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.
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.
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!
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!
To visit Host is to have an EXPERIENCE! An immersive, thoughtfully curated, extremely delicious one. From its phenomenal food, drink, service, and ambiance, this restaurant in downtown Utica checks ALLLL the boxes.
Host is unique. Not only is it a restaurant-slash-coworking space, it also offers rotating residencies to chefs. That means that every month or two, there’s a brand-new menu!
Take a look at Host’s schedule for the next several months. As of the writing of this post (February 2023), Chef Mark Camaj (who helped open SheWolf) has curated an enticing array of Italian dishes. German food pop-up DeutschTroit will take residence for the month of March. Then Italian returns when Chef Michael Murabito brings a Sicilian Mediterranean menu in April and May. And chef duo Breakin’ Cornbread will kick off summer at Host with a menu described as “Big Energy Comfort Food,” available from June to mid-July. There’s tastiness for DAYS!
I visited Host in early November. Chefs Davante Burnley (now Host’s Executive Chef) and Kiluanji Watkins curated a menu of extreme deliciousness. Dining with three friends who love food as much as I do meant sharing a variety of dishes. These included the Confit Duck Pontine, Smoked Plum and Burrata, and Crudites (a spread of smoked pepper hummus, confit tomato and garlic, fresh vegetables, and grilled pita). Yes, these dishes were all as amazing as they sound! With its hand-cut fries topped with shredded duck, pecorino cheese, chives, and a sumptuously rich duck demi glaze that I could drink by the gallon, the Duck Pontine in particular was to die for.
That spread could have been a complete meal in itself, but you know we had to try more! We continued by ordering individual entrées. For me, that was the Lamb Bolognese. I’m a sucker for lamb Bolognese! And chefs Davante’s and Kiluanji’s version did not disappoint. Their ground lamb arrabbiata tossed with bucatini noodles and accented with shredded pecorino and fresh basil was full of flavor.
After eating our own dinners, our group reconvened the family-style experience, sharing the Cider Mill Donuts. And you know, based on everything else you’ve previously read, that those donuts were ABSOLUTELY as good as you’re imagining. Better, even! The fresh-fried donuts were oh-so-delectably crispy on the outside, soft and cakey on the inside. Tossed in cinnamon sugar, they were served with a house-made caramel sauce. And they were LIFE. What a mic drop to an amazing meal!
Throughout this exceptional culinary journey, we were also imbibing exceptional drinks. I started with the Avocadica, an intriguing concoction of tequila and mezcal infused with lime and spicy avocado. I ended with a fantastic rendition of a classic: an Old-Fashioned.
While at Host, my friends and I were well taken care of. Our server was great, friendly and attentive, and both the bartender and Chef Davante paid us visits. The bartender gave us drink recommendations, and we enjoyed thanking Chef Davante for our exquisite meal!
Ambiance-wise, I was totally feeling Host, too. The decor incorporates both natural and modern elements. Cut-outs in the wall behind the bar are covered with verdant moss, while an arrangement of dried plants and pendant lights hanging from the ceiling highlight a long table in the center of the restaurant. The tables are bedecked with vases of fresh flowers, and an art installation comprised of what look to be large, neutral-colored dried leaves, moss, and feathers is emblazoned with the restaurant’s name in neon-light letters. It all meshes into a vibe that’s both chic and cozy. It’s an ambiance that enhances the immersive feeling you get when you visit Host. You leave the everyday world behind for one that feels intimate, special.
Speaking of ambiance: I’m thinking I need to check out Host’s coworking space. Judging from pictures on Host’s website, it’s got ambiance for days, with plush leather chairs, exposed brick, and velvety green curtains. Packages range from the Office – which, at a fee of $1,100 a month, presumably hosts a team – to the $29-a-day drop-in fee for individuals.
Not only does the restaurant offer dinner, but it boasts a brunch menu, plus what it’s dubbed a “Coffee & Pastries Pop Up” on Mondays. Check Host out for yourself, and prepare to have an experience!
Westview Orchards & Winery is a cornucopia of delights!
The Washington-based you-pick farm, cider mill, and winery began in 1813. For over 200 years, it’s been owned and operated by the same family. That’s an impressive legacy!
Most of Westview’s offerings – including its you-pick produce, market, and Farm Fun playground and activities for kids – won’t open until spring or early summer. But its winery is reopening tomorrow, February 24! And as I learned in October, the Westview Winery is worth checking out.
