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Made it to Jeremy in Keego Harbor, MI tonight...

...and I'm pretty wiped out from my Cinco Lagos diatribe in the other thread. I'll post a lengthier follow-up tomorrow with a full review, but I do want to say this without a moment's hesitation: if you're thinking about going there, and you've been looking at the coupon in the Detroit News that offers a BOGO entree with the purchase of two beverages, do not hesitate to go. I was very happy with it, and so was my friend. Impressive on several levels, which I'll elaborate on tomorrow.

If you're thinking of going this weekend, do. I can tell you from personal experience that the beef is great, and the veal scallopini is also great. NUTS! I've got to stop typing, as I'm quite tired. Anyway, rubber-meets-the-road time: they know what they're doing. More tomorrow.

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  1. And by "tomorrow", I mean "Saturday", of course. ;)

    I'd been wanting to try Jeremy for a number of years, actually, but had a hard time justifying the price structure in my brain. It's definitely aiming for more of a high-end dining experience, and they do pull it off. I went with my friend Donna and we had a BOGO entree coupon with the purchase of two beverages (doesn't matter what kind), so that took some of the financial sting out of the place. Overall, we were very, very happy with our experience.

    The decor of the place is pretty dark and intimate, actually, and when we went on Thursday, we actually wanted to eat out on the patio adjacent to Cass Lake Road, but we weren't the first people with that idea on such a beautiful night...alas, the patio was full. No matter: the interior of the place is quite nice, and I happened to like the paintings that were hung.

    The service was just tremendous. I can't emphasize that enough. Our server Tony was flanked by at least one other person who helped out by filling water glasses, replacing a napkin, etc. One of my pet peeves in a high end place is an empty water glass, and our glasses never emptied. Very well done. Tony was well-versed on the menu, and accomodating when it came to the changes/substitutions I wanted: sweet potato hash instead of the au gratin Yukon golds, asparagus instead of creamed spinach. I'm not sure I could have asked for a better server, nor better service all around.

    After ordering, we received our appetizer (we were splitting it) of shrimp fritters. This would be the only disappointment of the night for me. There were four large fritters, served with three dipping sauces, and the dipping sauces were far better than the fritters themselves. The fritters were short on shrimp, and long on the bread. One might say, "Hey, dude...they're *fritters*, not shrimp cocktail, right?" And while you'd have a point, if you'd had them, you'd understand where I was coming from. They were certainly edible, but one of the fritters didn't actually have shrimp in it, and the rest had all of one shrimp in each fritter, with each fritter being the size of a small snowball, I'd say. We ate them, and enjoyed the sauces a good deal, but for $13, I wouldn't get them again. Heck, I wouldn't even pay half price for them. There were other apps that sounded good, and I wish I'd gotten one of them instead.

    That's the one thing I could dock them for. One. Singular. Everything else was great.

    My entree was the beef tenderloin coupled with braised short rib. It normally came with creamed spinach and the au gratin Yukon golds, but neither of those "sides" had any appeal for me. I made the switches to the sweet potato hash and asparagus, and that whole dish was a masterpiece. I ordered the beef medium, thinking that if it happened to come out medium-well, I'd still be fine with it.

    Let me pause here to quickly relate about the dish presentation: everything we were served was very pretty to look at, and the taste lived up to the visual promise. When the beef came, the tenderloin was on the medium-rare side more than medium, and I admit that I was a bit leery of the color being as rare as it was. I never should have worried: perfectly cooked, the tenderloin was wonderfully tender and flavorful, not needing any more time to be cooked. The braised short rib was wonderful, too, with that lovely somewhat-salty-high-end-pot-roast taste and texture to it. Great combination of beef, and the sweet potato hash was a brilliantly done bed for the beef to lay on. The beef was lightly sauced (just the right amount, thank you...too many places don't let the beef speak for itself), and the asparagus was cooked so that it was a lovely bright green, still had crunch, and was given a little sprinkle of mint, which *totally* worked for the asparagus. The last part of the dish was a small portion of onion marmalade, which was glorious, and potent. I actually didn't finish all of the onion marmalade, but that's just because it was so very powerful, and believe me: this is good stuff. More about the onion marmalade at the end. At $24 for this dish, they nailed it. I can totally trust this kitchen to know their beef.

