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morela - matt prentice's second go 'round (dtw)

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went to the resurected morels in farmington hills for lunch yesterday. i really liked the old morels in bingham farms, so i was looking forward to trying the new place.

where is this place? the web site has a phone number, but no address. called and asked and the hostess said, "oh yeah, we know there is no address on the site. we are working on that." it is on the south side of northwestern, south of 14 mile.

i find the place and there is a big banner outside proclaiming "open for lunch." but there are no cars in the front or side parking lot. are they open?

walk in. there is a outdoor patio to the left. a bar surrounded by three glass walls on the left. a small dinning area on the riught, a larger room of tables and booths behiond the hostess stand, and an even bigger room in the back. decor is clean and low key. white tablecloths. small planter on the table. a littlle upscale, but casual. was this place always here? was it another restaurant?

it is 11:30 and i am the second table seated in the entire place. not a good sign.

after five minutes, my customer calls and asks, "where the hell is this place?" i explain and he says, "oh, it's he old macaroni grill." bingo. i knew there was something familiar.

the menu says that as much as possible, everything is local. all beers are michigan craft beers and all wines are from the u.s.

we order two apps to split:

bistro arancini ($9)
two Flash Fried Risotto Cake Stuffed with Housemade Meatball, Detroit Street Jam Asiago Cheese, Roasted Tomato Puree, Parmesan Veloute. they were good

braised pork belly ($10)
Southern Influenced Spice Rub, Apple Cider Natural Reduction, Michigan White Cheddar Grit Cake, Pickled Wild Mushrooms. excellent and generous portion.

lunch:

horseraddish encrusted norwegian salmon ($15)
Garlic Whipped Potatoes, Roasted Red Pepper Béarnaise, Grilled Asparagus, Micro Radish Greens. the salmon was good. the horseraddish crust was different. i would try something else next time.

chicken breast milanese ($12)
Sautéed Breaded Chicken Breast, Fingerling Potatoes, Haricot Verts, Cherry Tomato, Lemon Caper Butter Sauce. looked good. my customer liked it.

add on an iced tea and a diet pepsi and the bill was $53. even boagman might crowbar his wallet open here for what you get.

the food was pretty good. the service was attentive. the prices were reasonable. by the time we left at 1:00pm, the main room was 80% and there were a few people in the bar area.

i will go back.

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  1. I very much liked the old Morels, and I've actually stopped by the place to check out the setting and menu. Glad that it's shaping up well. I might be frugal, but sometimes you do get what you pay for.