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Dec 25, 2011 05:24 AM

NYE dinner in Detroit and environs?

My wife and I will be in the Detroit area for New Year's and we wanted to have a special occasion-type New Year's Eve dinner, either in Detroit proper or the immediate burbs in Oakland or Wayne County.

We're not necessarily looking for a special NYE menu, a la carte dining is fine with us. Price isn't paramount, though we're certainly not going to turn down a lower-priced option. We're open to just about every cuisine, with one caveat - my wife's a vegetarian, so there will need to be at least a few vegetarian options on the menu.

Any help would be appreciated!

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  1. Bumping this up with 2 days to go - any suggestions?

    9 Replies
    1. re: kdgchow

      Thanks for all the suggestions! We're in the area least a few times a year - Royal Oak area - so we have the lay of the land. We've done Sweet Lorraine's a few times and liked it.

      We've had plenty of Lebanese - Pita Cafe, La Marsa, Cedarland Tavern etc. - and are always up for that. Is there any place that might be a little fancier than those places? And Dearborn might be too much of a haul for us.

      One thing I'm worried about is at this late stage, it may be impossible to get a seating anywhere. We've been in the area all week and every reasonably popular place in the Birmingham-Royal Oak axis has been solidly booked for lunch and dinner every day.

      1. re: kdgchow

        Ollie's and La Saj of Sterling Hts are nicer than those places, though not greatly nicer than La Marsa. The problem is that both are located in middle class strip mall areas which are not too "New Years Eve-y." If you go to La Saj be sure to upgrade your salad to tabboule! Ollie's is reasonably fancy and you can sit upstairs on their interior balcony, but it shares a parking lot with Walmart. There are lots of places downtown, but I'm not current on them because they are a hassle for a family. You may want to see other threads. The casino restaurants often are nice and they would be a blast, party-wise.

        1. re: kdgchow

          You might want to check Open Table as they will show who is still taking reservations.

          1. re: kdgchow

            Just went to Gemmayze in Royal Oak last week and it'd be a good option, a bit fancier than the other Lebanese restaurants you mentioned. The falafel salad could easily be a meal.

            1. re: Rosedale

              Another fancier Middle Eastern restaurant with a few vegetarian entrees is Le George in Northville Also a cute area to walk around after.

              1. re: Rosedale

                Gemmayze (menu/website) - How interesting!!

                1. re: VTB

                  Went back to Gemmayze the next day to grab a falafel salad for lunch. Almost cried when the sign said they didn't open until 4:00.

                  1. re: VTB

                    If by "interesting", you mean "high priced", then we're in *total* agreement, VTB...they appear to be *very* "interesting".

                    I guess I'd need a gateway toe-dip such as a sandwich with which to "try out" such a place to see if they're worth dropping that kind of coin on. Those entrees, for those prices, are just wince-worthy. It'd have to be the best darned Middle Eastern food I've ever eaten by a factor of three to be worth that kind of money.

                    1. re: boagman

                      :-) I'm hoping they are attempting to "take things to the next level." Lamb shank osso bucco, etc..

                      Sigh. Where is the Iranian community around here? I haven't had Persian food in ages.

            2. I'm not sure where you're from or what you're looking for other than special...and I'm really surprised that no one has replied. Here are a few suggestions....

              Sweet Lorraine's, in Southfield, has a fair amount of vegetarian options...some on the board really like it there. Although I don't think it's special occasion fare.

              My recent favorite is Forest Grill, in Birmingham, but I'm not sure if there are a lot of options for you wife.

              Zazios also in Birmingham is a good place to try. Lots of windows and they have a chef's table to watch the prep.

              Tallulah also in Birmingham is a special occasion place with a cozy fun vibe. The owners have also just opened another place in Birmingham called Bella Piatti.

              Cafe Muse, In Royal Oak, is advertising a four course prix fixe menu on NYE for $65.

              Hopefully some others will join and give you suggestions. I will say that both Birmingham and Royal Oak are towns that you can stroll around in after dinner.

              Good Luck!

              1. Apologies kdgchow, Many of the DTW Chowhounders seem to be away this time of year. Also, most Chowhounders don’t eat out on NYE, because it’s not a great time to get service on the floor or from the kitchen. Anyway, Manhattan surely has better everything, than whatever we will suggest in DTW, but I like grouper’s idea of Birmingham. You can leave your car in one place, get a very respectable meal, and then stroll around partying with class, without having to know much.

                Particularly, I like grouper’s idea of Tallulah and Forest Grill.

                Tallulah may already be fully booked (not that they are better than Forest Grill), but since they just opened that trendy new place (Bella Piatti mentioned by grouper) a block away, maybe they won’t fill up so quickly.

                I don’t know where you are staying, but if it is on the west side, you may want to eat and hang out in Ann Arbor (numerous options). I’ve not been to grouper’s suggestion of Café Muse in Royal Oak. Royal Oak is a very fun, rowdy place (particularly a block over on Main St), but the food in other Royal Oak restaurants always seems to fall short. Guess I better save up and try Café Muse.

                The only other thing that comes to mind is Lebanese food, but the better ones are not near places where you would want to party. They are in isolated (perfectly safe) neighborhoods or suburbs. A search on CH will give you the whole debate(s) over which one is best. Al-Ameer on Warren Ave in Deaborn is a safe bet, and I like La Saj and Ollie’s. The reason I suggest Lebanese is that NYC doesn’t have a big advantage over DTW in this category, and it can be VERY vegetarian friendly. Check in advance to make sure the one you visit serves alcohol.

                My wife, kid and I will be pigging out on a.y.c.e. Ethiopian at Blue Nile in fabulous Fernadale, and then walking around Nine Mile Road (long before the real partying starts), where they have the Gay Pride Parade in the summer. We want to be off the roads (and asleep?) before the amateurs start in with their buzzed driving.

                You won’t owe us a trip report, but we’d love it if you gave us one. Hope you guys have a Happy New Year!

                2 Replies
                1. re: VTB

                  We ended up going to Le George in Northville. Definitely a little more upscale than your average Lebanese joint - open kitchen, high ceilings, felt like a French bistro.

                  They served us housemade pita and two types of garlic spread - one the typical toum, the other a much stronger one, flavored with lemon. Delicious.

                  Had an excellent appetizer of makanek - Lebanese sausages - followed by a special of lamb shank that was fork-tender and in a tasty tomato-based sauce, along with freshly-made tabouleh.

                  My wife's m'jadra needed a couple of shakes of salt to perk it up. However, the house-made yogurt that came with it was excellent. We also split a tasty dessert of pistachio-filled cookies with homemade whipped cream.

                  Service was excellent, very attentive. Bill came to $50 before tip. Definitely recommend this place if you're looking for more gussied-up Middle Eastern fare.

                  Thanks for all the help, everyone! Have a great 2012!

                  1. re: kdgchow

                    Thanks for the follow up. So glad you enjoyed LeGeorge.