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Opinionated About Dining

Among the many “ranking” websites out there, none is so hyper-focused on food as Opinionated About Dining (OAD). Each year, the site publishes lists of restaurants that have been reviewed by its users, but the users’ votes carry more weight if the user is an experienced diner who has been to top restaurants throughout the world.

Lo and behold, we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves sitting on the list of top North American Gourmet Casual restaurants, putting us in the company of Osteria Mozza, AOC, Walrus & Carpenter, Woodberry Kitchen, and other top restaurants around the continent that we love. A genuine honor to be in the same conversation.

See the full list at the OAD website.

Posted on 2018.06.15 in People Saying Nice Things

Congrats to Lena and Other Good News

We’re delighted to announce that Selden Standard pastry chef Lena Sareini was named a semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Rising Star award, given to those under 30 making waves in the culinary world.

And recently, The Washington Post did a travel piece on dining in Detroit, and we’re featured alongside Dime Store and our dear friends at Supino. Naturally, they finished off their meal with Lena’s chocolate halawa (below).

Posted on 2018.03.02 in People Saying Nice Things

Notes from the Wine List

Terre Nere, Pataille, Vinca Minor, etcWhile the overarching philosophy behind our entire wine list is to provide complex, distinctive, terroir-driven wines that compliment our food, the rare and interesting bottles on the reserve list can be especially compelling.

We’re often able to hunt down distinctive, uncommon wines – bottles that might represent a truly exciting discovery for some of our oenologically inclined guests.

That part of our menu has seen some delicious additions in the past few weeks, and we thought we’d share a few notes.

Terre Nere Calderara Sottana

Owned and operated by the DiGrazia brothers who have an eponymous importer that we value a great deal, Terre Nere produces wines of Burgundian elegance from the slopes of Mt. Etna. This particular bottling comes from vines of 50 to 100 years of age growing among a moonscape of fist-sized lumps of pomace. It hits many of the indicators we look for when considering new wines – organic farming, working by hand, great terroir, thoughtful use of oak, et cetera. The result is a rich mix of cherry and plum with easygoing tannin and layers of mineral nuance.

Sylvain Pataille Clos du Roy (Coming Soon!)

We’ve featured Pataille’s wines in the past, but the Clos du Roy – a vineyard slated to be elevated to premier cru status in 2020 – is a special treat. While Marsannay is often known for less serious pinot noir, the Clos du Roy is a very pure, complex expression with an array of fruit qualities ranging from currants to cherries to pomegranate. Highly aromatic and as fun as it is worthy of lengthy contemplation. Pataille himself is widely regarded as one of the best producers in Marsannay, and while this may spoil you, it’s nonetheless a great introduction to his wines. Pataille works biodynamically with organic certifications, ferments with natural yeast, and uses mostly neutral oak to age his wines. We love them and imagine you will as well. Try it with the current iteration of our grilled pork chop. Or if Andy decides to run his beef sugo special with porcini rigatoni, put a bottle of this alongside and spend 45 minutes in nirvana.

Vinca Minor Bates Ranch

California cabernet doesn’t often make an appearance on our list. Not because we don’t enjoy it but because it’s often too big, too ripe, or too oaked to match with our fare. And sometimes they’re just so damn expensive. But roaming winemaker Jason Edward Charles is making some delicious, affordable wines, sourcing fruit from the entire coast of California from Mendocino south to the Santa Cruz mountains. It’s in the latter area where Bates Ranch grows exceptional organic Cabernet that Charles harvests himself. It’s not an overly rich wine, showing pretty dark cherry qualities alongside some savory herbal, spicy, and mineral notes. And at the decidedly un-Californian price of 76 bucks, we’re fans.

Caveau de Bacchus Melon-Queue-Rouge

In the Jura region of France, there’s a red-stemmed mutation of Chardonnay that goes by the name Melon-Queue-Rouge. This particular bottling features grapes from 60-year-old vines that are fermented with natural yeast in large barrels. Each year, winemaker Lucien Aviet decides based on taste how long the wine will continue age on the lees. In 2011, he let the wine go a lengthy 49 months before bottling and released it well after a few subsequent vintages. As is the case with many chardonnay or Melon-Queue-Rouge wines from the Jura, there’s an apple tone to the wine along with cut grass, mineral notes, and fennel. A compelling – and rare – bottle.

