The List: Dine & Drink
“Join The D Profile Magazine as we present our curated selection of dining options in the Downriver area.”
“We offer a variety of savory soups this time of year and a few seasonal specials, but it’s often our standard menu people crave,” says owner Courtnay Rusu.
R.P. McMurphy’s is not your average Downriver tavern. This German-style pub has a rich history spanning over three decades. Yet as much as its rich history is woven into the atmosphere, customers return for the food. When the air is crisp and the leaves are falling, menu items such as oysters Rockefeller, filet mignon, bayou shrimp, and salads are bringing regulars back for more. “We offer a variety of savory soups this time of year and a few seasonal specials, but it’s often our standard menu people crave,” says owner Courtnay Rusu.
R.P. McMurphy’s is located at 2922 Biddle Ave. in Wyandotte. Visit rpmcmurphys.com for additional information.
For those looking for a taste of the old country, then The Rhapsody is where to find it. “This time of year is exciting for us,” remarks Jennifer Szmatari. The restaurant puts its heart and soul into preparing for the holidays. “We love to keep busy and help people throughout the holiday season with any of their needs. Let us do the cooking or baking for you,” Szmatari encourages.
Diners can stop by for the Hungarian cuisine, beef Wellington, prime rib, or veal shanks that are popular all year long. Also for your wedding, baby shower, office or retirement party, The Rhapsody offers banquet facilities for up to 200 people. Contact their expert team who can assist you with everything from table designs to menu planning.
The Rhapsody is located at 14315 Northline Rd., Southgate. Visit therhapsodyrestaurant.com for further information.
Pete’s Place offers extensive craft beer selections as well as standard and domestic beers, and gluten-free ciders.
Pete’s Place brings Michigan’s best together in two great locations. Known for its extensive local and national beer selections and its loaded baked potato soup, Pete’s Place has become the place for diners across Downriver. “We are proud to offer five different soups made from scratch daily and our famous homemade chili, which is served in a fresh baked bread bowl made locally from Michigan Bread Company,” says owner Peter Ochab.
In addition to freshly prepared soups and bread bowl chili, Pete’s Place offers gluten-free ciders as well as standard imports and domestics. Not to be outdone by IPAs and seasonal beers, Pete Ochab notes, “We also offer handcrafted cocktails featuring Valentine Vodka from Detroit and a house-made pineapple vodka infused martini. Happy hour is from four p.m. to six p.m. Monday through Friday and nightly from nine p.m. until close.”
As a supporter of local talent, Pete’s Place hosts a local musician every Friday night at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sporcle Live Trivia every Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m.
Pete’s Place offers a full-service banquet room seating up to 40 guests at its Taylor location. They also has an extensive off-premise or pick-up catering menu available at petestogo.com
Savannah’s is a Downriver staple in the restaurant community – and rightly so. The restaurant is a delight for both the eyes and the tastebuds.
“To name a couple of the choices: shrimp and grits with poached lobster and an organic, tomahawk pork chop were fantastic additions to our amazing menu. Many of the dishes are organic, fresh and handcrafted, start to finish,”says owner Laurie Dixon.
The restaurant makes an excellent backdrop to festive celebrations with fresh food, wine pairing events, crafted cocktails, and more.
Learn more at savannahs.biz
Sibley Gardens From bacon Cajun shrimp and spinach portobello salad to lobster tail and chicken Picante, Sibley Gardens offers decadent dishes in addition to steaks and much more.
Sibley Gardens gives guests the feeling that they are at home with the family. Established in 1935, this is definitely a restaurant that belongs on the holiday bucket list. “The holidays are our busiest time of the year. Families and friends bring people from out of town and in no time, they become familiar faces,” says owner Nick Piunti.
In fact, the restaurant’s popularity stems from the variety of delicious dishes on its menu. From bacon Cajun shrimp and spinach portobello salad to lobster tail and chicken Picante, Sibley Gardens offers decadent dishes in addition to steaks and much more. “We change our specials daily to meet our customers’ cravings and of course to reflect the seasons.
