155 W. Congress, Detroit MI
Visited April 20, 2012
The Legend is back. The London Chop House in Detroit reopens, providing a classic and classy dining experience for a whole new generation. The long bar is the perfect place for a perfect Manhattan or a dry gin martini – which we had. The dining room is old school classy, with the burgundy leather banquette curving around the perimeter of the dining room, and tables covered with black linen tablecloths and napkins, each with a single white lamp. The dark wood-paneled walls have oil paintings and dark mirrors. There are small crystal chandeliers above the bar. The staff was plentiful, with hands appearing out of nowhere to remove an empty drink glass, or refill a water-glass with a hand towel to shield against any splashing. This is dining as you read about it in The Great Gatsby, or see on the silver screen.
And yes, the food was good, really good. It was a special dinner with special friends celebrating a birthday. With the four of us ordering, we were able to experience a variety of classic dishes retained from the original menu, as well as new dishes introduced for this new incarnation. The Caesar Salad is two heads of romaine trimmed, dressed with garlic and anchovy dressing, and roasted onions. The Caprese alternates generous slices of mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes with a balsamic drizzle. The Dover Sole Meuniere is a Signature Entree from the original menu and is served with a brown butter sauce and haricots verts. My first impression was that the portion was small, especially given the price, but it turned out to be just enough, and it was delicious. The guest of honor had the Marinated and Grilled Lamb Chops, served with fava beans – yes Clarice, fava beans. Another entrée on the table was another hold over from the original menu, the Sauteed “Mess” of Lake Perch, served with caper berries. And of course for a birthday celebration we had dessert; cheesecake and icecream served with a candle.
This is where Barbara Streisand used to eat dinner after performing across the street at the Caucus Club, her first professional singing gig. John Barrymore, Errol Flynn, Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, Bob Hope, Alfred Hitchcock, Danny Kaye, and even Duncan Hines were frequent dinners. While here I looked around, just wondering who was sitting in the booth next to us…