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Silver Spoon (Italian) in Rochester Hills, MI [DTW]

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Hi Sir Boagman. Rather than post onto your eulogy for Peng Lai (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7881...), ), I'll start a new topic for the people who took over P.L.'s space-- Silver Spoon (NW corner of Rochester and Tienken).

I’m getting lazy these days, about doing my share of the reports. Forgive me for just posting a quick set of impressions regarding Silver Spoon—

Worthwhile addition to Rochester area. This place will bruise the evil empire of (the overrated) Andiamo’s, so that’s a good thing.

Silver Spoon is located in an upscale suburban strip mall under a 2nd floor gym, so if you like to view young 20-something guys with rich fathers/grandfathers exiting past your restaurant window, smugly “high five-ing” their workout partners and getting into their tricked-out new model SUVs, then you will love the locale.

The food seemed like the food I had at okay places in Italy…places which the locals considered to be significantly flawed and which they debated whether the place would make it for the long haul. I actually mean this to be a compliment, and if you’ve travelled around Italy, you know what I’m talking about. At least S.S. gets to be debated over.

The veal was colorless, but quite nice and tender. It starts at $18 (no salad, etc.) and increases in price $2-$7, depending on the sauce chosen. This pricing is a bit unique. I’m cheap, so I chose the cheapest sauce: Piccata. This was a bad choice. It was like pure lemon juice, with a little water to cut it. Next time, and there will be a next time, I’ll choose a more expensive sauce.

My wife had wide homemade noodles with flecks of prosciutto(?), tiny meatballs, peas, diced tomatoes, etc.. This was nice, and we’ll get it, or a variant, again.

The clear disappointment of the night was the mushroom risotto. My kid was spaghetti’d-out from the week, and there is no kid’s menu at S.S.. So, my wife suggested this “rice” dish. I like to keep the wife happy, even if I think my kid should already be happy for whatever I put in front of him. Where I’m going with this, is that the mushroom risotto costs $24, with NO accompaniments.

Yes, ouch. I figured, “Well, it must be mind blowing, and my kid will leave me half.” My kid did leave me half (not to say that’s a significant quantity), but the dish seemed wholly unremarkable. Admittedly, I may be missing something here, but this mushroom risotto wouldn’t have surprised me if it had been served me in Papa Vino’s for $12.50. Let me repeat, I may very well not be educated enough to appreciate the subtleties which Silver Spoon’s risotto offers. You be the judge. (I guess this dish got me rambling more than I had planned to do.)

Given that the dishes come with no accompaniments, I also ordered a small bowl of shrimp bisque ($6). It was nice. Check it out if you live anywhere near this region of the Metro Area. Scr*w Andiamo’s.

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Peng Lai
6830 N Rochester Rd, Rochester Hills, MI 48306

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  1. Thank you for posting this review! I was very interested when I heard about this place, but won't be chomping at the bit now ,especially since the prices are kind of insane ($24 for risotto for a child???).

    1. Also, didn't Andiamo's in downtown Rochester close? I guess there must be others nearby. I have never been, knowing that it was a chain and that it was sort of expensive.

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      Andiamo
      204 S 6th St, Springfield, IL 62701

      1 Reply
      1. re: IndyGirl

        Andiamo's in Rochester has been coverted to Rojo Mexican Bistro, same owners.

      2. At least you got served. This is one of those places that believes its own hype is justification for making people wait for a table (and treating them with contempt while they wait), even if they have reservations. After three such fruitless visits, I won't be making any further attempts to dine at this restaurant, and am waiting gleefully for the day when I hear that it's going out of business. With rude service, an arrogant reservation system, and $24 items on the kids' menu, that day shouldn't be too long in coming.

        1. So, any updated reviews of this place? I'm willing to allow for the idea that they might have overcome early service or pricing glitches/wierdnesses. I am tired of not having any outstanding Italian around! (I don't mean to insult Lino's, which is right across the parking lot, and I do mostly like their food, but it sounds like this might be a different style of Italian.)

