New Restaurants to Try in Midtown

Jan 13

2:30 PM

By Erin Piscopink

Tagged: All Neighborhoods

Read the Free Press article in its original format HERE

New Restaurants to Try in Midtown

Sylvia Rector for
The Detroit Free Press

Don't miss the opportunity to try a new restaurant when you make your annual trek to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A wide range of places to eat have opened in the city since last year's show, so you'll have plenty of choices.

A great place to head is Midtown, where new businesses, restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and residential developments are proliferating like few other places in the city.

Here are five Midtown dining spots — from date-worthy destinations to affordable little carry-outs — that added flavor, variety and fun to Detroit's restaurant scene in 2013.

The Grille Midtown
Its casually upscale atmosphere, from-scratch kitchen and diverse American menu make the handsome new Grille a welcome addition to Midtown. The softly lit, atmospheric dining room is sleek and relaxed with dark wood floors, a high black ceiling and sophisticated gray walls hung with glossy photos of automobile grills — the inspiration for the restaurant's name. Chef Kevin Browne's dinner menu lets guests dine up the scale or down, from steaks and char-grilled double-cut lamb chops with chimichurri sauce to a juicy prime burger on house-made brioche bun. The large lunch menu offers a wide array of salads and sandwiches. Service is warm and friendly, and the soft, plush seats at the luxuriously long bar invite you to sit and stay awhile. Owned by sisters Cristina and Stefanie Byrd and their cousin, Lester Byrd, the restaurant is located in the same block as Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co. and the new Garden Theatre entertainment venue. Lunch-dinner Monday-Friday, dinner Saturday, closed Sunday. (3919 Woodward; 313-832-0892; www.thegrillemidtown.com)

La Feria
This tiny, welcoming spot on Cass Avenue offers a flavorful array of simple, authentic Spanish tapas, from traditional tortilla Espanola (potato-and-onion omelet) and salty-sweet bacon-wrapped dates to charcuterie, savory bowls of mussels and snack-size skewers of grilled meats — most priced $4-$7. Drinks include about 20 wines along with cocktails, espresso drinks and beer. La Feria, meaning "the fair," was named for a famous annual fair in Seville, Spain, the hometown of co-owner Pilar Baron-Hidalgo, who wanted to give Detroiters a taste of her hometown's food and hospitality. The pretty dining room is done in white with accents of bright blue and saffron. This delightful, popular spot seats just 35, so you might have a wait. Vegetarian friendly. Lunch and dinner (but closed 3-5 p.m.) Monday-Saturday. (4130 Cass; 313-285-9081; www.laferiadetroit.com)

Go! Sy Thai
Part of the locally owned Sy Thai restaurant group, with three suburban locations, the Midtown shop is the first to feature a fast-casual format — meaning guests order at the counter and receive their freshly prepared food in only minutes. Go! Sy Thai's food is hot, fresh and delicious and served in very generous portions at bargain prices; most of the 22 entrées are just $7.50, whether you choose chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu or vegetarian versions. Soups, salads and small-plate starters — including spring rolls, vegetarian fresh rolls and chicken-and-mushroom crisp rolls — are $2.50-$6. Although the restaurant is geared to fast, easy carry-out, it also has seating for about 30 in its attractive urban-modern dining room. The menu is shorter than at other Sy Thai locations, but the recipes are identical, says owner Cedric Lee. With these flavors and prices, why would anyone get fast food? Open for lunch and dinner daily. (4240 Cass, 313-638-1467; www.gosythai.com)

Dangerously Delicious Pies
If you love really cool local bars and big ol' slices of main-dish and dessert pies, get yourself to Dangerously Delicious Pies right away. Located inside the Third Street Bar, this self-described "rock and roll pie shop" might sound flaky, but its pies are just scrumptious — baked from scratch on-site with tender house-made crusts and the freshest ingredients owners Don Duprie and Sam Wood can find. The sweet dessert pies (Try the Salted Caramel!) are not to be missed, but the real attractions are the savory deep-dish pies filled with meat and/or vegetables. From the frequently changing menu, look for the SMOG (for steak, mushrooms, onions and Gruyere), the barbecued pork, Hot Rod Potato or the Con-Quiche-Da-Door — a quiche with spinach, mushrooms, onions, Swiss, goat cheese and garlic. The shop opened in the Comet Bar in 2012 but moved to the more spacious Third Street kitchen last spring. Great pie, friendly bar; what's not to like? Typically open for lunch and dinner daily. (4626 Third Street at Forest; 313-727-7437; www.dangerouspiesdetroit.com)

Maccabees at Midtown
Set in the historic, 1920s-era Maccabees Building on Woodward, this American bistro has a dark, atmospheric interior with handsome metal cutwork chandeliers, a vintage bar and spacious booths. The bistro-style menu is huge. Go for one of the towering burgers, which arrive impaled with a hefty steak knife. Or try one of the restaurant's signature potato pancake sandwiches — knife-and-fork creations that replace sandwich bread with crispy potato cakes. Maccabees, which had its official opening last January, is across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts and just a few doors from Wayne State University's welcome center. Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday; brunch all day Sunday. (5057 Woodward; 313-831-9311; www.MaccabeesDetroit.com)