Experiencing Great Restaurants and Delicious Libations

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Bad Luck Bar – Detroit MI

1218 Griswold – Alley Entrance

Visited December 2016

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A Detroit Optimist Society Project.

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Lockbox – Lexington KY

Visited November 2016

Located in the 21c Museum Hotel Lexington

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Another great restaurant in a 21c Museum Hotel (my personal favorite hotel chain).

Spoke & Steele – Indianapolis IN

In the Le Meridien Hotel

Visited November 2016

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In the lobby of the Le Meridien Hotel, this restaurant has a very inventive craft cocktail menu. The creative libations on the menu list the proud bartender’s names that created each cocktail. The food was very good as well.

Grey Ghost Detroit – Grand Opening

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August 28, 2016

After months of anxious anticipation, many pop-up dinner events throughout the area, and teaser instagram posts of the construction – the permanent home of Grey Ghost Detroit is now open!
Just before the 4PM opening, herbs were carefully harvested from the planters around the patio seating area while a line formed at the door. At 4PM sharp the doors opened and the adventure began.
I grabbed a seat at the bar before they were all taken, and took in the atmosphere. There is a large bar with ample workspace for the bartenders, with rough sawn wood paneling and open metal shelving on the back wall. The bar countertops are recycled bowling alley lanes, refinished and stained. The dining room has large windows facing the street bringing in abundant light. I have not dined in the dining room yet so will have to update this post after I do.
As expected, the craft cocktails are delicious, balanced, and exuberant concoctions. Will Lee is an amazing bartender, with the acute skills to create the perfect drink just based on a description of favorite flavors. If you want to order off the drink menu, you will not be disappointed either. Among the highest quality cocktails around.
Off the menu I started with the Fried Bologna. Yes, Fried Bologna. It was really delicious! Served on a waffle, with cheddar and jalepeno. Highly recommended, for both the flavor and the novelty. Beef Tartare was next, followed by the Scallops Thermador with apple , cognac and green onion. perfectly prepared dusted with panko on the seared side.
On a subsequent visit, trumpet mushrooms with bacon jam were the perfect accompaniment to the Bavette Steak with avocado verde. The steak preparation was a little rare for my taste, but very choice cut.
I can say that the partners, and their families are “all in” with this endeavor. There is a friendly, but totally professional vibe here, focused on quality.
After attending The Chicken, The Pig, The Lamb, Seafood, and the Cocktail pop-up, It was well worth the wait.

Grey Ghost Detroit: Ghost Tour – Seafood

Held at the Great Lakes Culinary Center April 15, 2016

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A pop-up preview of the Grey Ghost Chef’s skills prior to their brick and mortar restaurant  opening this summer.

150 guests at this sold out event enjoyed a seafood menu featuring Sea Scallop Crudo, Octopus roll, “bacon ‘n eggs” (salmon bacon with salmon roe on a parsnip hash brown), Rock Shrimp Hush Puppy, Pacific Halibut, and for dessert a Seaweed Ice Cream Sandwich with sesame cookies.

I thought everything was a home run. The other guests at my table were about 50/50 on liking the Seaweed Ice cream. Just attempting a seafood dessert was worth a taste.

With seafood not being a focus on their upcoming meat-centric restaurant menu, it was an impressive showing. And serving 150 people all at once with a description of the courses by the Chef was impressive as well.

I can’t wait for this restaurant to open!

 

 

Katoi (Preview)- Detroit MI

2520 Michigan Avenue, Detroit MI 48216

Opens March 21, 2016

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The long awaited Katoi will open next Monday, March 21. The well liked food truck parked across the street at Two James Distillery now has a brick and mortar home.

I stopped in during the preview to take a look. I must say that I am impressed with the design. I had seen some progress photos and thought that I would not like the loft like “abandoned-building-take-over-and-leave-it-as-is-and-call-it-cool” vibe. Well I was wrong on both counts. It is actually a very sophisticated dynamic design, and I really quite like it.

I did not eat, so can only comment on the space and the bartender’s skills. My drink was very interesting, unique and delicious. I cannot wait to return and actually sit in the dining room and have dinner. I think it will be fantastic.

Katoi Website

 

 

Grey Ghost Detroit: Ghost Tour – The Lamb

Pop-up at The Meeting House, Rochester, MI

Event 03/14/16

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The Lamb  –  The 4th dinner in the “Ghost Tour” preview pop-up series for Grey Ghost Detroit, was a great success. It was held in Rochester MI to introduce the animal centric cuisine of John Vermiglio and Josef Giacomino to the suburbs before their brick and mortar restaurant opens in Detroit later this year.

The 6 courses were accompanied by available craft cocktails created by Will Lee, the Grey Ghost beverage director and partner. I was able to try a couple of the drinks and heartily approve. Will has an uncanny sense of blending different flavors to create a complex balanced unique cocktail.

David Vermiglio, the business partner was working the room making sure everyone was having a perfect experience – and we were. David and John’s mother was also there and introduced herself to me at my table. She is very proud of her sons and thanked me for coming to the dinner in a very sincere unassuming way – like only a mother can.

The courses were delicious, with cilantro jam, ale gravy, crispy olives,  and vindaloo bursts of flavor accenting the lamb in the various courses.

The evening was complete with a snicker and laugh. What dessert can be created with Lamb? Well sheep’s milk cheesecake with lamb-cracker crust, of course (it was delicious as well).

Grey Ghost Detroit Website

(Note: I am not affiliated with Grey Ghost Detroit in any way other than being a big fan. I have had drinks made by Will Lee at various restaurants in Detroit, and was introduced to Grey Ghost by attending their second pop-up at Revolver  in January. I have been to all of their pop-ups since. My review is based on their food which is fantastic, and also the people that make up Grey Ghost Detroit – they all seem fantastic as well).