I was at Westview one chilly October morning to run in a Halloween-themed 5K race. It was the kind of race that gave out shirts that said, “Witch way to the wine?” So you might expect the course to be a cruise. But this course was not beginner-level. It wound up- and downhill along fields of grapevines and orchards. And this trail was crowded – with mostly walkers, so much so that I ended up running along the rocky, grassy side of the trail to bypass them (a move I would not recommend). But the views along the trail were gorgeous! And the race reminded me that there’s nothing quite like that exhausted yet exhilarated feeling I get when I, as a non-runner, successfully slow-jog my way through three miles. Unless it’s swilling a glass of red wine at 9:45 in the morning after completing said slow-jog.
Wine had initially sounded unappealing after all that exertion. But once I got to sipping, it tasted pretty darn good! That’s to the credit of Westview’s winemakers. I got to sample more of their wares at the onsite wine bar. A friend had earned five free bottles of Westview’s wine by assembling a team of 20 runners! A generous soul, she opened some of them to share with the group. While I can’t remember the names of the wines I tried that day, I do remember that they were delicious!
The winery’s wares include a variety of both sweet and dry wines, plus hard ciders made from the orchard’s apples. The dry wines include a Gewürztraminer named Wine der Woman and a semi-sweet merlot blended with cranberries aptly named Cranberry Crush.
Participating in the race also earned me one of Westview’s delectably fresh donuts. Is there anything better than cider mill donuts?
While we’ll have to wait for those delectably fresh donuts to come back into season, we can daydream about them in Westview’s wine bar. Located on the second floor of a barn, it’s cute and cozy, sparkling with twinkle lights, the tables bedecked with pumpkins and sunflowers on the day of my visit. And this March, we can attend two classes at Westview: one on spring-wreath-making, the other, charcuterie-board-assembling. Even in the off-season, there’s plenty to do at Westview!
Recipes, a pinnacle of brunch places! The restaurant based in downtown Rochester serves hearty, flavorful fare in a setting worthy of champagne sipping.
Recipes’ menu is chockful of breakfast choices. It’s got omelets for days (including a make-your-own omelet-skillet option), a plethora of pancakes, granola, hashes, frittatas – you name it! There are seven kinds of Eggs Benedict, and egg skillets with names such as Rambler (a sophisticated mix of mushroom, chicken, broccoli, almonds, onion, and hollandaise sauce) and Straggler (a mix of mushroom, ham, Cheddar Jack cheese, tomato, onion, and potato). It’s a cornucopia of a.m. options!
More of a lunch person? Recipes has got you covered. Burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and Asian fare such as Pad Thai and Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio (vermicelli noodles with grilled pork) are included on its menu.
Perennially the person favoring the lunch side of a brunch menu, I opted for Recipes’ Crunchy Thai Salad. The mix of fresh raw veggies (cabbage, cucumber, carrot, cilantro, green onion) and healthful protein (chicken breast and peanuts) were just what I needed after a night of birthday-celebration indulgence. Fried wontons, rice sticks, and Thai peanut dressing brought additional crunch and vibrance to this wonderfully tasty mix, which was served with cheese-topped garlic bread.
Alcohol is also offered at Recipes. It serves brunch-friendly cocktails such as the Irish Coffee and Bloody Mary – and, as do other brunch spots of its ilk, champagne and multiple kinds of mimosas.
Ready to sip, savor, and celebrate a day a brunch-i-ness? Look no further than Recipes Rochester!
134 W. University Dr.
Rochester, MI 48307
(With additional locations in Farmington Hills and Troy)
Nain Rouge Brewery, serving up sinfully good beer!
I discovered the Detroit-based brewery during birthday celebrations for moi last month. Friends ordered its beer during dinner at Smith & Co., and we noticed the brewery was right across the way. So we popped over for a round of drinks after, before continuing on to Willis Show Bar.
It turns out that Smith & Co. is the only restaurant to serve Nain Rouge’s wares. The brewery also works with Eastern Michigan University’s brewing school, according to its website, aiming to “help promote diversity in the beer industry.”
What an awesome partnership! Obviously, Nain Rouge Brewery’s character is nothing like its namesake’s, that legendary creature who is said to cause mayhem in the D. Nain Rouge the brewery was, in my experience, a welcoming place devoid of drama – a chill space to enjoy pre-show drinks. But the “red dwarf,” as its name translates, has left its imprint on the brewery – in the form of its devilishly delicious beer.
Nain Rouge’s current tap list boast a range of choices, from an amber lager to a coffee stout to a honey- and hibiscus-infused wheat beer. There are three kinds of IPAs, a kölsch, a pilsner – even an Oktoberfest selection. I went for the Wisehead Chocolate Vanilla Porter, and it was right up my alley: rich, tasty, smooth.
Maybe that’s how Nain Rouge the imp is able to sneak in and cause a ruckus: by being as smooth as Nain Rouge the brewery’s beers. Maybe Nain Rouge Brewery has more in common with its namesake than I initially thought!
