Wow, tthis daily posting for a month is really getting me into a pattern I am not familiar with. But, onwards and upwards!
I heard that Anthony Bourdain was here again, and this time, he deemed Detroit “a place not to be missed.” High praise indeed from Mr. World Traveler! So, in honor of his visit and Detroit’s appearance on his show, I’d like to highlight some of the truly progressive and fun places in Detroit that adhere to the locavore ethic, and want truly to make Detroit succeed. Below are several links to places that, if you live in the area are must tries, if you’re visiting, are certainly what should be on your radar.
The newest addition to our night/bar scene is Two James Distillery. Located on Michigan Avenue, this former taxi repair garage is enormous. when you drive by you can get a peek at the very large copper tank inside, must be a good 15 feet high, if that. The front os unassuming, but has a “fascinator” mounted on the from that bears review. We have only been there once, but I can tell you from driving by it non-stop each weekend, a great deal has gone into it’s opening. It’s Detroit’s first distillery. They have worked their first barrels of what I am fairly certain is bourbon and are in the process of aging it so they can sell. A little birdie at Merchants Wine in Dearborn tells me they may have their own stuff up for trying as early as this month. That would be 6 month madera barrel aged whiskey. They also have a clean and herby gin that you really have to try, and a fantastic blended whiskey that has some of their “moonshine” and some of another distillery. The finish is fresh, rich and light. Not something you normally see in a newly aged vintage. their vodka is straight and clean, none of the sweetness that we found in Valentine vodka, produced in Ferndale. The website is below, you will have to age verify.
An old venerable is Sugar House. When I say old venerable, I really mean something that truly feels old, but has only been there for about 2 years. Maybe less. They make all their own “stuff”, shrubs, bitters, alcohol, and they make a maraschino cherry that rivals mine… but only slightly. You must try this place, if only to placate me and tell me I am right. They are masters of the old cocktail, but have also found some new twists to old things. It’s the first place I had an Aviator, and the reason I bought creme de violette, although I have yet to use it in my house. Try them, try try try them! It’s worth it all. And they do a hell of a home pickled veggie plate. Worth a shout out itself!
Ottava Via is the newest place I can think of. It’s name is derived from the fact they are on 8th street, off Michigan. Outstanding traditional Italian food with a bit of French flair. And all on a corner that housed a pawn and gold shop for donkey’s years! They have a large back porch with a wood burning stove, and a great lounge area out there. Their food ranges from, as I said traditional Italian, including one of the best pizza’s we have had in a while, and the best Italian porchetta I have had, ever. Their pasta is all house made, their cheeses are outstanding. Try the melted pecorino with spiced honey. Unreal. They only have a Yelp page that I can find, so make due with that.
For breakfast on the weekend, we can often be found at the Brooklyn Street Local, in very close proximity to Ottava Via. Most of the places I am sending tips for are on Michigan Avenue, although that may slightly change in a minute. Brooklyn Street has wonderful staff, the MOST rocking scones with locally made strawberry jam and lemon curd (probably tomorrow’s blog post). All their meat products are butchered on premises,. their bread is all from Avalon Bakery ion Midtown. If you are crazy for breakfast, this is a wonderful place, and they have authentic Canadian poutine, both traditional and vegetarian. How can you say no to that?
The very newest place the Hubs and I have been to is Public House in Ferndale. It’s very new, but has a wonderful smokey vibe, much more appealing than the former tenant of that building, Jospehine’s. Cocktail listing is impressive, indeed it rivals The Oakland down the street. The young Keith Richards portrait over the bar alone is worth the price of admission. Check out their fried chickpeas and olive starter. They are owned by the same folks that own the amazing taco joint “Imperial”, so you t=know a great deal of care has gone into everything. We were delighted! All I can find is their Facebook page, but it’s worth a look, and a visit!
There is SO much going on in Detroit and the surrounds, places like Foran’s, Motor City Wine, and many, MANY other places! Get out there peeps, tell me where you have been and tell me what you think of my choices. But, most importantly have fun and support Detroit’s Renaissance!