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Detroit Restaurant Week September 18-27, 2009

Has anyone heard of this yet? Doesn't seem to be getting much publicity. Here is the link http://detroitrestaurantweek.com/DRW/ . A great opportunity to check out some of the nicer restaurants in downtown Detroit. Which restaurants will you be trying?

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  1. It's gotten a little bit of publicity, but considering that it's not even September yet, I doubt that the major media outlets are going to be touting something that's in late September when other things temporally closer (like Arts, Beats, and Eats) are more imminent. I'd think that when the other events have passed, the new one will hold more sway.

    1. I would love thoughts on my "picks"... don't know how many I can get to as I am out of town part of the week and I probably can't eat out EVERY day...

      Not in any order - please tell me the "must haves"!

      Places I haven't been:
      24 Grille - Book Cadillac
      Iridescence - never been, but not all that excited about their menu for this week
      Roast - haven't been, but reviews lately on this board going downhill. AND they haven't posted a menu yet... Low on my list...
      The Whitney
      Wolfgang Puck

      I've been, but would go back:
      Seldom Blues - love this place but been here most of all locations on the list
      Opus One
      Atlas Global Bistro

      Not on my list, but should I try because I haven't ever been there??

      Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille

      4 Replies
      1. re: Ludlows23

        Man, if you've never been to the Whitney, this is a great chance. I wouldn't say it has the absolute best food on this list, but visually it has to be one of the most distinctive places in the country. I'm getting excited about this--have never eaten at Coach Insignia and am going to try it if it's happening there.

        1. re: Jim M

          I have never been to the Whitney, but I think it is at the top for my list of places to try during the week. The menus are up on the website now and a few look really good. My only dissapointment so far is it seems almost every place is offering some form of salmon dish, would like a little more variety in the fish offerings.

          1. re: Cheeeese

            Good point about the salmon. I am also disappointed about Roast's menu. I know that they like to trumpet the "roast beast" but it would have been nice to have a few other options.

            1. re: Ludlows23

              A whole bunch of places are offering short ribs, too. Wonder why? Give Atlas credit--they've got some rather innovative dishes. I'm going to try a couple of them regardless. I personally think the Roast dish would be worth the money--that's what they do best.

      2. Thanks Cheeeese, haven't seen it yet.


        My favorite is the Coach Insignia. Also, went to Wolfgang Puck's beginning of August and really enjoyed it.

        1. I think the Atlas menu looks the most interesting. I'm looking forward to trying that out. But since I'm new to Detroit I don't know one restaurant from another ... I'm going purely by the menus and what you all say. This should be a great opportunity to learn a bit about the city though!


          1. I can attest to Coach Insignia (my favorite "special" restaurant) and the Whitney. Great atomsphere and the food is outstanding. So much better than the years before the new ownership. I'm thinking of either Iridescence or 24Grille. Both are restaurants I've been meaning to get to...

            Can anyone else view the menus on the DRW websites? I can only see the last 4 restaurants.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Jim M

                Thanks. For some reason the menu links don't work on my computers at work or at home, but DO on my laptop. Go figure.

                Since looking at the menu, I'm leaning most to Iridescence or Cuisine. Forgot about Cuisine and have never been. I'm going out of town and only have one day to go. Wish I could take advantage and go to a number of restaurants :-)

                1. re: SaraPA

                  Boy...those are probably my bottom two, based on past performances. I'd recommend others first, honestly.

            1. Seldom Blues has just gone into bankruptcy (I enjoyed the setting but never thought the food was that great). I'm going to hit the Rattlesnake Club--haven't been there in years. Maybe Coach Insignia, Cuisine, or Atlas for another one.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Jim M

                Took my husband to Seldom Blues last week for dinner and after that we were not surprised that they were going into bankruptcy. Since it was mid-week we wanted an early dinner and with the beautiful weather sitting on the patio was a good idea. While our entree was good, a little dry, two items we asked for they were out of. One being a dessert the the waitperson told us was on the menu only to come back and say they were out....sorry but at those prices I expect the waitstaff to be knowledgeable of the daily menu changes, so we passed on dessert. We tried to order Mojitos for drinks and they were out of mint...she tried to tell us it was seasonal...right!! The place was empty but I thought it was more of the time of night and that they probably got a later crowd. We left feeling that we wouldn't be in a hurry to return.

                1. re: grouper

                  Wow...if any server, after having failed to produce two menu items, tried to lie to cover the place by claiming that *mint* was *seasonal*, I'd be immediately telling them that their tip just got cut in half for that little moment of very poor judgment.

                  That, to me, is the epitomy of unacceptable.

                2. re: Jim M

                  Seldom is still open while its going thru reorg (as is Detroit Breakfast House). That doesn't justify bad food or bad service, but if you like the restaurant (as I do), you can still go!

                3. Has anyone been to 42 degrees north? is it worth a trip?

                  1. Has anyone been out for the week yet? Any great dishes or experiences to share? I'll be going to Roast, The Whitney, and 24grille this week and will be sure to let you know how it was.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Cheeeese

                      Yes! My friend Donna and I went to Iridescence at the Motor City Casino hotel this past Saturday, and had a fantastic time. The food really was great, though the dessert was slightly less so than the roasted shrimp app and the salmon main. Trust me, though: the app was sheer A territory and the salmon was B+/A- territory. For $27 per person, we ate very, very well.

