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Belgian Beer Dinner

On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, Chef Andy will be designing a seasonal, five-course, shared plate meal based around several delicious beers from Brouwerij De Leite and Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles — two small production craft breweries in Belgium. We’ll be joined by the importer as well as master brewer Luc Vermeersch of De Leite to talk briefly about the brews.

We’ll be featuring five beers, including the contemporary classics La Rulles Blonde and Brun as well as a limited production oak-aged sour, Fils a Papa, from De Leite. Andy’s menu will be selected from the best produce we can find that week, and the way things are looking, we’re hoping to start to see squash, apples, and other early fall specialties.

The dinner will begin at 6pm on Sept 20th. Tickets are only available online.


Brasserie La Rulles is a relatively young brewery (at least in Belgian terms), opening its doors in 2000. The local river is the water source for these quintessentially Belgian brews. His efforts have been highly regarded by critics, including the late Michael Jackson, since the breweries inception.

The name ‘Leite’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘laagte’, meaning down below, which refers to a location in Ruddervoorde near the brewery where a small stream flows along the local mill. De Leite makes a wide variety of beers, but has perhaps become most well known locally for its outstanding sour cherry ale, Cuvee Souer’ise.

These beers are all imported by a small Michigan company called Amport Distributing specializing in balanced, flavorful beers from Belgium. Switzerland, and Italy.

Posted on 2016.08.23 in Events & Announcements

Peach Pavlova

It’s not uncommon for us to get questions on how we assemble certain dishes or how long it takes to prepare food for guests. In some cases, it’s deceptively long: Our octopus dish essentially takes five days to make because of marinating, resting, braising, and other steps that have to happen in sequence.

We thought it would be fun to show a few steps involved in making our new dessert, a peach pavlova. It consists of a meringue, brandy cream, caramelized peaches, fresh peaches, and a lemon shortbread crumble.

Posted on 2016.08.10 in Articles

2016 Restaurant of the Year

Hour Detroit Restaurant of the YearWriting that “Selden Standard has become the most notable casual high-end restaurant in the city,” Hour Detroit magazine has just named us 2016 Restaurant of the Year. It’s a tremendous honor – and the capstone to a very exciting week during which Chef Andy was also named a semi-finalist for the 2016 James Beard awards.

The Hour article makes mention of our staff, referring to the “choreography” between the front of house and the kitchen. That’s really where any success we’ve had over the past year begins: It’s a talented, dedicated group of 75 individuals who enjoy their work, and we’re so thankful that they’ve chosen to be a part of this team. We’re grateful, too, for our friends and guests who have supported us and challenged us to be better.

This is the second year in a row now that we’ve had the great fortune to receive an award of this kind, and we’ll keep working hard toward offering high quality food, drink, and service. Cheers!

Posted on 2016.02.18 in People Saying Nice Things

2016 James Beard Semi-Finalists

We were thrilled to see this morning that Chef Andy has been named a James Beard semi-finalist as Best Chef: Great Lakes. He joins a few other great Michigan chefs receiving accolades from the Beard Foundation: Chef Nick at Forest for the same award; Chef Garrett Lipar at Marais for Rising Star; and Mabel Gray, headed by good friend James Rigato, for Best New Restaurant. This is the second year in a row that Andy has received this honor.

Posted on 2016.02.17 in People Saying Nice Things

A Singular Sake and Some Uncommon Wines

Franc de Pied, Dassai 23, and Ferrando Erbaluce

Plenty of great wines – and beers; and sakes; and ciders – are available here in Michigan. But every now and then, we encounter something seldom seen here that is so outstanding we feel obligated to seek it out for the menu. Here are a few such recent additions:

Dassai Otterfest 23 Sake

Last summer, we added Dassai Otterfest 50 to our menu after a staff tasting that spawned an infatuation with sake. Our guests who enjoy the classic Japanese rice “wine” will know that the 50 in the name refers to seimaibuai – the percentage of a rice grain left after it’s been polished to prepare it for the brewing process. Previously unfamiliar with Dassai, we learned that they offer both a 39 and a 23, the latter being a figure that is truly astounding: Consider that 77% of a single grain of rice is essentially thrown away to get only that eminently fermentable center.

Sake lovers (and really, anyone who loves delicious things) will be excited to hear that the Dassai Otterfest 23 is now on our reserve list. Our pals at Great Lakes Wine & Spirits helped bring it in for us, and we couldn’t be happier: It’s an astonishingly delicate, elegant beverage. No, not beverage: Ambrosia. Nectar. Of the gods.

In terms of food, think of it as a superior rose and pair it with seafood or root vegetables. Or just drink it with a grin.

This sake is listed in many east coast retail shops for around $100. To encourage Detroit’s sake lovers and curious beverage aficionados to give this treasure a try, we’re selling it for just about the same price — $110/bottle.

2013 Ferrando Erbaluce di Caluso

All too rare here in the Mitten, the wines of Luigi Ferrando are universally charming and delicious. This winter, we’re excited to be pouring their Erbaluce by the glass ($10). A white grape indigenous to the mountainous northwestern part of Piedmont, Erbaluce is known for producing high acid, mineral-driven, dry wines – a perfectly versatile white to accompany a wide-ranging restaurant menu.

The Ferrando family has been making wine in this part of Italy since about 1900. Their “white label” Carema – a miniscule appellation known exclusively for its elegant, high-elevation nebbiolo – has achieved genuine cult status in the United States. Further down the mountain is the appellation of Canavese where they make a delightful rosso that we poured by the glass when the restaurant first opened. Within Canavese is the town of Caluso, about 45 minutes north of Torino, which is where their Erbaluce is grown, eventually fermented and aged in stainless steel.

Ferrando’s expression has an unusually rich body, densely packed with luscious fruit and herbal notes before a long, refreshing finish. Complex enough to be intriguing to wine lovers and quaffable enough for anyone with access to a patio to enjoy, it’s rapidly become a house favorite. We brought enough in from New York to last us well into the spring.

2014 Thierry Germain Franc de Pied

Despite some recent good press, France’s Loire river valley is still an underappreciated source for wine. Our friends at Elie Wine Company in Birmingham turned us on to Thierry Germain, an up-and-coming producer whose winery, Domaine des Roches Neuves, is drawing some comparisons to the legendary Clos Rougeard. Indeed, they were recently awarded 3-stars by the Revue du Vin de France, an honor reserved for only those two estates in the Loire.

A transplant from Bordeaux, Germain has been making his wines since the early 90s, but in 2000 he converted everything to biodynamic farming and has refined his approach, keeping alcohol levels low and finding structure from using whole clusters of grapes.

Franc de Pied is French winemaking shorthand that references a vine’s own rootstock. Many wine lovers are familiar with phyloxera, the louse that decimated Europe’s grape vines in the 1800s. After the scourge, winemakers took to grafting their vines onto American rootstock which was resistant to infection. Germain’s Franc de Pied, true to its name, is thus ungrafted. Whether that adds extra depth or not is beyond our palates, but it’s hard to argue with the results: The wine is tremendous.

Like many of his reds, Franc de Pied could enjoy a brief sojourn to a decanter (or a few years in the cellar), but among his offerings, this is among the most generous, with a nose of flowers and raspberries, notes of black currant and herbs, good structure, and a surprisingly mineral-driven finish. Light in body but rich in color and flavor, this is truly a Burgundian cab franc.

Less than 80 cases of this wine are made in a given year. We’ve got a few of them stashed away, and they’re on offer for $65/bottle until they run out.

Posted on 2016.02.12 in Articles

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