          8 Replies
          1. re: IndyGirl

            I have not been to Silver Spoon as of yet.....but here are 3 Italian spots that the wife and I love:
            1. Bacco
            2. Cafe Cortina
            3. Giovannis

            1. re: Quit2Chef

              I LOVE Giovanni's. Finally tried it about a month ago. Truly great food!

              1. re: Quit2Chef

                Great top three. Love all of them and I would safely put Silver Spoon into that group. For residents of Rochester Hills, Oakland Twp or Clarkston (and even Birmingham and Troy to the south), Silver Spoon is the most accessible of the bunch, logistically. And it's honestly a more approachable restaurant, which is perhaps a reflection to Rochester Hills' conservative charm. Love it up there.

              2. re: IndyGirl

                > I am tired of not having any outstanding Italian around!

                Lelli's in Auburn Hills seldom disappoints me. It's not that far from RH.

                I also like Pasta Fagioli in Bloomfield Hills (Sq Lake & Franklin). Due Venti is my most recent fav, but
                neither are exactly convenient to RH.

                I'm thinking fondly of Europa. Sigh.

                1. re: rainsux

                  What about that place Fortesa (I'd never been to Europa either, but I read that it's in the same space)? It's an Italian place, apparently. Someone I briefly met at a party mentioned it and said it was great, but I'm suspicious since I haven't heard anything on the boards.

                  1. re: IndyGirl

                    No experience @ Fortesa. The reviews on Y and G are polar opposites. Go figure ...

                    1. re: rainsux

                      yeah, I know. We thought about trying it, but their broken website pushed me over the edge into the "no" camp, especially since it is rumored to be expensive, and I didn't want to take the chance.

                2. Hi everyone. I'm just checking in to see whether there are any more recent reviews of Silver Spoon. We are looking for a restaurant to take my husband's parents to tomorrow night, and I don't want to feel responsible for picking a place that will have an inordinately high price since my FIL will probably treat since it's my husband's birthday.

                  Any updates on either value or food quality would be much appreciated.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: IndyGirl

                    Is there a logistical or ethnic requirement? If you're really wanting some great Italian food at dirt cheap prices, and you can bring your own wine (they'll provide glasses...they don't have beer, wine, or liquor to sell you, though), head down to Magdaleno Italian Restaurant in Lincoln Park. It's really worth the drive.

                    If you really want upscale Italian and you're willing to drive, Giovanni's in Detroit is always a favorite, too.

                    1. re: boagman

                      I love Giovanni's and want to try Magdaleno but I don't get home from work until 7 pm, so it's just not an option. We want to stay close to home.

                      Trust me, we are going to try Magdaleno sometime soon.

                      But for now, FIL is into trying Silver Spoon, so unless someone has a stoyr that convinces me otherwise, that's where we are going tomorrow night. I'll report back.

                      1. re: IndyGirl

                        Looking fwd to your report Indy Girl. A photo of your remodeled kichen would be nice addition in the footnote, if I might say.

                        1. re: VTB

                          Unfortunately, the remodel is at least a year off. :( We found out that a wall I'd dreamed and dreamed of removing contains all of the plumbing feeding the upstairs. HATE! So, we think we are going to re-route said plumbing, but it will take more money, so hence the year-long wait.

                          1. re: IndyGirl

                            So, um, not for nothing IG...but how was it already? ;)

                            1. re: boagman

                              As u like to say, "staring at screen, fingers tappng on table..."

                              1. re: VTB

                                LOL!! I just haven't had time yet. I promise to come back and do a full report. In short, we liked it, and most importantly, super hard-to-impress FIL (who's spent time in Italy) was quite impressed. More later.

                  2. OK.

                    We finally did try Silver Spoon last Thursday night with my in-laws. FIL has spent some significant time in Italy and I have been there several times as well--Rome, Tuscany, Florence, and Venice (but I do not consider myself an expert at all since these were all professional endeavors and I was always concerned with networking over food, unfortunately!).

                    We were seated around 7 pm. Place not very busy with only two other tables occupied, but it was a weeknight. By the time we left it was a lot busier.

                    Server informed, not pushy, well-trained.

