Birmingham, MI--downtown on Sunday nights
We have a family wedding at the Birmingham Community House on Sunday night. The wedding is just dessert and drinks and so we need a place for an early dinner, preferably downtown. Both 220 and Elies were recommended to me but both are closed on Sundays. Forest Grill is too pricey. I will be with my parents, who prefer more straightforward food and my mom has a violent allergy to seafood, so she would not eat at a place like Mitchell's. Any ideas? Thanks.
Is Maple Leaf Cafe on Maple (duh) open? Chef owned, seasonal, local ingredients. If you're not averse to chains there's a Cosi within walking distance of the Community House and across the street a Panera. Peabody's is an institution---pretty bland food but very popular. Mountain King Chinese on Woodward, past the movie theatres is classic old-style American Chinese comfort food.
Would also give a big vote for Toast.
Forte - overpriced fare.
Newly opened toast: Fun, good food. Their carnitas are very tasty!
Streetside seafood : one of my fav restaurants in the area. Reasonably priced. Friendly bartender. I've never had a bad meal here and their seafood is very fresh.
Phoenicia - upscale Lebanese food. Pricey, borderline overpriced, but the food is so good I always come back.
Chen chow - puke.
Ha: just read the seafood allergy... sounds like streetside is out. I'd give Toast a whirl.
Forte is overpriced, yes, but get them credit: their bar service is spectacular. I had a Sweet Tart martini there that was strictly A-grade territory. It was A-grade priced, too, at $10, but it was very, very tasty. While I was there, I was eating for half price (after 11PM they were having a 50% off food special), so I splurged on a drink as well. The food was pretty good, but nothing approaching what they're charging for it.
On the others you mention, I've heard good things about all of them, but you're right: Chen Chow has by far the worst reputation. I doubt it'll be in business in 2 years...if you're a restaurant, and you don't do food and service right, your see-and-be-seen atmosphere won't keep you in business forever...especially when there's always something new coming right up.