Dining in the D: New & Upcoming Restaurant Openings

By: Toni Cunningham | August 11, 2014
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There’s never a shortage of restaurants to try in the Metro Detroit area, and this summer, a slew of new eateries have popped up for us eager food lovers to taste test.

Whether you’re looking for some simple pub grub or sophisticated fare, there’s a new restaurant in southeast Michigan to satisfy your stomach. Several of them are in downtown Detroit, while others are scattered throughout the metro area. And since it’s always good to look to the future, I’m going to provide you with a few restaurants you can look forward to in the coming months. Time to get hungry!

Aqua, 413 N. Main St., Plymouth, opened mid-June after much anticipation. The building, which formerly housed the Grecian Café, has a modern feel with a sophisticated menu.

The dinner menu includes hand crafted appetizers and sushi, wet bowls (a.k.a. soup), green plates (also known as salads) and plenty of entrees. Main courses include Double-Cut Lamb, Free Range Chicken, Angus Filet with Merlot Reduction and Seven Hour Slow Braised Short Rib. There are plenty of vegetarian choices and options for kids, too.

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Lunch plates include lighter fare like a Gourmet Reuben Panini, Crispy Tofu Plate, Chesapeake Bay Salmon Burger and Seared Sea Scallops Salad.

Aqua holds happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day, as well as 9 p.m. to close, where you’ll get half price wine pours and draft beers.

Atwater in the Park, 1175 Lakepoint St., Grosse Pointe Park, has been open since the end of June and serves up pub food alongside your favorite Atwater brews. The converted church turned brewery is a restaurant and biergarten that has over 40 beers on tap.

The grub menu includes sandwiches, burgers, pizza, salads, soups and munchies. If you’re feeling up to the task, order the Bier Garden Kielbasa Challenge, which gets you a 48 ounce beer braised kielbasa with a side of sauerkraut and caraway mustard. That is one challenge I will not be partaking in, but good luck to the rest of you!

If that seems a bit too much, more manageable entrees include Fish & Chips, Grilled Atlantic Salmon, Hungarian Goulash and 24 Hour Chicken. You know what would go wonderfully with any one of those dishes? A Dirty Blonde or Vanilla Java Porter, of course.

Rose’s Fine Food, 10551 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, is a diner unlike any you’ve ever been to. Rose’s had its soft opening mid-July, which was so successful that the restaurant had to close early on at least one occasion because they ran out of food. Each dish you order is made from scratch with the best quality ingredients possible. Perhaps the coolest part about Rose’s (besides the food) is that when you leave a tip, it gets donated to a Detroit-based charity.

The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, and there’s an extensive menu for each. Start your day off right with Smokey Jim (house-smoked chicken served with mushroom hash and two fried eggs), Toad in the Hole (a grilled cheese with a fried egg) or Grandpa Richard’s “Handful of Eggs” Pancakes.

If you’re there for lunch, try The Cluck (house-smoked pulled chicken doused in barbecue sauce and coleslaw), Up Stream Sandwich (Great Lakes fish with herb aioli) or Lucy’s Lamb Meatball Sandwich.

Wright & Company, 1500 Woodward Ave., Detroit, is a gastropub and wine bar that opened its doors at the end of July. The restaurant opens up at 4 p.m. for dinner every day of the week except Sunday, and they do not take reservations, so be prepared for a wait and plan accordingly.

The menu includes snacks like Fresh Potato Chips, Roasted Cashews, Sriracha Chicken Skewers and Crisp Gulf Shrimp. Entrée plates consist of Heirloom Tomato Salad, Lime Poached Shrimp, Roasted Pork, Tuna Tartare and several other choices. For dessert, don’t miss out on the Butterscotch Pudding, which is made with crushed gingersnap cookies and topped with lemon zest whipped cream.

The kitchen at Wright & Co. is open until midnight and the bar remains open until 2 a.m.

The Detroit Pizza Company, 15 E. Kirby St., Detroit, held its soft opening at the end of July, and this is one place worth checking out because, lets be honest, pizza is always worth investigating. You can build your own pie from a variety of toppings and crusts, order a slice to go or make the wise choice to try a DPC specialty pie.

Pizzas falling into that category include Detroit Coney Pizza (topped with sliced hot dogs, chili, mozzarella cheese, fresh onions and mustard), Parmesan Garlic Chicken Pizza (with garlic parmesan sauce, red onion, spinach, bacon, mozzarella cheese and chicken breast) and Taco Nacho Pizza (with seasoned taco meat, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, queso cheese, sour cream, onion, tomato, jalapenos, nacho cheese tortillas and a partridge in a pear tree).

A pizza would be quite lonely without some Motor City Sticks to go with, so try the Garlic Bread Sticks or Triple Cheesy Sticks. Salads and appetizers (including Fried Mac n’ Cheese) are also on the menu, as well as Pizza Rolls and Calzone Cruisers.

After you’ve worked your way through the aforementioned restaurants, get your appetite ready for the following soon to open, eagerly anticipated restaurants: Gold Cash Gold, Rubbed, Guns + Butter, HopCat (in both Detroit and Ann Arbor) and Johnny Noodle King.

While we excitedly await those openings, lets enjoy all of these newly opened restaurants in the area, shall we?