    Donna's veal scallopini dish was also very, very pretty to look at. She absolutely loved it, with the veal flavor mixing well with the prosciutto, and the other flavors present. She gave me a bite of it, but I'd already started on my beef dish, and the flavors the veal was offering just weren't what I wanted that night. Still, Donna raved, and Donna is picky, picky, picky about her veal. If it's not good veal, or if the kitchen doesn't know how to prepare it correctly, it'll usually not be consumed by her (I'm talking to *you*, Pasquale's in Royal Oak!). High praise from her. She liked the bed of bread pudding it had, and the vegetables that made it so pretty, and just the whole dish. Her veal was the priciest thing on the menu at $28, but worth it.

    A note about the bar service: they make a very nice amaretto sour (mine) and Donna had a Bailey's straight up. The amaretto sour replaced a caipirinha that I didn't care for, but to be totally fair, I'm completely spoiled by the ones I used to get at Tribute, which I stopped by for exclusively sometimes. It's an almost impossibly high standard, and I gave them a shot at the title, but when it didn't please me, they happily replaced it with the aforementioned very nice amaretto sour. Again: a mark of great service.

    The only real detraction on the menu was a lack of truly attention-grabbing desserts. Donna and I both thought that the dessert offerings were few and a bit lacking, but we did notice that the ice cream they have is Ray's (a positive thing and a local nod), but declined to order anything off of the surely-needs-a-bit-of-chocolate-or-something dessert menu. Donna was pretty much full, anyway, but if there'd been something on there of consequence, she certainly would have split one with me.

    Bottom line: A-minus. Very high praise from me, indeed. The terrific service really shows the attention to professionalism here. The kitchen is to be trusted and is flexible regarding changes, and with a tweak or two to the dessert menu, they'd probably be higher. It says something when I can be "meh" about the appetizer and still be really, really happy with the entire experience.

    Oh, and as another little insight to the service and professionalism: the coupon stated that there's be an 18% gratuity levied on the check with the use of the coupon (my $24 beef tenderloin was the entree removed from the check, of course), but when the bill came, Tony had decided to leave the gratuity up to us to decide, and of course, he did better than 20% when he did that. Tony, my friends, is a very, very good server. Always reward people like this.

    Oh! Last thing: at the end of the night, they were kind enough to give us a jar of the onion marmalade to take home with us. Can't say they do this every night, but we were happy enough to receive it, and I gave it to Donna's mom, who thought it was nothing shy of sweet nectar. She'd eaten three teaspoons of it by the time I left their house, and I wasn't there that long. As a result of her eating this stuff, she told her husband that they *were* going to be dining at Jeremy's soon. Folks, that's good stuff, and a great way to spread the word about your establishment.

    When all is said and done, we couldn't have been more pleased with our first experience at Jeremy Restaurant and Bar. With absolute certainty, I can guarantee you it won't be our last. I hope it's as good for you as it was for me.

    19 Replies
    1. re: boagman

      Nice write-up. Pretty much squares with my (distant) visits.

      Re: dining room seating ... last year it was a tad over-stuffed
      with tables. Your thoughts?

      Re: valet ... after my Big Rock experience, I no longer valet my
      fun ride. Last year, Jeremy's was Valet-Only. What is the
      current policy?

      1. re: rainsux

        Re: dining room seating...it's hard to tell given the day/time I was there. It was a Thursday evening, and as I said, the patio was where everyone wanted to eat, so the main dining room itself was pretty empty. There was Donna and me, another table of three, and one (annoying loud and tipsy) birthday party of about 7. That was it. Didn't feel crowded to us, but then again, when 25-30% of the tables are in use, no place could feel crowded, eh?

        Re: valet...there was no valet at all. Saw no sign or stand, nor anyone working valet. We pulled right into the parking lot and found a spot immediately, so it would appear that this is in the past. Again, though, it wasn't a weekend evening, so things might be different on the weekend.