A Saturday night spent with friends in Detroit: is there anything better? That’s especially the case when you’re dining on Smith & Co.’s Nain Rouge Mac & Cheese!
The Midtown/Cass Corridor-based restaurant and bar serves up hearty fare in a convivial environment. The interior ambiance can be described as upscale industrial: concrete floors, exposed beams, and destressed elements mixed with leather banquettes, gloss, and mod lighting.
Delving into the menu’s array of sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and entrées, I saw several choices that enticed me – the Korean Fried Chicken sandwich being one. I even toyed with the idea of getting a salad, intrigued by the Fried Green Tomato with its medley of kale, kamut, beans, radishes, red onion, snap peas, feta, croutons, mint, the titular tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette.
But the Nain Rouge Mac & Cheese won out – and I’m SO glad it did! The noodles were doused in creamy beer cheese and tossed with barbecue sauce-infused pulled beef, chunks of bacon, and fried onion. It was rich, flavorful, indulgent – the exact qualities you want a birthday dinner to have.
The drink I imbibed at Smith & Co. embodied those same traits. A luxurious mix of Kahlua, vodka, coffee, and dalgona topped with coffee foam, the Espresso Martini Chamber Seven was so nice, I ordered it twice! The current selection of specialty cocktails includes the Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned and a seasonal sangria. Beer from nearby Nain Rouge Brewery is on draft, and for those who don’t drink, a Zero-Proof section features two mocktails and drinks from the likes of local leisure soda vendor, Casamara Club.
Celebrating my birthday with friends at Smith & Co. was wonderful – namely because of those friends’ company. But the delicious food and drink amplified the experience. Thanks, Smith & Co., for helping make this special day even more special!
Visiting Sylvan Table was a special experience! And not only because I visited it on a special day: my birthday. No, I would’ve gotten the warm-and-fuzzies from visiting this Sylvan Lake-based restaurant any day of the year.
There aren’t many restaurants like Sylvan Table. How many restaurants reside in a 300-year-old barn that was shipped from Metro Detroit to Maine? Or have both a wood-fired pizza oven AND grill? Or an on-site, three-acre farm including fruit trees and a beehive?
The restaurant’s singularity, its rustic beauty, and its dedication to locally-sourced ingredients and sustainability made it an obvious choice for my birthday dinner. And I was not disappointed by my visit. From the moment I walked onto Sylvan Table’s grounds and saw the gardens, greenhouses, and the barn, I was charmed.
Walking inside, I continued to be delighted by the two-story barn’s pretty, wood-plank interior bedecked with warm lighting, potted plants, and a welcoming fire in the glass-ceilinged solarium.
I dined on the restaurant’s second floor with my mom, who was celebrating my special day with me. Our friendly, attentive server gave us excellent service and patiently answered our questions about the menu.
Libation-wise, I was compelled to order the Peter Cocktail. Mezcal infused with orange bitters, a cinnamon syrup, and carrot and lime juices AND served in a pink peppercorn-rimmed glass? Yes, please! I loved the drink’s rich flavors and the fact that it wasn’t too sweet. Other current cocktail offerings include the Apple Butter Manhattan (with house-made apple butter) and the Hey, Gourdgeous! with maple-barrel-finished bourbon, pumpkin shrub, and fall-forward spices. Sylvan Table’s full bar includes a weighty wine list, plus multiple Michigan-made beers and hard ciders. Mocktails and non-alcoholic beer options are also available.
Food-wise, we started by sharing a Prosciutto Flatbread, which was delicious with its rich, salty prosciutto and Parmesan complemented by peppery arugula, garlic, lemon, and olive oil. The delectably chewy, wood-fired dough was my favorite part.
My dinner, the Deckle Steak, was EXCEPTIONAL. This was one of the most richly flavored steaks I’ve ever had! The tender, juicy steak would have been amazing on its own, but it was enhanced by a vibrant chimichurri sauce. Roasted carrot and fingerling potatoes rounded out this wonderful meal.
Other intriguing entrée choices at the time of my visit were the Harvest Fettuccine with various veggies, herbs, lemon, and Parmesan and the Chicken Under a Brick: chicken seasoned with rosemary and lemon salt and cooked in the wood-fired oven.
Mom-made birthday cake was waiting for me, so I didn’t have dessert at Sylvan Table. But if I did, I most definitely would have gotten the Peach Upside-Down Cake with spruce tip gelato if it was still on the menu – or the Carrot Cake currently on offer.
I look forward to returning to Sylvan Table to see what inventive dishes its kitchen cooks up next using beautifully fresh ingredients from local farms and its own. This was my first 100 Places visit to Sylvan Lake, but I suspect it won’t be my last!