John D Bistro (DTW - Ferndale)
Took over Club Bart (RIP) space in Ferndale at the SE corner of 9 and Woodward. Its setting itself up to be a loungey, bistro, "cool" kids hang out spot.
Ambiance: I like the spot. Airey. Their front wall is a garage door that they had open last night. Bar isn't too spacious, but it wasn't crowded so we weren't bothered. They do have some.. peculiar seats including two stage/"VIP" areas that looked really uncomfortable. Its hard to explain.
Service: Impeccable. Super nice, attentive, unpretentious, fun, laidback. Can't speak highly enough about my bartender. Plus, I love women with sleeves.
Drinks: Had a Mint Julep in honor of the Kentucky derby. fresh mint. went down nice and smooth. Double uber gold points for my follow up Hendricks and Tonic coming with cucumber without having me to ask!
Food: We only had a few appetizers. I have mixed feelings. The Duck Confit was excellent. Phyllo pastry just loaded with excellent flavorful, tender duck meat. Yummy. Carmelized onions on the side complemented it excellently. Calamari - a big Meh. A weird citrusy cream sauce. Calamari itself had breading that didn't really contribute. A waste of calories in my book. BIg Rock's is still my fav in this area. Mac/Cheese. Another average dish. Props for using cucumber to add some texture. They used big shells for the pasta, and their choice of cheese just didn't mesh well.
Having said that, watching some of the other platters come out, I regret some of my choices. One of the specials were grilled italian sardines that I REALLY wanted to try, but my friend is the world's most boring eater so I couldn't order it. The chicken lollipops looked appetizing too, so put that on the list.
Overall: Umm.... from a purely food perspective, I'm not so sure. Having said that, I'll eat there again based upon ambiance, being the "scene" just to see what the other dishes have to offer. I'd definitely come back there just for drinks.