Author: Jackie F.

Exploring is a major theme in both of my blogs, 100 Places in the D (where I chronicle my quest to visit new-to-me restaurants, bars, shops, parks, etc. in the Metro-Detroit area) and A Cookable Feast (a food blog focused on whole-foods-based cooking, located at I love to try new things and exercise my creativity. I believe that life should be full of adventures - even if the adventures we seek aren't of the crazy mountain-climbing, skydiving variety. Everyday adventures can be pretty darn awesome, too!

600! RH House – January 21, 2023 – Rochester Hills, MI

RH House, offering luxe dishes and drinks in a sophisticated setting! This is the perfect place to hole up on a chilly Saturday night with a ribeye steak and piece of cake. I speak from experience!

The restaurant based in Rochester Hills actually had me tempted to order a salad. I know I couldn’t have gone wrong with the RH Salad, a mix of greens, tangerine, apple, feta, candied pecans, dried cherries, red onion, and a honey-balsamic vinaigrette. But the 16-ounce ribeye called to me from the midst of the dinner menu. That menu features decadent pastas such as the Pappardelle Sausalito (pappardelle noodles tossed with hot Italian sausage, cremini and shiitake mushrooms, and a tomato-basil cream sauce) and Scallop Carbonara; seafood dishes including sea bass and teriyaki-glazed salmon; steaks, chops, and chicken (see the RH Prime Rib and a 28-ounce bone-in Tomahawk ribeye that’s been dry-aged for 28 days); sandwiches; starters; salads – even a Build Your Own Wagyu Burger with topping options such as Gruyère, egg, and garlic aioli.

Navigating through those tantalizing choices, I stuck with the ribeye, and I’m glad I did. It was the most beautiful piece of meat. Look at it, resplendent in its char-marked glory and glistening juices! It was absolutely as delicious as it looks, tender and flavorful. It was such a treat to enjoy with a mix of veggies and my starch of choice, a creamy risotto.

The richness persisted as I ended the meal with RH House’s Eight Layer Carrot Cake. As the name suggests, this was not a dainty petit four of a dessert. No, this was a veritable slab, studded with candied pecans, striated with layers of cream cheese frosting, and drizzled with caramel. It was an oh-so-decadent end to an already luxurious meal.

What a perfect place this was to celebrate my 600th visit for 100 Places in the D! Whether you’re looking to celebrate your own milestone or a run-of-the-mill Tuesday, you can’t go wrong with RH House. It’s open daily, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of its menus: it offers happy hour, lunch, brunch, a well-stocked bar – and of course, dinner and desserts.

2630 Crooks Rd.

Rochester Hills, MI 48309

599. Regale Craft Food & Drink – January 20, 2023 – Macomb, MI

Have a fun and flavorful night on the town at Regale Craft Food & Drink! The Macomb-based restaurant and bar is a classy, convivial place to grab a well-crafted drink and sample delicious dishes.

Regale’s menu consists of shareable-sized dishes representing a variety of cuisines. Lamb Empanada and House-Made Gnocchi sit alongside Kimchi Fried Rice and Wild Mushroom Croquettes. As explained in the About section of Regale’s website, the “moderately portioned dishes are perfect for sharing so that everyone can experience a variety of offerings that Chef Shawn has carefully created.”

I can attest to that! Admittedly, I didn’t share either of the dishes I ordered at Regale. But I did order two dishes that represented wholly different cuisines: the Poutine (total TGIF fare!) and the Curried Vegetables (my attempt to balance the Poutine’s decadence with healthfulness).

The Poutine came out before the Curried Vegetables, and I was so into it that I ended up crushing the entire dish. How could I not when the fries came topped with a heaping mound of tender beef brisket, creamy cheese curds, crispy fried onion, sumptuous demi-glace, and a generous drizzle of sour cream? They were so rich, so flavorful, SOOO delicious!

Because I filled up on that Poutine, I didn’t get to savor enough of The Curried Vegetables until I finished them later at home. Served with rice, this was a comfort-food dish in its own right. It was a delight to eat the steaming-hot veggies and rice complemented by the creaminess of the coconut milk, the crunch of the cashews, and the vibrance of the curry and cilantro.

