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Jul 18, 2011 10:04 AM

Help please! Restaurant recomendation for Anniversary. (Greater Detroit Area)

Hello all. Need your help once again. Our 2nd anniversary is coming up soon. Would like to do a very nice dinner out, but cannot decide where. A few of the places that I was thinking: Forest Grill, The Lark, Common Grille, Bacco, The Chop House......can't decide. We would LOVE a chef's table. Also cigar smoking would be great...I believe that The Lark allows this (outdoor seating) and The Chop House has La Dolce Vita downstairs. Doesn't matter how "formal" as long as the food and the service are great. Please help me with a few suggestions of your own or reviews of the places mentioned. Thanks much!!!

Chop House
322 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Forest Grill Restaurant
735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009

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  1. The Lark is wonderful in all respects, plus it's a leisurely experience so you can savor all the time there. Great place for an anniversary as one my own were there and is a lifelong memory.

    1. the lark and bacco are great

      just had an anniversary dinner at irredescence and it was very good

      cafe via in birmingham is also good

      2 Replies
      1. re: xman887

        I went to Cafe Via in Birmingham recently and left with a sort of "meh" attitude about it. It seems that the kitchen has a *very* difficult time understanding what "medium" filet is. They finally got it right...the *third* time. For $34, or however much it was, they shouldn't need more than twice, and it took a very long time to actually get my food again. Both of my dining companions were through before I'd even gotten my steak. That's awkward.

        Other than that? Pretty good, yes.

        Cafe Via
        310 E Maple Rd, Birmingham, MI 48009

        1. re: boagman

          Went to Cafe Via last night. I had the Werp Farms Beet Salad and it was fantastic. Split the chicken paillard which was very good. My friend was looking forward to the Chilean Sea Bass, but the waitress informed us that they restaurant had recently switched to Australian Sea Bass, which is very different.

          For the salad, a split dinner and no alcohol, it was $39 for one with tax and tip. For that price I agree with Boagman, "meh". Probably won't go back.

      2. I haven't been, but Zazio's in Birmingham has a chef's table.

        Buca di Beppo does too, which would fit the "not formal" criteria, but probably not the culinary criteria you're looking for.

        For something totally different, Chef Marcus Haight from Schoolcraft College will come to your house, cook, give you a little lesson if you'd like, clean up and leave you to smoke your cigars. I believe he has a lakeside house which you can go to too. I recently took a class with him where he mentioned this service was available.

        My favorite romantic restaraunts are Cafe Cortina or La Dolce Vita. The Lark is great too, which coincientally Chef Haight worked at for years.

        Hope this helps. Happy 2nd Anniversary!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Rosedale

          If you end up going to Cafe Cortina, for dessert, get the (and forgive me if I botch the spelling of this) Anannas Grigliatas, which is a grilled, spiced slice of pineapple served with housemade vanilla ice cream and a rum caramel sauce. It was the *best* dessert I'd eaten in at least 5 years. It blew my stinking mind.

          You're welcome. ;)

          1. re: boagman

            Well.....we have made a reservation at The Lark. But that does sound amazing. We actually got married at Cafe Cortina....may have to stop by for that dessert!!

            1. re: Quit2Chef

              I've been to Forest Grill, The Chop House, and Bacco, and Forest Grill is hands down the best of the 3 (and one of the best places I have ever eaten). The food at Forest Grill is creative and executed to perfection. Plus, the prices are cheaper than the other choices on your list except for maybe Common Grille. However, Forest Grill doesn't have a place for you to smoke.

              Chop House
              322 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

              Forest Grill Restaurant
              735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009

              1. re: manhong

                .....of course Churchills is right around the corner....hmmm. Thanks for the reply!

                1. re: Quit2Chef

                  Yup, another great point. Hope you have a great anniversary dinner.

                2. re: manhong

                  Forest Grill is a stand out place. I know some ppl in the kitchen there and they go above and beyond to do the best food in town.

                  Forest Grill Restaurant
                  735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009

          2. > but cannot decide where

            After 26 years of marriage; the best place for an anniversary dinner is: Wherever she wants to go!

            3 Replies
            1. re: rainsux

              Great comment-right on the money!

              1. re: schaf1

                So we ended up as planned at The Lark. This was the first time here for us both. Sadly I do not have the time for a long, detailed review but suffice it to say everything was excellent. They even substituted the "hot appetizer of the day" (salmon) for one of the soft-shell crabs they had on dinner special at my request. Very nice touch! Mr. Lark was very kind and our waiter whose name I forgot (drat!) was also very nice, knowledgable, and punctual. I had the rack of lamb and my wife had the dover sole. Both cooked as ordered. Dessert we had the souffle. OMG it was huge. Covered an entire platter and could have fed 6 guests. We had an absolutely wonderful anniversary and will be back again some day. Thank you all for your help!

                ps: even gave us crystal drink
                stirrers with a lark on top as an
                anniversary nice.

                The Lark Restaurant
                6430 Farmington Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322

                1. re: Quit2Chef

                  Good choice.. it is a memorable experience!