“The truth is that most of our customers are die-hard regulars and they have their favorites of course, but I like to recommend trying our specials,” says Piunti.
In addition to great specials and family favorites, Sibley Gardens also offers live music. “We have Mike Kaiser sing Sinatra several times a year, but it’s so popular it books up without any promotion,” Piunti remarks.
Sibley Gardens is located at 916 W. Jefferson Ave., Trenton. Visit sibleygardens.com for reservation or more information.
Classics Tavern has it all, delighting guests with everything from its famous firestone pizzas to bowling at adjoining 10 Pins of Trenton. “We take the holiday season seriously,” owner David Patz explains, “but we also understand that sometimes you need a good old-fashioned drink and food you have come to know and love, like our Tavern Nachos or weekly pasta specials.” Patrons can expect the restaurant’s standard savory menu on Christmas with hours from 4 p.m. to midnight. As for New Year’s, Classics Tavern is all about bringing in the New Year right, evident by the venue’s three New Year’s Eve festivities. “We have huge New Year’s events, which include a senior party at 11 a.m., a family party from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and, of course, an adult party at 10 p.m.,” Patz remarks. “There’s no shortage of champagne either.”
Classics Tavern features regular weekly events: Tuesdays and Thursdays are Ladies Nights, Thursday is Wings Night, Friday is Karaoke, and Saturday is Live Music Night.
The Auburn Cafe
Quality food and comfortable atmosphere that has made the Ecorse restaurant a dinner destination across Downriver for more than three decades.
The consistency of their menu has drawn loyal patrons. Lamb chops, shish kabob, pork chops, steak, and hamburgers were their original staples. Over time they added grape leaves, meatballs, flaming cheese, and soup, as well as chicken salads, gyros, and salad variations.
The Auburn Cafe owner, Kostas Callis, ensures that the freshness of their food remains consistent. “Most of our deliveries are from Eastern Market and are some of the same vendors that my father Sam used,” says Kostas.
Auburn Café is located at 3520 W. Jefferson Ave., Ecorse. Call 313-381-8133 or visit theauburncafe.com
Hygrade Restaurant and Delicatessen
In no way ironic but certainly retro, Hygrade Deli is a Detroit institution and is considered one of the city’s best kept secrets. The deli has been offering up some of the best corned beef sandwiches in the area for over forty years. Located on Michigan Avenue near the former location of Detroit’s Western Market, the restaurant serves as a gravitational point for locals and tourists, old and young alike, a favorite for everyone.
Located at 3640 Michigan Ave., Detroit. Call 313-894-6620 for further info.
Advertised as a “snug, minimalist eatery,” Wasabi is comfortable and warm. The restaurant specializes in Japanese and Korean cuisine. Favorite menu items include dolsot bibimbap, a rice and vegetable dish with a fried egg served out of a hot stone bowl, and a long list of sushi rolls. Wasabi is located on the ground floor of The Park Shelton.
Located at 15 E. Kirby, Detroit. Call 313-638-1272 or visit wasabidetroit.com
For a Mexican eatery outside of Southwest Detroit, Alley Taco certainly knows what it’s doing. Fresh ingredients comprise its offerings, including burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, and the kitchen’s famous five for $5 tacos. From its unassuming home in the back of Midtown’s Marcus Market, Allley Taco offers Detroiters and Wayne State students authentic Mexican street food as an affordable dinner, late-night garb, or hot take-out among other essentials from the market.
Located at 4614 2nd Ave., Detroit. Please call 313-818-0067 or visit facebook.com/AlleyTaco
Vic’s Casual Dining
With a warm and inviting atmosphere, fine Italian food, and classic cocktails, Vic’s Casual Dining is a true hidden gem.
Vic’s can satisfy your cravings for Italian food with Vic’s signature Eggplant Parmesan, Veal Marsala, Scallops Scampi, and Chicken Tosca, or simply whet your appetite with Bruschetta Pomodoro.
“We have always been dedicated to providing a quality dining experience at a reasonable price,” says owner Vic Simon. “Our entire staff takes great pride in the preparation and service of each and every order.”