Speaking of complementary: if you’re looking to get a well-balanced cocktail at Regale, you can’t go wrong with the Date Night. Consisting of a date-infused vodka complemented by ginger, thyme, and green cardamom, the well-balanced cocktail is a very easy sip. And if sweet-and-spicy is your thing, go for the Ghostarita: a lively concoction of ghost pepper-infused tequila, chili, and mango.

Regale’s craft cocktail menu is intriguing enough that I can’t see myself veering from it. But if I did, I’d have a well-curated selection of beer, wine, and spirits to choose from.

Careful curation: that’s what Regale is all about! Well-prepared, flavorful food and drink, inviting ambiance, and stellar service meld to make a place people want to be.

48810 Hayes Rd.

Macomb, MI 48044

598. Pivot Maker Collective – December 30, 2022 – Detroit, MI

Snag yourself a statement find at Pivot Maker Collective! Support local artists in the process.

Pivot is an art gallery and shop in Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood; it opened at the end of last year. I stumbled across it during a stroll through the neighborhood, after visits to Bon Bon Bon and Nora.

I wasn’t planning on buying anything when I stopped in; I was simply intrigued by a storefront I’d never seen before. But then I spotted this necklace. It was comprised of gleaming copper circles, linked together to form a triangle. It was gorgeous!

The artist who crafted the striking statement piece, Danny K. Dunbar, was working the shop that day. The copper circles were pennies, Danny explained. That was why Danny had dubbed the piece “changemail” – a punny name reflecting how the shiny, reworked pennies resembled chainmail.

Pivot held more of Danny’s beautiful pieces, plus work by other local artists: paintings and other wall art; candles; clothing; and more. Danny, the originator and organizer of Pivot, explained that the space would also act as a gallery, spotlighting different artists’ work. The first artist showcase happened in February, as Pivot hosted works of painter, sculptor, designer, and curator Uta Brauser.

I don’t know about you, but artist showcases are sounding like the exact antidote I need to cure my end-of-winter doldrums. That’s why I’m following Pivot’s Instagram account (pivotdetroit) so I’m up on the shop’s happenings!

4160 Cass Ave., Ste. B.

Detroit, MI 48201

597. The Backdoor Taco and Tequila Bar – December 21, 2022 – Rochester, MI

Cozy up to The Backdoor Taco and Tequila Bar! You’ll be privy to its selection of over 150 tequilas, plus margaritas, craft cocktails, and of course, tacos.

The bar based in downtown Rochester has a Not Tacos section on its menu, too (yes, that’s literally what it’s called). So if one of The Backdoor’s seven taco varieties isn’t speaking to you, you can order nachos, flautas, or another Not Tacos treat.

Tacos are always speaking to me. I ordered two of The Backdoor’s tasty Pork Carnitas tacos, opting for the “Street Style” preparation: tacos incorporating two corn tortillas, with diced onion and cilantro atop the filling, and served with a lime wedge. As part of the Make It a Combo! deal, I added sides of rice and beans.

Waiting for my tacos, I sipped a Blackberry Beret margarita on the rocks (Hornitos Reposado tequila and triple sec infused with muddled blackberries, agave syrup, and fresh lime juice) and soaked up the ambiance of the sleek, dimly-lit bar. The Backdoor’s small interior lends an intimate vibe, aiding in its aim to embody a speakeasy. Its nondescript storefront and location behind its sister restaurant, D’Marco’s, further enhance that vision.

Everybody wants to steal away from the real world sometimes – and if you can do that and eat tacos, even better. The next time you’re seeking solace in the form of shredded chicken or shrimp tacos, sidle up to The Backdoor’s bar!

401 S. Main St.

Rochester, MI 48307

596. The Cheese Lady – December 21, 2022 – Rochester, MI

Compelling cheeses and Christmas cheer: that’s what The Cheese Lady was doling up this December!

The downtown Rochester location is one of seven in this female-run business. It’s the sole shop in the Metro-Detroit area, operating out of a grand Victorian house with sky-blue siding and gingerbread trim. The other six stores are further afield, in Michigan cities including Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and Muskegon.

Given The Cheese Lady’s name, it’s no surprise that the dairy-based good is its focus. But The Cheese Lady is no run-of-the-mill cheesemonger. According to its website, it has curated “an impressive selection of 150 artisan cheeses from all over the world.”

