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Raise the Bar: Rockefellers Oyster Bar & Grill 

Rockefellers hasn't been open for more than six months, but you'd never guess that walking in. The Grosse Pointe Park bar and restaurant has an old-school vibe that's hard to manufacture. It is strikingly authentic in its attempt to capture its chosen aesthetic. In fact, when we told the person sitting next to us that it had only opened in September 2014, they didn't even believe us.

With copper-colored tin ceilings, dark wood everything, brass embellishments, and white cloth-covered tables, it's upscale, yet laid back. In fact, it's the kind of place you'll feel comfortable wearing jeans and sneakers or dressed up to the nines. Plus, even if it's your first time visiting, you'll likely feel like you've been there 100 times.

Suffice it to say, it's a gem in the neighborhood. It doesn't exactly butt up to downtown Detroit, but it's close enough that you won't mind driving there after taking in a show at the Opera House or the Fox or, hell, even Saint Andrew's Hall.

The menu is all about seafood here. Yes, "oyster bar" is in the name, but they've also got sushi, Crab Louie, lobster bisque soup, and lobster mac and cheese. Don't like fish? There's still plenty to eat. The Rockefeller salad is enormous, making it worth its $15 price tag. They've also got burgers, beef tips, sandwiches, steak, and pasta.

The bar is visually pretty, with a giant, glowing clock as its centerpiece. It's the kind of thing that looks like it came from an old diner with its green and pink rings and illuminated numbers. Below it are rows of liquor bottles and tap handles. It's a full, call bar so the sky is the limit when it comes to cocktails, but there is a specialty drink menu made up of classics like rum punch, mojitos, Old Fashioneds, cucumber Collins, Moscow mules, Bloody Marys, and Spanish coffees.

Their wine menu offers Cabernet, Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc, and all are available by either the bottle or the glass. Bottles are as cheap as $30 and glasses start at $6, which is reasonable.

It's worth it to note that we asked the bartender for a mocktail, and she was happy to oblige and mixed us up something delicious, so don't think you're relegated to water or soda if you're abstaining from alcohol.

Rockefellers has something for everyone, and it's a setting that welcomes all.

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December 2, 2020

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