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Monday Night Special Dinner!

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Hi there, my boyfriend and I are coming from Detroit for our anniversary and would like to go to somewhere a little bit fancy and not painfully hip (i.e. not loud) but also not overly staid (we are 28 and 30). However, we will only be in town on MONDAY night, and lots of places are closed (Frontera, Fat Rice, various molecular gastronomy). We would like to eat not overly fussy food, but it could be nice to dress up a little bit. I have looked at other threads but am happy to be directed to ones I may have missed. Thank you very much!
I have noticed that Green Zebra is open on Mondays -- do people like this? We are not vegetarians, but are interested. It seems to be getting mixed yelp reviews...

THANKS!

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  1. Here are some places I am considering, would love anyone's input.
    1. The Publican -- is it very pork and shellfish heavy? My boyfriend abides by (some) Jewish dietary laws
    2. Lula Cafe
    3. Longman & Eagle -- too hip?
    4. Sticky Rice -- not fancy random Thai restaurant, but there is no good Thai food in Detroit, and someone on this board said it was good...

    2 Replies
    1. re: maxnoodles

      Both Publican and L&E will probably be too loud for you. Also L&E doesn't take reservations.

      1. re: maxnoodles

        I think Lula's would be perfect -- they always have a special prix fixe menu on Monday nights, too, that remains one of the better values in the city. They also accept reservations. Here are some pictures of past dinners -- I could see people saying it's about as fussy as you could get but the room is very relaxed and just hip enough.
        http://lulacafe.com/gallery/farm-dinner

        ETA: Worth noting that the regular menus are also available on Mondays.

      2. The Lobby at the Peninsula and Boka are both upscale venues that are not fussy that have excellent cuisine and service. Nice ambiance that is worthy of a special occasion; definitely not loud but not too laid back and not stuffy. Both are very reasonably priced for the caliber of food and service they provide. Both are open Mondays and can be booked via Open Table.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Gonzo70

          thank you ! will definitely check those out. and your thoughts on Green Zebra...?

          1. re: maxnoodles

            I tend to agree that you'd like Lula a lot.

            Been to Green Zebra only once. We're omnivores and didn't feel like we were missing anything by not eating meat, but I can't remember anything that we ate and we never went back so it couldn't have been all that wonderful.

            Did you say where in the city you are staying and how you are getting around? Lula (and L&E) are close to each other, but not right in the main tourist area.

            Sticky Rice is one of my favorite (and one of the city's most authentic) Thai restaurants. It's actually northern Thai, which is a little distinct. Just took family there from east and west coast and they loved it. Casual. Inexpensive. Also in a neighborhood.

            1. re: chicgail

              Thanks! Sticky rice sounds great! I would really like to eat there, but I am torn between that and wanting to have a more "special" ambience.
              We will be staying at the hotel palomar, but we will have a car and are happy to cab/take public transit.
              I think we will skip green zebra; will look at lula, boka, and the lobby!

              1. re: maxnoodles

                Sable is comfy/casual/dressy, depending on what you want it to be, and attached to your hotel. I like the food; it's ideal for tasting a bunch of different small plates. The drinks are fabulous.

                1. re: mrsdebdav

                  Sable is great for drinks and maybe a nibble, but it's disappointed me for dinner. The promise of the food outshone the reality. But that's just me. Others may disagree.

        2. Perennial Virant also meets your criteria and is open Mondays.

          1. You might also consider Balsan at the Waldorf. It's really good, often gets overlooked, and while you can go in jeans many people there will be a bit more dressed.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jbontario

              In addition to many of the very good recommendations given, I'd add: Maude's Liquor Bar (ask to sit upstairs), Embeya, and Nellcote. Maude's treated us exceptionally well on our anniversary, and we loved every bite and minute. Embeya and Nellcote both have gorgeous rooms, which I think add to the experience, and well-executed menus. Places I haven't been but think would be good fits include: Nightwood (same team as Lula), Balena, Bistronomic, and Bavette's. I love Publican but it probably is more noise and treif than what you want. Sticky Rice is one of my favorite places for delivery but I don't think it is celebration-level if your budget allows for more. I have only been to Green Zebra once and had an awkward and somewhat disappointing experience. Also, on a Sunday night it attracted many neighborhood families, including a toddler who was allowed to bang silverware on the table, and I expect Mondays might be a similar crowd.