That’s a LOT of cheese! And I can attest to the impressiveness of The Cheese Lady’s selection. I went there to pick up a cheese that my friend loves, a mango-ginger Stilton. The white Stilton was studded with chunks of ginger and fruit. For myself, I got the delightfully aged Deer Creek 7 Year Cheddar. It was the perfect touch in a homemade mac ‘n’ cheese.

I went to The Cheese Lady for those tasty cheeses, but I was tempted to buy more. Neat displays of fruits, nuts, crackers, and jams festooned with holly garlands enticed me. The staff was brimming with holiday cheer, too. Everyone I encountered was lovely. Their helpful and kind customer service no doubt extends beyond the holiday season. That and the gorgeous selection of cheeses will bring me back to The Cheese Lady!

302 W. University Dr.

Rochester, MI 48307

595. Sweet Potato Sensations – December 11, 2022 – Detroit, MI

A repeat visit to the Redford Theatre meant an excuse to check out Sweet Potato Sensations!

The Detroit-based bakery is located across the street from the iconic movie theater. An icon itself, it’s been in operation since 1987, crafting cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, pies, and other sweet treats.

Of course Sweet Potato Sensations sells sweet potato pie! And sweet potato cheesecake, sweet potato cookies, sweet potato cobbler, three-layer sweet potato cake – even sweet potato ice cream. It’s a cornucopia of sweet-spudded goodness!

And if sweet potatoes aren’t your thing, Sweet Potato Sensations offers baked goodies in other flavor varieties, as well. Try the decadent 3-Layer German Chocolate Cake or Cream Cheese Pound Cake.

Need something savory to wash down all that sweetness? Sweet Potato Sensations also offers meal-centric items such as the Salmon Croquette Sandwich, Black Eye Pea & Collard Green Soup, and The Chop Meal, a dish consisting of a fried turkey chop, sweet potato pancakes, and regular or sweet potato-infused grits.

The bakery’s interior is a cozy café, done in rich earth tones (or perhaps, sweet-potato tones?). Seating allows guests to enjoy Sweet Potato Sensations’ wares right then and there, and clothing and other goods by local vendors are for sale, as well.

I enjoyed my purchase from the bakery on the go, devouring a mini sweet potato pie in my friend’s car before I could even remember to take a picture of it. It was delicious, with creamy sweet potato filling and a buttery crust. I can’t wait to find another reason to be on Sweet Potato Sensations’ side of town so I can try more of its treats!

17337 Lahser Rd.

Detroit, MI 48219

594. Redford Theatre – November 4, 2022 – Detroit, MI

The Redford Theatre is a sweet piece of Detroit history that’s definitely worth experiencing!

The Detroit-based movie theater has a rich past. It opened in 1928, and while the Redford Theatre has had several owners and ups and downs in its 95-year history, it’s belonged to the Motor City Theatre Organ Society for decades. The nonprofit uses proceeds from event sales to maintain not only the pipe organ that’s been with the building since its inception (and that’s often played during show openings and intermissions), but also to restore and maintain the 1,610-seat theater.

The group’s efforts are evident. The Redford Theatre is a work of art. Hand-painted Japanese murals, rich reds and golds, velvet curtains, and intricate artistic detailing make this jewel box of a building a delight to behold. Viewing a film at the Redford makes me feel so fancy!

It also makes me feel like I’m in on a well-kept secret. A visit to the Redford is a magical night out on a budget! Tickets for single moving viewings are generally $5 ($6 if you add the $1 convenience fee when you purchase online), and prices at the cash-only concession stand (which sells water, pop, popcorn, candy, and other snacks) are incredibly modest. It’s a refreshing change of pace in this inflation-riddled time to spend under $10 on a night out.

The origins of the films screened by the Redford Theatre span the decades of its lifetime. There are black-and-white films from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s; films from more modern times; and everything in between.

As of the writing of this post, there’s a Three Stooges festival scheduled for the weekend of April 21-22 and a March 10 showing of The Notebook. There’s a Silent Movie weekend in mid-April featuring films from 1928 (to commemorate the Redford’s 95-year anniversary) and those made by modern-day kids (via the International Youth Silent Film Festival Detroit Regional showcase). There’s a showing of 1959 award darling Ben-Hur and the 1988 darling of my childhood, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (I loved that movie as a kid!).

