go back soon and try that roasted pig.