        1. re: boagman

          Hey Boagman. I'm sure you have noticed my thread about the anniversary dinner. We still haven't decided. Have seen ads for Jeremy and was curious, then read your review. Great timing! A few questions. Is it on a lake? Will they take reservations? Can you give me some more menu examples as there website is under construction. It sounds like you had a wonderful dinner there, you and Donna. So now I've narrowed it down to Jeremy and Giovanni's. Feedback please. Thanks!

            1. re: Rheta

              It's not on a lake, no. The outdoor patio faces the street, and while it's not exactly picturesque looking out on Cass Lake Road, if the night's weather is pleasant enough, eating outside *anywhere* is really nice, you know?

              Jeremy Restaurant and Bar does take reservations, yes, and I'd recommend them, especially for weekend dining.

              I do wish you'd asked about other menu examples a week ago, when it was far fresher in my mind. The only other entree that pops into my brain at the moment is the wonderful-sounding lamb shank they were offering, which was the other one I was considering besides the beef I eventually got. I'll say this: the menu is appropriately sized, but fairly brief. There's something for everyone on there, and the kitchen doesn't go crazy trying to provide every stinking thing that anyone, anywhere could order. There's at least one of each of the major meats, some seafood and pasta dishes, and that's about it for entrees. There are also some well-received burgers and sandwiches. The appetizer list had about a half dozen or so.

              I must say, Rheta, that if you're jonesing for Italian fare, this is *not* the place for you. If you're wanting a nice place for an anniversary dinner, then yes: this will definitely fit the bill for you. Especially with the coupon, I found it to be well worth what they were charging. I needed no coupon for Giovanni's to be happy with that place in every way, shape, and form. In the case of Jeremy, I would probably say that, had I not had the coupon, I might not have had the appetizer or the drinks, just to keep it a bit more affordable, but that's just me...and I'm pretty cheap/frugal.

              Italian? No. Delicious, intimate, with high standards of service and food? Yes.

              1. re: boagman

                Hey boagman. Thanks for your reply. We aren't really stuck on Italian. Just wanted a different Italian experience. We're really just looking for something different. Jeremy really sounds like the kind of place hubby and I would enjoy. And I think the drive there would be more pleasant as well. So Jeremy it will be! We will be going Sat. night so won't be able to use the coupon. Oh well! I'll write up a review here after our experience. Thanks again boagman!

                1. re: Rheta

                  I hope that you enjoy it as I did, Rheta. I was impressed on multiple fronts.

                  1. re: boagman

                    Outstanding review, Sir! Thanks for the read. I'm already trying to come up with a justification to drop $70----I deserve it, right?

                    PS--is that coupon in the food section of the Freep?
                    PPS--I've never heard of tenderloin coupled with short rib. Of course, then again, I've never heard of short rib sauced (at a restaurant) in a way where one could actually plentifully distinguish the taste of the beef. :-(
                    PPPS--Don't fear the cool red center of beef. The nasty stuff smeared on by the industrial processor resides, singed, only on the outer surface....unless the nasties have been hamburgerized into the center.

                    1. re: vtombrown

                      The coupon is in the Play section of Thursday's Free Press. Good Sunday-Friday.

                      1. re: vtombrown

                        VTB: everyone deserves to go to a place like this every now and again.

                        The tenderloin/short rib "combo" sort of surprised me, too. It's not exactly a coupling one might ordinarily see, and yet, when done correctly, it's a hit! The taste of the beef was there in spades, and I really enjoyed it.

                        I don't "fear" the red center of beef so much as the coolness. Ah likes me mah beefs hots! This is one of the primary reasons that I tend to avoid prime rib when I'm out at restaurants. It tends to come to the table at no higher than a lukewarm temperature, which drives me positively batty. There's no good way for me to win: if I send it back to be heated up, the beef gets cooked more, and while the temp might be higher, the pink goes away, and ends up overdone. If I *don't* send it back, I don't enjoy it that much, because to me, it's already "cold". It's best to just enjoy it at home, where it'll be piping hot *and* correctly done. Plus, gravy for the potatoes! Yum.

                      2. re: boagman

                        Thanks boagman. I'm looking forward to tonight!