And there are special events that (understandably) fetch higher prices than those $5 movie nights. Examples include the Candlelight Concert series, which has the Redford’s stage awash with hundreds of lit candles, and meet-and-greet movie showings with VIP guests. The latter category includes a sold-out March 11 event featuring William Shatner, who will be here to give a talk and take photos with moviegoers after a showing of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

The theater’s eclectic collection of offerings is reflected in what I viewed during my two visits to it. The first time I visited the Redford Theatre, in early November, I saw the 1979 concert documentary Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The second time, a month later, I went for the annual Holiday Mystery Movie, which turned out to be the silly-cute 1945 rom-com, Christmas in Connecticut.

I will definitely be making the Redford’s Holiday Mystery Movie an annual tradition! Not only was it fun to be exposed to a classic Christmas movie I’d never heard of, I also enjoyed seeing the already-gorgeous Redford gussied up with holiday trimmings. The stage in front of the movie screen boasted both a tinsel-drenched tree sparkling with colorful lights and a model train set careening through a miniature Christmas village.

Whatever time of year you’re seeking magic, you’ll find it when you step into the Redford Theatre! Check out its upcoming shows on its website, and embrace this beautiful piece of Detroit’s past.

17360 Lahser Rd.

Detroit, MI 48219

593. Michno’s Café – November 4, 2022 – Redford, MI

Michno’s Café is a neighborhood bar oozing comfort and charm! The Redford-based pub offers down-to-earth environs; friendly, fast-moving servers; a well-stocked bar including a sizeable selection of Michigan craft brews; and a food menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, fish-n-chips, and other hearty pub fare.

With this visit, Redford is now represented on 100 Places in the D! It’s always exciting for me to feature another city on the blog. And it’s always exciting to celebrate the start of the weekend by taking that first bite of a rich, juicy cheeseburger, which Michno’s served up to me! I can also attest to its Trish’s Ultimate Reuben being excellent (a friend shared hers with me). And its fries. Michno’s fries were delectably crispy.

If you’re looking to feel at home in a cozy watering hole with fantastic food and fair prices, you can’t go wrong with Michno’s!

25524 5 Mile Rd.

Redford, MI 48239

592. Apothecary Espresso & Coffee – November 4, 2022 – Farmington, MI

Apothecary Espresso & Coffee is a sanctuary, community space, and purveyor of carefully crafted caffeinated beverages, all wrapped into one!

The indie coffee shop had me in Farmington for the second time in two days – no small feat for a Metro-Detroiter who lives on the East Side! But how could I resist this oasis of gleaming wood floors, rich leather couches, vibrant potted plants, and overall coffee house calm? It was an ideal place to camp out for a couple of hours with my laptop, sipping first a tasty Dirty Chai latte, then a hot tea.

Apothecary offers coffee-, tea-, and espresso-based drinks that include choices such as the Honey Comb, an oat-milk-based latte infused with honey, house-made vanilla syrup, and cinnamon, and the decadent-looking Strawberry Cheesecake Matcha, a matcha latte with white chocolate and strawberry syrup. Baked goods are also available.

The coffee shop regularly hosts community events such as live music performances and poetry and comedy open mic nights. Recent events have include a talk with a Michigan senator and state representatives, a clothing drive, and free family photo sessions with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

23366 Farmington Rd.

Farmington, MI 48336

591. Ground Control Coffee Roasters – November 3, 2022 – Farmington, MI

Farmington is represented on 100 Places in the D! With a visit to Ground Control Coffee, a cozy coffee house with sweet baristas and flavor-packed brews.

The coffee shop in downtown Farmington is a great place to camp out and get work done, or settle into an armchair and catch up with a friend. Plus, its name is both a coffee-related pun AND a reference to a David Bowie song. How many coffee shops can boast such namesake bona fides?

Ground Control roasts its own beans, and the result is the richly flavored cappuccino I ordered. Coffee and espresso drink choices include a lavender-and-lemon-infused latte and the Vanilla Cream Nitro, a nitro cold brew coffee served with vanilla sweet cream (Wow!). A selection of tea drinks are also available, as are sweet and savory baked goods, including croissant varieties ranging from chocolate to the Goat Cheese, Olive & Oregano.

33319 Grand River Ave.

Farmington, MI 48336