In addition to mouth-watering appetizers and decadent desserts, Vic’s offers a nice selection of wines, bottled beers, cocktails and fantastic coffees.
For casual dining that includes exceptional service, amazing food, good people and a little Frank Sinatra playing softly in the background Vic’s is a great choice.
Located at 13499 Dix Toledo Rd, Southgate. Call 734-246-5900 for more info.
Motor City Wine
The Psalms might say it best: “God had created wine to gladden the heart of man.” Motor City Wine, located in Detroit’s historic Corktown, offers plenty to gladden hearts. With several wines on tap and a wine shop, it offers an expertly curated selection of wine and for a small corkage fee, buy a bottle of wine and enjoy it right there. Live music is available most nights.
Located at 1949 Michigan Ave., Detroit. Call 313-483-7283. Visit motorcitywine.com
The second restaurant to open in Detroit’s residential Woodbridge neighborhood, Pie Sci formulates creative, seasonally inspired pizzas in concoctions that extend far past dough, cheese, and sauce. For an example, look no further than the menu itself, which boasts of garlic oil, Brussels sprouts, feta, bacon, mozzarella, and balsamic glaze drizzle on Pie Sci’s “Brussel Simmons” pizza pie. For more unique formulations, diners also have the option to build their own pizza from select ingredients. All large pizzas can be made gluten-free upon request.
Located at 5163 Trumbull, Detroit. 313-818-0290 or visit piescipizza.com
Arguably one of the most praised restaurants in the city, Selden Standard could replace the Whitney as the next generation’s go-to for fine dining.
Small, artistic portions are as much a feast for the eyes as for the palate. In its dishes, Selden Standard uses ingredients from a plethora of local farms and sources, and the restaurant takes the same intentional approach to its drinks as to its food menu.
Stop in to celebrate or to see for yourself what all the buzz is about.
Located at 3921 Second Ave., Detroit. Please call 313-438-5055 or visit seldenstandard.com
Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine
A downtown salsa dancing sensation, Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine serves authentic Cuban fare to hungry Detroiters all week long. A menu bursting with variations of paella, tapas, and meat dishes also includes sandwiches, soups, and salads to satisfy any lunchtime appetite that meanders through its doors.
In addition to free salsa lessons and open salsa dancing, Vicente’s hosts weekly jazz on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The restaurant can accommodate groups and offers offsite catering.
Located at 1250 Library Street, Detroit. Please call 313-962-8800 or visit vicentesdetroit.com
Take a step south of the Border without leaving Lincoln Park. The menu at Tijuana’s is bursting with a delicious variety of nacho, taco, burrito, and fajita dishes for lunch and dinner. There are omelets and other taste-tempting choices for breakfast. For thirsty diners, there is a full bar that features liquor and a selection of Mexican beer. The Mexican Kitchen is family-owned and also has a take-out location on Fort Street in Southgate.
Tijuana’s has three locations in the Detroit/Downriver area: 13312 Fort Street, Southgate (734-285-6430) carry-out; 18950 Ford Rd., Detroit (313-982-1455); and 1679 Dix Hwy. (313-383-9100). Visit tijuanasmexicankitchen.com
Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails
Chartreuse Kitchen and Cocktails just feels good. Focusing on creating a relaxing, inspiring, and natural dining experience, the restaurant’s culinary team works with local farms and foragers to bring you a truly fresh meal. Decorated with wall-to-wall flowers and herbs, Chartreuse offers guests an inspiring and relaxing atmosphere. The bar staff are well trained and offer kind service as well as expert knowledge of their craft. For a must-try drink, look no further than the chartreuse cocktail.
Located at 15 E. Kirby St., Suite D, Detroit. Call 313-818-3915 or visit chartreusekc.com
This Southgate favorite has more than tripled in size from when it first opened more than 30 years ago. “We’ve added more as we needed more room to serve our customers,” says Renee Puente. Menu items like the enchiladas and the steak and chicken fajitas have stood the test of time here. Seasoned with a little spice and a hint of citrus, the meat is marinated over night and then grilled to perfection, so by the time it reaches the customer it is flavorful and tender.
