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Dec 11, 2009 06:32 PM

Detroit--which would you choose?

I'm a long time Detroiter and eat out a lot. We are stuck in a rut. Atlas Bistro, Slow's, Angelina's, Small Plates, Traffic Jam, Andiamo's and Detroit Beer Co are favorites. Special dinners at Coach Insignia.

Looking for a new place for Sunday after the Symphony. Tripadvisor/Yelp reviews are SO over the place for restaurants I'm looking at. What would you vote for?

Grille 24 (Book Cadillac)
Whitney (I worked here long ago, not impressed with brunch service.)
Cuisine (and worked with Chef Paul, who I didn't much like)

I'm leaning towards Iridescence. Or should I just go to Small Plates, which never disappoints?


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  1. I still would lean towards Roast....
    Second would be Iridescence....
    Although I have yet to hit up Mosaic.......

    Alas, I am one opinion along many.....

    1. My friend Donna and me were both *very* impressed with our experience at Iridescence...much to my very great surprise. Out of the choices, this would be my highest "Dive right in!" choice.

      If you want to dip your toe in the water (so to speak) at Roast, give this a try: every day from 4:30PM to 6:30PM, they have Cocktail hour. Yes, I realize that their website says it's just weekdays, but the person I talked to at the restaurant assured me that it's every day of the week. They offer $3 bites, which is an absolute *steal* for what they offer. They offer their stuffed poblano peppers with lamb sausage which are excellent, their bacon cheeseburger with fried egg which is also excellent, their "Beast of the Day" taco which is good and could be better depending on what the BotD is, chicken livers on polenta (which I didn't care for, but don't let that put you's just not my taste, but it *could* be a great version of it!), some really good fries, etc. Plus, they have select draft beers and wines at a great discount during that time, too. All of this applies only to the bar seating. This is a *terrific* way to see if you're going to like Roast, I think.

      Cuisine I'm not impressed with based on my experience there. The facility itself is quite nice, but neither the food nor the service was any good. Only way I'm going back there is if someone else is paying.

      I haven't tried either Whitney nor Mosaic.

      Small Plates? It's really that good? I've never been able to pull the trigger on that place...the price-to-serving ratio just seems way off to me, making me believe that I'll leave hungry and far poorer. That and the fact that they failed rather miserably in Royal Oak just makes me stay away all the more. Am I assuming too much here?

      2 Replies
      1. re: boagman

        > Small Plates? It's really that good? I've never been able to pull the trigger on
        > that place ... Am I assuming too much here?

        I've visited twice. The food & staff were good; but nothing particularly special or

        1. re: rainsux

          Yeah ... competent for what it is, but not a "dinner out" place IMO.

          Was at Cuisine most recently during Detroit Restaurant Week and really had a good meal even though they were turning it out in bulk. Can also recommend Roast wholeheartedly, but you'd be better be a serious carnivore. Whitney is fun in itself, but I think the food has dropped a notch.

      2. I asked a similar question a while back and Cliff Bell's was suggested. Haven't been there yet but the menu looks great.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rheta

          I've been to Cliff Bell's, and I can recommend it. Mind you, I was trying it on their "half off food" day of the week, which I'm not sure still exists, but the food I had was quite good, and I enjoyed myself a great bit. Only thing that sort of bothered me was a nearby smoker's cigarette, but that's not the establishment's fault.

          I'd go back.

          1. re: Rheta

            Cliff Bell's has terrific food and a very cool atmosphere. You are in a gorgeous old jazz joint with three wooden barrel ceilings. The menu is very interesting, the drinks are reasonable and they can make anything you desire. Make a reservation on the weekends for sure, the tables fill up.

          2. We have made a reservation for Iridescence. A friend has insisted it's his favorite restaurant, but I was hesitant from the bad review on Tripadvisor. I look forward to checking it out and will post my experience here.
            I'm surprised by the level of ambivalence towards Small Plates. We always have a consistently good meal and good service. But agree I always feel we paid a little too much for what we got...

            1 Reply
            1. re: SaraPA

              The ambivalence towards Small Plates in Royal Oak is for a reason . Not surprising they closed so quickly . The place sucked . Way over priced pedestrian fare brought slowly to your overcrowded noisy table . We went on a grownups night out walking tour of Royal Oak trying appetizers and drinks around town ( fun ! ) , and Small Plates was by far at the bottom of the list . Nothing was under or over cooked or anything , just really boring and expensive for what little bland food you got . I'd rather order the fried everything combo platter from Mr. B's/Woody's/anywhere . I make more interesting food for my children on a Tuesday night .

            2. Where would everyone suggest an after Symphony drink? We have been often to the Whitney, Union St/Majestic/TJ's, Detroit Beer Co, Angelina's and the Book Cadillac. Not looking for a club, just a grown up place to have a pre-dinner cocktail.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SaraPA

                Cliff Bells would be my first thought....

                That or right around the corner is the Park bar.