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.
In the Park Shelton Building
15 E. Kirby at Woodward Avenue, Detroit MI
Visited May 22, 2015
Detroit’s string of excellent, exciting, high quality new restaurant openings continues with Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails.
Upon hearing that the interior was going to be “Chartreuse Green” I thought it was a gimmick – fun for one visit but would have no reason to go back.
I was so wrong. The interior is green, very green – Chartreuse green, slightly darker green, slightly lighter green, green walls, green upholstery in leather and ultra suede, the menus are printed in green ink, and even the plants are green (oh, yea). You know what, somehow it works, it inconceivably works.
We sat on the green sofa, in front of the green wall, next to the green hanging live plant display – and had a most delicious assortment of fresh interesting dishes and craft cocktails (yes, most of our cocktails were made with chartreuse).
The service was very precise, professional and friendly. The Recovery Park vegetable plate was fantastic. We also sampled the Twice Cooked Egg, Smoked Skuna Bay Salmon, Short-Rib Perogies, and Lake Superior Whitefish. It was all great, to the last green bean on the Whitefish plate.
This visit we didn’t have a reservation. I can’t wait to go back when we can sit at a table and really enjoy the experience. By the buzz in the room, and the smiles on the faces, a table might be hard to get for quite awhile. Based on the food, it will be worth the challenge.
Grand Opening February 6, 2015
Located in MOCAD, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
4454 Woodward Avenue, Detroit MI 48201
The Grand Opening of Cafe 78 was in conjunction with the Winter 2015 Opening of the MOCAD galleries.
Under the detail-oriented direction of Dave Kwiatkowski (Sugarhouse, Wright & Co.) and with the delicious-oriented food of Marc Djozlija (Wolfgang Puck, Wright & Co.) Cafe 78 is a great artistic addition to Detroit’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
Opening night was a big party. Chef Marc’s food plates came out of the amazingly small kitchen and looked great. I did not eat there on opening night as I was just in time for the artist’s gallery tour. My plan was to go back the next day for dinner when I could sample things in a quieter atmosphere. I arrived on Saturday night after the museum had closed – and just before the cafe opened. A very quiet atmosphere is what I got, as I was the only customer in the room. What I did not realize was for the first weekend they had limited hours – and no food, with Marc back in the Wright & Co. kitchen. I will be back to have dinner as the menu looked great.
The craft cocktails (as you would expect from Sugarhouse and Wright & Co. trained bartenders) were creative, delicious and colorful. As the Cafe is in a contemporary art museum, color is the key in the presentation of these artistic cocktails. The craft cocktail menu is color coded, matching Pantone colors to each of the drinks. A fun tie-in to the museum setting, but don’t worry if you think these drinks were only concocted for the colors. I have “tested” 3 of the drinks, and can assure you that they are some of the most delicious drinks around town, color aside.
I cannot wait go go back and have dinner there, and will probably test another colorful drink.
I had the pleasure of tasting a few items on Chef Marc’s menu. I stopped in on a cold night and had the Celery Soup, Pea Meal Bacon Sliders and the Morrocan Spiced Roasted Cashews. All were good, in fact very good. In my mind I was thinking the celery soup would be bland, but it was really flavorful with the creme fraiche and crunchy garlic croutons. The pea meal sliders were a nice change from beef burgers, and all of the ingredients were very fresh. The Cashews with “morrocan spiced dust” were tasty, in some bites near the edge of my spice limit…but did not go past it. Even though I did not want to stop eating them, I was somewhat surprised at the ample serving size for the price (I had just purchased cashews at the grocery store). I was able to take some home and enjoy them the next day.
“A Modern Farmhouse Kitchen”
In the Historic Corktown Neighborhood, 2100 Michigan Avenue Detroit MI
On the same block as Slows Bar Bq, Astro Coffee, and Sugar House Detroit.
November 30, 2014
I was invited as a guest to preview the newest addition to Detroit’s fast growing restaurant scene – Gold Cash Gold.
This former pawn shop has been transformed into a self-proclaimed “modern farmhouse kitchen” under the direction of Phil Cooley (Slows and Ponyride). Chef Josh Stockton, as I researched online, brings his culinary experience from the Culinary Institute of America,…. and he brings his pigs from Tennessee (really). I also discovered that he worked at the Daniel Boulud Brasserie in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas (I have dined there – and it was supurb).
The Preview went off without a hitch. The food was delicious. I recommend the Chef’s Plate Appetizer, the Fried Chicken, the Frites, and the Polenta Desert. The light levels were low and I didn’t want to use a flash for my pics to disturb the patrons, but the food looked even better “in person”.
The Dad’s Trophy cocktail was very good as well. Check out the names of the craft cocktails when you go….very clever.
The space is warm, comfortable and friendly. The ceiling is made from recycled furring strips from the demolished walls and the eagle flooring is recycled from a school gym. The iconic “GOLD CASH GOLD” signage in a new reimagined gold version was installed on the facade today just before the preview. It is a catchy and humorous nod to the pawn shop that previously occupied the building.
I will be back after it opens and update my post when I have sampled more items on the menu.
Opening day may be as early as this Saturday, December 6th.
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