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Need help choosing Detroit-area restaurant gift

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I'm from the Detroit area but haven't lived there for over 20 years. My family is still there, and I want to give my sister and her husband, who have been through a rough time lately, a nice dinner out.

They live in Pleasant Ridge but like to go out downtown and elsewhere in the area. They're not exactly food-obsessed people, but they appreciate a good meal. He likes meat, she likes seafood. I'm looking for a nice, cosseting atmosphere, nothing too formal.

I had considered Cork, which is around the corner from their house, but the reviews seem kind of "meh" and they are not big wine drinkers. Am now considering Roast downtown and the Forest Grill and Tallulah in B'ham, but am open to other suggestions too.

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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  1. You're very kind to do this for your friends. I would agree with the decision to skip Cork, especially if they're not wine-loving folk, nor am I. Cork's food offerings may be decent, but they're unapologetically small, and relatively pricey. Plus, it's right around the corner for them...they can go there any time.

    I'm writing this from Ferndale (next door to PR), and my first thought was Forest Grill in B'Ham. As of yet, I've not heard one single bad thing about this place. Not one (though I don't pay attention to Yelp, if that matters)...that's basically unheard of. Not inexpensive, but it certainly appears that it's more in the vein of "costs a little more, but it's worth it." I wish I could say that I've been there myself to give it thumbs-up or down, but I haven't and I do trust many of the people who've told me their wondrous tales about their experiences.

    Roast is a place I've been to several times, and I enjoy it immensely, as would the husband of your couple. In fact, the place would be the absolute recommendation I'd make except for the seafood thing. I have no idea how their seafood is. The kitchen does a *tremendous* job with meat, but I've never honestly had anything that doesn't (or didn't, at one time) walk the land, there. It may be that they do a *great* job with seafood, and the atmosphere's terrific, with great service. Maybe someone who's had fish/shrimp/etc. there could chime in.

    My other suggestions to you would be Ocean Prime in Troy, or Iridescence in Detroit. Both are absolutely top-notch.

    2 Replies
    1. re: boagman

      I agree with boagman on Forest Grill. Love the atmosphere with windows all around. I've been a few times and liked it each time. Don't even remember what I had but I didn't not like anything about it. Some friends came from out of town last month and had to meet someone...they loved it. This is a couple who travels a lot so I was pretty happy they really enjoyed the meal.

      Tallulah is good too, but the menu I think is a little more limited. I find it a little too cozy in there...as in it's a small place and the tables are really close together.

      1. re: grouper

        Thanks to both of you--Forest Grill it is! I'll have to check it out myself next time I'm up there...