443. Mint 29 – October 29, 2019 – Dearborn, MI

October2019Mint291 (2)October2019Mint292 (2)I visited Mint 29 on October 29 – and I’m just realizing that numerical synchronicity!

Not that you need to wait for a numerical synchronicity to visit this Dearborn-based establishment – and you shouldn’t, because it promises to be fantastic regardless of day of month.

A friend and I stumbled across the restaurant located in West Downtown Dearborn during a September visit to Unburger. That purveyor of vegan deliciouness is adjacent to Mint 29, and as we sat and enjoyed our meals in the outdoor courtyard area they share, we were intrigued by the pretty fall decorations festooning Mint 29’s portion of patio and the well-dressed servers making their rounds. Seeking a place to dine in late October, the restaurant was an obvious choice to both of us.

Entering Mint 29 on that Tuesday evening, the trek out to Dearborn in the dark immediately felt worth it.

The restaurant’s interior had warm vibes. Industrial decor details (brick walls, concrete floors, exposed ductwork) and polished elegance (crystal glassware; a gilt-edged mirror above the well-lit, well-organized bar) melded to make a space that felt both welcoming and refined. Convivial patrons present that evening were obviously enjoying their food, drink, and conversation, and I was happy to be a part of them.

Mint 29’s dinner menu showcases a selection of steak and seafood dishes, plus striking salads such as the Season Salad with its grapefruit, dried cranberries, cashews, toasted pistachios, blue cheese, and Sweet Japanese Dressing. It’s a upscale menu with upscale prices and sides that come à la carte.

I was tempted to order one of those striking salads: the Chicken Citron with its marinated, seared chicken breast on a bed of rapini, carrots, and wild rice and its cilantro-lime dressing was calling to me, as it was to my friend who was dining with me at Mint 29.

That Chicken Citron salad seemed like the sensible choice for our pocketbooks. But we were both being lured by less sensible choices: her the Mediterranean Sea Bass, and me the 16-Ounce Bone-In Ribeye.

In the end, we said “F it!” and took the leap toward culinary opulence. I added a side of Smashed Potato to my order, while she opted for the side of Sautéed Wild Mushrooms. While we waited for our food to come out, I sat and sipped a glass of pinot noir.

When that 16-Ounce Bone-In Ribeye arrived, I knew it’d been worth the wager. Served on a wooden cutting board with roasted garlic cloves and house-made zip sauce, it was a positively regal slab of meat, with neat criss-crossing grill marks and a perfectly red center (I’d ordered the steak rare: my first time doing that! I never thought I’d order a steak rare, but medium-rare wasn’t cutting it lately; it was consistently coming out overcooked to me, so I finally realized, “Hmm, maybe I’m ordering wrong.”).

That bone-in ribeye tasted as exquisite as it looked: tender and juicy and flavorful and SO good accompanied by the roasted garlic and zip sauce and the rich smashed potatoes, which had arrived in a heaping mound that easily constituted two side portions.

My friend enjoyed her sea bass and sautéed mushrooms, as well, and we agreed that Mint 29 is a keeper. It up-leveled what would have otherwise been a routine Tuesday night into an effervescent adventure.

22000 Michigan Ave.

Dearborn, MI 48124

(Closed Sundays)

255. Rochester Chop House – June 29, 2017 – Rochester, MI

20170809_195900 (2)20170629_181820 (2)Hi, guys! OK, I can’t seem to get it together on getting this blog up to date during this cray-cray-ba-nay-nay summer, so here I am today, posting about a visit that happened TWO MONTHS ago! But that’s life sometimes, right? Perfectionism is going right out the window – good riddance! We’ve gotta talk about Rochester Chop House in downtown Rochester.

I visited the Rochester Chop House on a Thursday in late June after my mom and step-dad officially tied the knot after 10 years together! So we were there for a legit celebratory dinner. Given the special occasion-y vibe of the dimly-lit, demure restaurant interior and its upscale menu offerings (various steaks; upper-crust seafood selections such as King crab legs, lobster tails, and scallops), this was the perfect place to be toasting a recent matrimony. I ordered the 22-ounce bone-in ribeye with its glorious fat marbling and flavor – delicious!

Rochester Chop House is part of the Kruse and Muer restaurant group. It’s interesting because it’s connected to another Kruse and Muer restaurant, Kabin Kruser’s, which is in the front of the building when you first walk in. It’s a more casual, seafood-oriented establishment with a lively vibe. I hear its fish tacos are great!

148. Onyx Steakhouse – October 16, 2015 – Royal Oak, MI

Onyx Steakhouse

Woody’s? Are you in there?

Crossing the train tracks on a cold and blustery post-work (TGIF!) Friday night in Royal Oak to meet my mom and stepdad at Onyx Steakhouse, I caught eyes on the structure it was housed in and was like, “Woody’s?” Yep, Onyx Steakhouse is housed in the building that used to be Wild Woody’s – or that still is, on the second floor, from what I understand? – which I may or may not have made a few late-night, stumbling-across-the-train-tracks pilgrimages to in my youth, as I assume some of you also may have done. Good times! Well, while the outside of the structure is still decidedly Woody-esque in my mind – you can’t erase the bones! – and while I find it to be quite a large building for a steakhouse, the inside of the main floor has been totally renovated to look impressively classy. There’s a lovely dim ambiance, a long, inviting bar rail beckoning a crowd of a more refined variety, and a space for live music. When we were there, there was a band playing some very pleasant jazz tunes, the perfect background music for grilling a juicy filet to the perfect temperature on a sizzling hot stone tableside. Because yes, Onyx is one of those places where you cook your own steak.

Admittedly, I’m sort of ambivalent about that feature in a restaurant – it’s unique, but do I really want to exert effort on cooking when I go out? And I’m someone who likes to cook! But hey, if you find you also aren’t sure you want to cook a steak on a hot stone, I’m sure they’d cook it for you in the back, or you can order something else off of the extensive menu, which includes other entrees dishes such as mac and cheese and salmon; burgers; sandwiches; and an extensive starter menu, the latter of which I ordered from. I got the 10-ounce portion of the Cajun Beef Tips appetizer and a side of green beans, and that was enough to be a meal for me. The tender beef tips were complemented well by the rich cajun cream sauce and crispy toast points that came with them. And I didn’t have to cook them myself!

208 W. Fifth St.

Royal Oak, MI 48067