Dining in the D: The Top 10 New Restaurants are Here
By: Michael Fossbakk
February 13, 2017
It’s a new year and that means a new list of the ten best new restaurants from Detroit Free Press and your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers. In an effort to simplify things, this year the Free Press’ Restaurant of the Year, awarded to Mabel Gray, stands entirely separate from the ten best new restaurants that opened in 2016.
Without further ado, Detroit Free Press’ Top 10 New Restaurants of the Year have been revealed and we have a round-up of each one and what you can expect.
If you’re looking for a fine dining experience that joins soul food and the city of Detroit, SavannahBlue is your next stop. The menu may not be extensive, but that only speaks to the dedication the staff has to perfecting each and every flavor you will experience. Apps like catfish fritters and house dry-rub wings are only the beginning.
Last time we checked in with The Conserva, it was days away from its grand opening. Now, The Conserva graces Detroit Free Press’ list of top 10 new restaurants. Talk about hitting the ground running! What started as a pop-up dinner idea from chef Matthew Baldridge and artist Janna Coumoundouros, The Conserva now operates in the former Torino location, utilizing the Italian process called conserva for some of its menu items.
The noodle bowl destination that just opened at the end of last year commits to fully utilizing its 1,000 square foot location. Inside, you’ll find high-top bars that envelop the two long communal tables that make up Ima’s intimate seating arrangement. You may have to sacrifice personal space in favor of delicately prepared bowls, but Chef Mike Ransom will ensure a fair tradeoff.
What can be said of Otus Supply? No seriously, it’s tough to describe the experience you’ll have at Otus Supply as a good deal of it comes from the interior design of the restaurant. Did I say restaurant? Well, the thing is, Otus Supply also has its own music venue known as The Parliament Room. So, next time you can’t decide whether to hit up a music show or dine like a fancy-pants foodie, Otus Supply has you covered either way.
Located in Detroit’s Chinatown neighborhood, Peterboro leans in on its Chinese roots. From the red lanterns that hang from its ceiling to the inventive dishes of chef Brion Wong, Peterboro is much more than your everyday Chinese joint.
A lot of what sets Chapman House apart from the rest of this list is its location. Not only is it the only restaurant not in Detroit or Ferndale, Chapman House is housed in a restored 19th century mansion. Couple that with the workings of chefs Chris and Dan Cason and you have a recipe for a tasteful night out. Did we mention that all ingredients are sourced from the Great Lakes region?
Like Otus Supply in Ferndale, seeing is believing when it comes to Parc. Located in the urban sprawl that is Campus Martius in downtown Detroit, much of Parc’s architecture is made up of Nana glass windows that lends itself to a 270-degree view of the city, allowing patrons to gaze at the hustle bustle of the comeback city.
How many Vietnamese restaurants are you going to find inside a coney island (Vernor Coney Island, to be exact)? Just one in metro Detroit and that’s Flowers of Vietnam from chef George Azar. But, Flowers of Vietnam is also a bit of a misnomer as you’ll find much more than traditional Vietnamese fare here. Pro tip: go for the Korean-fried chicken wings.
Do you know the legend of the Grey Ghost? Legend has it that this anonymous bootlegger was a notorious rum runner during the prohibition era in Detroit. Grey Ghost now lives on in brothers John and David Vermiglio’s Watson St. eatery in Detroit. The Vermiglio brothers and co-chef Joe Giacomino come by way of Chicago and have brought with them a few tricks of the trade they learned in their time in The Windy City. Just one glance at the menu and you’ll see that even the oysters are served “Chicago style.”
You already know how Katoi got its start, dear reader. That origin story was just the groundwork for the tenth and final restaurant on Freep’s list. From its opening last spring, the team at Katoi has worked hard to ensure a guest of the restaurant has a new experience each time they visit. Between director of experience Courtney Henriette’s hospitality and director of food Brad Greenhill’s inventive takes on Thai food, Katoi is only beginning to show us what they’ve got.