                    We didn't get bread right away which was a problem for me since I had a very, very long teaching day and was famished to the point of a migraine. We had to ask for it, and it wasn't brought until after the drinks were served (this is a service issue only though--the bread was wonderful, and the spicy oil and olive "pesto"--I would call this tapenade, but I guess that is a french word-- served with it were really divine).

                    We ordered the pasta sampler, which included three small portions of pasta. One had mushrooms and a cream sauce, one had a tomato sauce with sausage--both of these featured I thnk cavatappi, or something similar. The third pasta type was a large ravioli stuffed with ... I think... mushrooms. I'm blurry on those details since it has now been several days. Anyway, we all agreed that the pastas on the sampler were great--perfectly al dente and seasoned very well--though, being vegetarian, I did not sample the sausage pasta.

                    We also ordered bruschetta which, despite out-of-season tomatoes, was very good.

                    Mains:
                    I got the gnocchi alla bava. I delighted in these soft little delicate fluffy pillows of goodness! I gave everyone at the table some to try as well and we were all impressed by those.

                    SO got the mushroom risotto that was mentioned in VTB's review. I agree that $24 is steep for what it is, but I did think it was a good risotto--having sampled risottos in a number of restaurants and struggled to make my own versions successfully, I can recognize when the rice is done well. I only tried a small taste. SO is not a risotto expert, but was pleased with the dish.

                    FIL had the saltimbocca. I am not a meat eater and especially not veal, so I can't comment on it, but he was THRILLED. And this is someone who is easy to irritate in a restaurant situation. Granted, he'd had over half a bottle of wine at that point, but I know from experience that that doesn't make him easier to please. I will take him at his word that this dish was a success.

                    I regret that I can't remember what MIL ordered, but it was some kind of pasta--I did not sample it.

                    We declined dessert as we were stuffed.

                    All in all, it was a positive experience. Definitely not Giovanni's, but a solid place for Rochester. We won't go there a lot because it's expensive, but it will be a nice place for special occasions that is local.

                    So there you have it, boagman and VTB!

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: IndyGirl

                      Wow, great write up. Though, it was kind of hard to read while I was in my cubical eating my sad, brown bag lunch.

                      1. re: IndyGirl

                        Thank you, IG! That's very helpful, since my gym sits directly above Silver Spoon. It's really more than I want to spend on a given gym night, but I'm very glad that it's good! I'll have to give them a try soon. I haven't been there since it was Peng Lai!

                        1. re: boagman

                          Thanks VTB and boagman. Again, it's too rich for our blood most of the time. And it is not Giovanni's. But, the homemade gnocchi were really, really good--I have made my own gnocchi and have ordered them at a number of establishments and these were the best I've had in the states.

                          1. re: boagman

                            BTW, if either of you have given the Meeting House another shot lately, I'd love to hear about it. I'd really like for there to be a good (at least sort of vegetarian friendly) place downtown but I was totally underwhelmed when we tried them right after they opened. I'm hoping that was an early off night.

                            1. re: IndyGirl

                              I'm not VTB or Boagman but I have eaten at the Meeting House several times and as recently as last week. It continues to be one of my favorites in the entire area. Living in Rochester Hills makes it even more attractive to me as it's only 10 minutes away. My wife, son and I have tried many of the menu listings and the braised short rib continues to be the best braised dish I've ever had in a restaurant.

                              1. re: Wakeley Bridge

                                I stopped by tonight to check the place out and, while I wasn't up for spending in that price range tonight, several things sounded good, most of all that braised beef short rib dish you refer to. And I hadn't even seen your post until now!

                                I do think that they're a bit full of themselves on the specials board. A la carte halibut with nothing but golden beets, tomatoes, and plums? $33? That's...high. I know halibut isn't exactly cheap, but for $33, it had better be the best darned halibut I've ever had, and then some.

                          2. re: IndyGirl

                            Glad you liked it. We love this place and wish more people from the surrounding area knew about it. As I said above, very approachable. We don't go there to be seen, just give us a small table, a bottle of wine and some great pasta. I don't find the prices to be anything out of the ordinary.