Located at 15950 Eureka Rd., Southgate. Call 734-282-5633 or visit mexicangardens.com
TV’s Deli Diner
Owners Tracey Wipp and Victor Stroia have brought their love of food and their 30 years of experience creating great meals, to Trenton. Their stylish diner serves up food from scratch, tickling the palate with dishes from gourmet burgers to Lobster Mac-N-Cheese. Soups are a specialty here, with Victor’s Lobster Bisque and award-winning Reuben soup on the “must try” list.
Located at 2651 W. Jefferson Ave., Trenton. Call 734-671-5676.
Fresh and elegant, Craft Work is another of Detroit’s hidden gems. Located in Detroit’s West Village, Craft Work expertly melds classic style and creative cuisine into a sensational experience. Specializing in New American cuisine, dishes are well crafted and beautifully plated. Menu includes snacks, perfect for happy hour, such as warm chickpeas with shallots and lemon oil. For a main dish, be impressed with the Kobe short ribs, served with sweet potato, ginger and coconut.
Located 8047 Agnes St., Detroit. Call 313-469-0976 or visit craftworkdetroit.com
Green Dot Stables
Simple. Creative. Fun. Green Dot Stables might have nothing to do with horses, but don’t let that deter you from visiting. Green Dot Stables serves up some of the most creative sliders guests will ever eat, including a daily “mystery meat slider” that, depending on the day, could be anything from yak to alligator to fried chicken. In addition to a long list of sliders, the menu includes an impressive variety of salads and fries.
Located at 2200 West Lafayette, Detroit. Call 313-962-5588 or visit greendotstables.com
Coffee and (___)
Famous for being Detroit’s first speakeasy coffee shop, Coffee and (___) is intent on keeping a community focus. Angela Foster, internationally renowned baker, prefers for news of her business to spread by word of mouth. The restaurant specializes in a serene experience and vegan baked goods. It regularly hosts a Sunday brunch pop up, which gives aspiring local chefs a chance to earn their chops.
Located at 14409 E. Jefferson Ave, Detroit. Call 703-717-1514.
It simply does not get more Italian than this. Chef Ernesto Magaleno received his training in New York’s Little Italy and served as head chef at Bacco’s in Southfield before coming to Wyandotte. He personally shops every day to make sure everything he serves is fresh. House specialties include chicken marsala, chicken picatta, braised lamb shank and filet mignon. A full bar features domestic and imported wines.
Located at 152 Elm Street, Wyandotte. Call 734-283-8200.
SocreTea Detroit, a tea shop that offers a healthy and organic selection of high-end teas, offers tea for every budget and even in bulk quantities. A favorite spot for local medical students, the restaurant sits in a quiet, peaceful ambiance.
Located at 71 Garfield, Suite 50, Detroit. Call 313-833-7100 or visit socrateadetroit.com
Is Perdino’s an old school Italian or a classic sea food restaurant? Perdino serves a wide variety of dishes to help the diner decide. Each meal begins with a relish tray that includes assorted vegetables, kidney beans and liver pate. Dinner favorites are Dover sole, prime rib and chicken perdino, a house specialty. The wait staff, dressed in traditional uniforms, is friendly and attentive.
Located at 8575 Macomb Street, Grosse Ile. Call 734-676-8100.
Italian cuisine and seafood served in a beautiful river setting. The menu features a generous selection of seafood and pasta dishes, along with lunch and dinner salads and aged beef, chops, and chicken. For more casual dining there are gourmet burgers and sandwiches, all served under the watchful eye of chef Jeff Mellas and Jerry Beasley, managing partner and sommelier.
Located at 3455 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte. Call 734-281-6700.
The Little Pierogi and Crepe Kitchen
Some swear by the crepes, others come for the pierogis. Everyone agrees, however, that this is the one place to come for either. Pierogis are available in choices such as potato, cheddar, bacon bleu cheese, jalopeno – and even mac-n-cheese. Dessert crepes are available in a variety of flavors and, just for the fun of it, most are named after local Wyandotte streets.
