Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More than takeout

Shangri-La expands its dim sum empire into Detroit university area

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Midtown’s Shangri-La has a quirky interior, extremely attentive servers, and excellent dim sum, those small plates that are something like Chinese tapas. Most dim-sum are $2.95 to $3.50, and most offer a bite or so for at least three diners. Teeny pancakes laden with garlic and chives, crisp dumplings, lilliputian spare ribs in a sweet black-bean sauce, stuffed eggplant, and the sweet bun full of barbecued pork are all winners. Although the regular menu is dominated by traditional Chinese cuisine, curries ($9), Singapore noodles ($8) and cilantro-less pho-like noodle soups ($7-8) suggest a pan-Asian influence. If you are looking for more exciting creations, you will have to choose among the chef specials, which are more expensive ($13.95-$16.95), and can include a whole or half roast duck, eggplant with shrimp paste in black-bean sauce, a mélange of succulent fried squid, scallops and shrimp with (not that) spicy salt or more mellow walnut shrimp.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Italian class

Quattro Cucina adds some Mediterranean sparkle to Birmingham

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Quattro Cucina, the new high-end Italian place in Birmingham, aims to create the feeling of old-fashioned service. The place is crawling with attentive staff, and it has been redone with high, curved banquettes in neutral tones, nothing to arrest the eye except some elaborate chandeliers. The food is wonderful. Dinner starts with warm and salty focaccia and dishes of bright yellow olive oil that tastes like — olives! All starters shine. Four of the pastas here are house-made — gnocchi, ravioli, tagliatelle and lasagna — and are therefore appropriately silky — no rubbery ravioli here. Those not seeking a fancy evening out — perhaps just popping in before hitting the Palladium 12 next door — can order $12 pizzas. Wine by the glass ranges from $10 to $14. Desserts are mostly Italian. Quattro Cucina is open for lunch and dinner during the week and for dinner on weekends.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Carving a niche

The brewers at Jolly Pumpkin expand into a cafe in Ann Arbor

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 12:00 AM

While pub-like in atmosphere, the food is a bit more up-to-date. Expect tofu cracklings, French fries flavored with rosemary and truffle salt, and a butcher’s snack board of cured meats and more. There is no real entrée menu as such. A small list of daily specials are offered, such as broiled walleye and mushroom risotto. The rest of the list consists of salads, sandwiches and pizza. Children are considered with an entire section of their own. And, of course, there is the beer. Diners not yet familiar with Jolly Pumpkin beers might want to ease into the experience with something slightly tamer, like a North Peak Amber Ale. But hardcore fans will likely find the cask ale to be the liquid they want in their glass. Along with a few Michigan wines and spirits, and a list of non-alcoholic cocktails, there’s a drink for everyone. Open 11-2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, noon-midnight Sunday.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

French roll-ups

Far from dainty, you can get a man-size meal at Royal Oak's What Crêpe?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The 22-seat place, which seems all angles and nooks, is graced with dark red walls and photos of French scenes and signs in pretty frames. Most people will find one order of a savory crêpe and a shared sweet one to be enough food. They’re not paper-thin, and they come in different styles — one rolled like a burrito, another in a triangle fold, another more deconstructed. There are 10 breakfast crêpes featuring scrambled eggs with anything you can think of, including maple syrup sauce. You can choose to build your own savory or sweet crêpe from a long list of ingredients, with sauces ranging from raspberry vinaigrette to agave nectar to ranch. A number of the choices are vegan-friendly, and owner Paul Jenkins swears the vegan “ice cream” is better than the original.

Continue reading »

Best Things to Do In Detroit

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.