                        1. re: Rheta

                          ::wrapping his fingers on the table incessantly::

                          So, uh, Rheta...how was it? I'll just sit here waiting patiently. And, of course, by "patiently", I mean "with absolutely zero patience whatsoever". ;)

                          1. re: boagman

                            I'm sorry I'm so slow boagman! We enjoyed Jeremy very, very much! Except for the drive there. For what should have been a 20-25 min. drive turned into almost an hour due to traffic backed up on Orchard Lake Rd. We finally arrived and drove up and the valet parked the car. As soon as we walked in I knew we were in a good place. Very casual but classy. I love casual, fine dining much more ethan a fancy place. We first ordered drinks(hubby a Dewars/rocks and I a martini straight up w/olives). We declined to order an appetizer because we knew it would put us over the edge. Soon after our drinks came they brought a complimentary white bean hummus w/flat bread. It was very good! Certainly glad we didn't order an additional appetizer(even though they looked so good!) For our entree we both ordered the petite filet paired with the short rib. Since boagman's description, that's what we had to have! And it was absolutely superb! The filet was slightly overdone, but it was not a big deal since it was so flavorful. We kept the sides with what was on the menu which were creamed spinachyum!) and a potato-cheese gratin. It all married perfectly together with all the different textures and flavors. And that short rib was amazing! Melted in your mouth and along with the onion concoction on top, it was excellent. The item on the dish complimented each other. I couldn't quite finish mine(left a couple bites of gratin) so I was glad I hadn't ordered an additional appetizer. Besides the delicious food, the service was wonderful and impressive. We will definitely go back. I definitely recommend this place and would go back in a heartbeat! But Sunday through Friday so I could use the coupon. That would makie it a really good deal as well. We had a wonderful anniversary dinner and enjoyed Jeremy very, very much
                            ps: We also both had a salad. Hubby had the bleu cheese caesar salad and I had the greens salad. I enjoyed my greens salad but after tasting hubby's, I wished that I had ordered that. Oh well.

                            1. re: Rheta

                              That's great news, Rheta. Sorry the drive was so off-putting...I can imagine that the northbound traffic would have been a problem on Memorial Day weekend. After all, you were headed towards the water!

                              I had completely forgotten the hummus and flat bread crackers you referred to. They served that to us, and to my great surprise, I actually liked it! It helped that there was plenty of garlic in there to satisfy me, but normally I'm not a big chick pea guy (so I normally don't consume any more than, say, one bite of hummus), but I rather enjoyed their version. Glad you reminded me of it. Just one more thing to like.

                              I'm *really* surprised that the filet was slightly overdone...may I inquire as to how you ordered it? I ordered mine "medium" with the thought that, if it was too rare, they could always throw it back in and cook it a bit more. When I got it, I have to admit that I was worried that it would be too rare for me since it was, indeed, *quite* red. Once I tried it, though, I was sold for sure. I'm glad you still liked yours, but I want to know if you went medium-well or anything like that.

                              It's also good to know that the sides that were originally paired with the dish were good with it, too. I'm not a cheese guy (or really any cultured dairy product, for that matter, with the exception of pizza), so the gratin potatoes held no keep on me, and switching to the sweet potato hash was a very, very good choice for me. I also see that you liked the onion marmalade...isn't that marvelous?

                              So glad you liked it, Rheta. I was a bit worried with the Italian thing, but I was suitably impressed with Jeremy, and I look forward to going after church some Sunday in the near future and trying one of their burgers. Not cheap, no...but they're really supposed to be something else, and I could do with a great burger relatively close to me.

                              Oh, and you're not too slow...I'm just impatient. ;)

                              1. re: boagman

                                The reason there was so much traffic was due to the St. Mary's Polish Country Fair which I had totally forgot about. I guess it's an annual festival. I ordered my filet med. rare. I would say it was med. Not a big deal because it was so flavorful! We noticed a lot of people were ordering the burgers. They did look delish!

                              2. re: Rheta

                                Rheta, Glad you had an excellent meal....and shared here. :-) I have got to check this place out, and leverage your and also Boagman's experiences. Note-- Nice touch with the martini!
                                Happy Anniversary.

                                1. re: vtombrown

                                  I do enjoy a good martini. And it was good!