The Kitchen is located at 125 Elm Street in Wyandotte. Call 734-639-0877.
The Roc Restaurant & Wine Bar
A low-light, intimate cellar-type ambience and excellent food make this one of Flat Rock’s favorite destinations. The menu includes dishes like fettuccine Alfredo, chicken Glorioso, pizza, and the popular 16 oz. ribeye known as “The Cowboy.” The beer, wine and cocktails selection is excellent with their full bar.
Located at 26123 E. Huron River Drive, Flat Rock. Call 734-931-0911.
Banquet Centers Salute Special Events
A 1975 venture by the Fiorelli family in Flat Rock has evolved into a multi-part venue that includes catering and banquet room Salute Special Events, The ROC Restaurant and Wine Bar, a sports bar called Wize Guys Bistro, and, in development, Umbria, a new el fresco section that will seat up to 20 in a beautiful herbal garden.
Used for events ranging from funeral luncheons and fundraisers to birthday and retirement parties, Salute Special Events also provides the elegant ambience and special attention for a special wedding.
In addition to a restaurant, the unique venue holds a banquet hall that seats up to 120 guests. While the hall serves traditionally as a reception venue, patrons have had their wedding ceremonies performed at both the restaurant and the banquet hall as well. Bars are located in both the restaurant and the banquet hall.
In addition to the big day, Salute Special Events offers packages for brides-to-be looking for shower locations. The creative packages differ in price and features offered but can comprise of mimosa bars and displays or Bloody Mary bars and displays.
Perhaps Salute Special Events’ versatility is the reason for drawing customers back for weekday wine tastings or celebratory dinners.
Salute Special Events is located at 26123 East Huron River Drive in Flat Rock. For additional info call 734-931-0911 or visit fiorellis-salute.com
Orlando Familia Banquet Center
A charming wedding chapel, a picturesque setting on the Riverview Highlands Golf Course, and a newly renovated banquet facility for your celebration.
For 35 years, the Orlando Familia Banquet Center has catered to weddings, showers, reunions and much more. Mary DeMarti, banquet manager, says the entire banquet center was newly remodeled, from the tables and chairs, to the ceramic tiling, to the bar area.
Located on the Riverview Highlands Golf Course, the center includes the charming Wedding Chapel on the Green. The chapel is quaintly decorated and includes a quality sound system to play traditional songs or music of patrons’ choice. Two grand ballrooms in the banquet center can facilitate between 100 and 350 guests. Both locations are part of the popular Sportsmen’s Den complex.
The business is a family one, dedicated to creating the ultimate wedding experience for the bride, groom, and guests. That dedication has paid off with regular referrals and generations of brides planning their special day at Orlando Familia.
From the food to staff to setting, the reviews are gushing. Says one bride who recently had her wedding at Orlando Familia’s: “The staff is amazing. They are so accommodating. My sister had her reception at Orlando’s and they were so great we went back. The food is awesome as well. We had a family style wedding and everyone raved about how much food there was and how good it was. [I] couldn’t be happier with my decision to have our special day here.”
For more info on Orlando Familia Banquet Center, call 734-479-4800 or visit orlandofamilia.com
Those with a wedding, special occasion, or important business conference to plan can look to the Grecian Center Banquet Facility, a venue celebrating more than 40 years as one of Downriver’s finest banquet facilities.
For events ranging from 75 of your closest friends and family to a gathering of 600, the Grecian Center offers a variety of delicious meals prepared for any number of events.
Guests can look to the facility for brunch, lunch, dinner, or a gourmet selection of foods.
The facility itself also holds great appeal, particularly its outdoor venue with main pavilion that accomodates 275 guests.
“There’s no other outdoor ceremony area like it Downriver,” Manager Eileen Merriman says. “It’s definitely one of a kind.”
The Grecian Center is located at 16300 Dix-Toledo, Southgate. Call 734-282-5700 or visit thegreciancenter.biz