                      In addition, we tried a cucumber and ginger martini, which was quite different from what we were used to, and we greatly enjoyed it. Hit several different places on the tongue, which is always a plus to us. At $10, we split that, so we were about $80 out the door with tax and tip.

                      Service was very good, and the First Asst. Manager, Sharon, was a true joy to speak with. Very personable, friendly, and food-knowledgable. Our server, Moisi, did a fine job himself. They serve only bottled Mountain Valley Spring Water (no tap here), and my glass never emptied, to my knowledge.

                      The room has a *FANTASTIC* view of the Detroit River, the Ambassador Bridge, Windsor, and the Ren Cen. When darkness came, the view was far more enjoyable, too. The room itself is very nice, and I enjoyed myself immensely, as did my friend Donna.

                      The only caveat is that they did lose my reservation, which surprised me, since they had to call me back and confirm it. Weird, that, but it didn't matter: we were seated quickly, and got the window seats we'd hoped for. Fortunately, most were dressed as we were: to the nines, and there were very few casino casual-wearing idiots...but there were some. Still, didn't take away from the place at all.

                      *Highly* recommended.

                      1. re: Cheeeese

                        Bumping this up so that we get some more responses! I'm going to Rattlesnake for the first time tomorrow night - will try to post my experience as soon as I can.

                        1. re: Ludlows23

                          This is me trying to not look extremely jealous of you, and failing miserably. ;)

                        2. re: Cheeeese

                          So far I have gone to Roast and The Whitney this week. Roast was a great experience. We had a 7:45 reservation and were seated right in front of the kitchen with a great view of the chefs and the roasting "Beast of the Day", which happened to be goat. Our server told us it was her first week and to be patient with her because she was still learning. Usually that can mean we're in for a bad night of service, but that was not the case at all. In fact, I would have thought she had been working there for quite a long time. Everything went very smoothly. We started by ordering an appetizer of the roasted bone marrow off the regular menu. It was really good, but I would say the only complaint of the evening's food would be that it seemed a little too salty. Two of us got the Beast of the Day which was very tender and highly enjoyable, and the third ordered the filet off their regular menu. Everything was very good, but the filet was what really was above and beyond. Luckily my friend let me have a bite! We all agreed it was one of the best filets we had ever tried. It was cooked and seasoned perfectly. In addition to our meals we went through a couple bottles of wine. They have quite an extensive list and a good range of prices for any type of drinker. What I really liked is that they decant all of their wine. Its a very nice touch I thought, and allows the wine to breathe a little easier. All in all I would rate Roast as a great experience giving it a high grade and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. One other note that may turn some people off is that it is definitely on the louder side as far as nicer restaurants go.

                          The Whitney was a bit of a disappointment. We had a 7:30 reservation last night. I'm going to start with the bad things. My first complaint would be that the only menu available was the restaurant week menu. I know that restaurant week is the main reason I'm going to the restaurant, but its always nice to have the normal menu if you want to order an appetizer for the table or if someone sees something that really peaks their interest. My second complaint would be the waiter. He seemed disinterested for the most part and at one point couldnt remember who ordered what. 3 of us had the same exact order, so he really only needed to remember the 1 person who ordered something different. I understand that happening at a lesser restaurant, but when you're going to a nice place they are usually very well trained in keeping a nice flow and movement to the service. My third complaint is that they ran out of the mussels off of their appetizer course. On a regular night I could see this happening, but during restaurant week, when you're only operating off the restaurant week menu, and it being relatively early in the night, I thought this was worth a complaint. Now for the good things: they made a great Manhattan, the atmosphere of the old mansion is pretty cool and their new "ghost bar" upstairs is a spot where I could see myself taking a date for a couple cocktails, and though none of the food was great, it was all good and enjoyable. It was especially nice to see a chef using vegetables and herbs from a garden that he grows on site. Three of us had the calimari and the filet, while the 4th person had the brie salad and the sweet potato gnocci. One more complaint is that they do not have steak knives here. That is fine as a filet oftentimes is so well cooked you dont even need it, but their knives were like butter knives. When I asked about a steak knife our waiter went around to all the empty tables trying to find a knife with sharper edges and aplogizing that some were very dull. Please get new knives then, I felt like I was mauling my filet. Overall I would give our experience at The Whitney a B-, the food was good, but I would have liked a little more attention to detail. I don't know if I would go back here for the food, but I probably would try it again for drinks and to enjoy the atmosphere.

                          The last spot on this week's culinary journey is 24Grille. We are going there Saturday night and I'm really excited. I think they have one of the better sounding menus from the participants. I'll update again after my visit.

                          1. re: Cheeeese

                            Thanks for the review. I haven't been to The Whitney for a long time so it was interesting to see how they were doing since they changed ownership.

                            One thought I had in reading what you wrote - I'd much rather they tell me they ran out of mussels than to eat ones they bought too much of a few days ago.

                            1. re: crw77

                              Very good point! I definitely agree, was just a little disappointed that they had run out of items from a very limited menu.