Chateau Bellevue 2009

Bellevue deservedly acquired a bad reputation in the 90s. But after being essentially taken over by their neighbors, the famous Chateau Angelus, the wines returned to their historically heralded status. But perhaps because of their spotty history, the wines are quite affordable – especially when you consider that Angelus, one of the most famous and sought after wines of St-Emillion, has prized the Bellevue terroir for generations as documented in letters going back decades. 2009 is one of the last vintages in which there is still Cab Franc blended into the wine, and it’s our understanding that the Cab Franc is now blended into Angelus instead. At any rate, with great acidity and genuine complexity, this is a pretty classic St-Emillion drinking at its peak. Seriously good wine.

Posted on 2017.12.04 in Articles

Some Recipes for Your Table

It seems like we were just serving folks on the patio – yet we’re already reading stories about the tree lighting ceremony downtown next week. Ready or not, the holidays are upon us.

During the holiday season in 2013, long before we opened, we posted some of Chef Andy’s recipes for delicious, less traditional additions to your holiday meals. We’re reviving that this year. So as a little gift to our guests, here are a couple of dishes suitable for the family table throughout the season.

(And if you’d like a few more recipes from Andy, you can check out the new 4 Detroit cookbook, published by the boutique Nora and featuring recipes from Andy, Dave Mancini (Supino), Josh Stockton (formerly of Gold Cash Gold), and Brad Greenhill (Takoi).

ROASTED CARROTS
with honey, cumin, sesame, and feta

Serves 6-8

  • 3 lbs baby carrots, greens removed, scrubbed clean
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup chives, sliced thin
  • Salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. If carrots are not of uniform size, cut the longer ones so they more closely match the smaller carrots. Otherwise, leave whole. Add carrots, oil, and salt to a mixing bowl. Mix well and spread onto a sheet tray, making sure the carrots are not crowded.

Roast in the oven until the edges are browning and just tender, about 15-25 minutes. Return cooked carrots to the mixing bowl and season with honey, cumin, sesame, and lemon juice. Toss well.

Transfer to a serving platter and top with feta and chives.

ROASTED PORK
with Pomegranate Salsa

Brining

  • 4 lbs center cut pork loin roast, trimmed
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 qts water
  • 10 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2” piece of ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 allspice berries

In a large pot or bucket, whisk together salt, sugar, and water until dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients, including the pork loin, and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Remove from brine, rinse, and pat dry. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the paste below.

Roasting

  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground fennel seed
  • 1 Tbsp chile flake

Pre-heat the oven to 375. In a food processor, combine garlic, cilantro, oil, coriander, fennel, and chili flakes. Process to a smooth puree. Smother the pork loin with the paste and place on a roasting rack. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 135, about 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on the particular cut of pork. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Salsa and Plating

  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz pomegranate molasses
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt to taste.

Slice the pork, serve on a platter, and serve with the salsa on the side.

Posted on 2017.11.09 in Recipes & Ideas

A Glass of White, A Glass of Red

Summer always brings a number of fun changes to the wine list. Indeed, almost the entire glasspour list has changed over the past 4 or 5 weeks. But there are a couple of wines that we’ve had to restrain ourselves from drinking up all on our own.

 

Tre Monti Vitalba

Native to Emilia-Romagna, Albana is most often found in sweet wines. But with Vitalba, the winemakers at Tre Monti harness its lovely aromatics and exotic fruit qualities in the form of a very distinctive dry white. The wine is left to age on its skins, similar to a red wine, and it rests in an ancient clay amphora, resulting in a mildly tannic finish and a surprisingly rich texture. With notes of dried stone fruit and a saline mineral quality, it’s one of our favorite wines on the current list. A rare treat – definitely not something you’ll see every day. Grab a glass alongside the trout or our charcuterie board. We also recommend pairing it with leaving work a half hour early on a Monday.

Abbatucci Rouge Frais Imperial

Jean-Charles Abbatucci’s family roots on Corsica go back generations, and he and his father have managed, through a great deal of work, to help preserve many of the island’s indigenous grape varieties. Among them is Sciaccarellu, valued for its light, spicy qualities and typically blended with other grapes. But Abbatucci makes this single-variety wine that showcases all of Sciaccarellu’s best qualities with a beautiful floral and strawberry nose and a balanced, easy-drinking flavor. Abbatucci is known to drive his tractor out to the vineyards to play traditional Corsican music to his vines. It might sound absurd, but it’s hard to argue with the guy when the resulting wine is this delicious.

Posted on 2017.07.21 in Articles

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