                                2. re: Rheta

                                  Sound like a great night out. We haven't been there in more than a year
                                  and will have to give it another try.

                                  Do you happen to recall if the dining room was a tad overstuffed with
                                  tables? Was the valet optional or mandatory?

                                  > due to traffic backed up on Orchard Lake Rd

                                  Tip:

                                  Middlebelt a much more savvy choice than Orchard Lake (or Telegraph).
                                  The speed limit is 10 MPH higher, ~half the number of traffic lights and
                                  mostly residential.

                                  1. re: rainsux

                                    I would have to say there were probably four tables to many in the dining room. It still had a nice atmosphere though. The servers worked well together staying out of each others way in such a crowded space. They were all very efficient. The valet was mandatory. There was a sign outside that said "Valet parking only". Maybe that's just for Sat. nights. Thanks for the tip on taking Middlebelt. Since we live west of Orchard Lake Rd., we didn't really think of taking Middlebelt. Will do that next time.

              2. i have been meaning to go to this place for a long time, too. don't get to keego often, though its not that far from troy, but i finally made it last friday. i called friday afternoon to make a reservation for four on the patio at 8:15. no problem. found out at 5:00 that a friend from out of town would be joining us. called to see if they could make our four a five. again - no problem. met our friends on that side of town. had some time to kill so we had a few beers at roosevelt's. started the trek up to jeremy with plenty of time - except for the cluster that orchard lake road has become due to construction. diverted over to farmington and headed north. cutting it close i called from the car to say that we may be a few minutes late. the hostess was cheerful and said not to worry and take our time.

                we showed up (8:18), dropped cars at the valet, went inside, waited maybe one minute and were shown to a table on the patio that comfortably seated five. the room looked was very nice. the patio was decent too for overlooking cass lake road.

                the wait for a server to come by was a bit longer than it should have been but he eventually got to us. five beers - let's go. bread/crackers dropped off. beers delivered. apps ordered.

                the calamari was good - lightly flash fried. crab cakes were decent, too (not a huge crabcake fan).

                ordered entrees. while we were waiting, a manager came over to our table and said that there were some bad storms coming so they were setting up a table for us inside. after talking one of my friends down from the idea that we just could sit more in the middle of the patio where there was better umbrella coverage, they took us into a table in the middle of the room. again - nice room. i didn't think it was crowded or overly loud at all.

                entrees delivered:

                i had skate in a cilantro broth over udon noodles with vegetables. i really enjoyed it. my wife and one of our friends had seafood risotto. both loved it. i tried it and it was good, though the muscles were a tad gritty. another friend had medallions of beef tenderloin. he enjoyed it and raved about the carmelized onions in a red wine/balsamic reduction - i tried and it was very good. our third friend opted for a salad (caesar, i think) with a piece of salmon. looked good and she ate most of it and said she liked it. no room for desert or after dinner drinks. the waitstaff was attentive during dinner - checked on us several times, water and beers kept full.

                while we were eating it started raining sideways and the sky was ablaze with a lightning show. i asked our server if the valet would have thought to close my windows and sunroof, which were open when we arrived. "sure he will," came the response. paid the bill and went to the front door. car pulls up and it is soaked inside. the guy appologized that he didn't close the sunroof all the way and started toweling the seats feverishly. aside from this gaff and a bit of slow service at the onset, the meal was very good and we had a great time. we will be back.

                1 Reply
                1. re: xman887

                  Ohhhhhh, that *valet*! You see, that's just one *more* reason I can't stand valet parking, especially when it's forced. The night I went, there was no valet, and I was happy as a clam about that aspect.

                  Your food sounds like it was as good as when we went, and the service sounds like ours was, too. I know I'll be back, but I'm half-thinking that I'll be going back next on a Sunday, to try out one of the different burgers they have available on that day. They're certainly not inexpensive, but I'm thinking that the quality will be there in spades.

                  Funny that you didn't have dessert, either. Neither Donna nor I wanted the somewhat-pared-down selection of desserts they offered, and we can almost *always* find room to split a dessert if one catches our eyes. If there was one place on the menu I thought they could improve upon, it was dessert.

                  Glad you liked it!