Curation matters. Experiences that stand out are, more often than not, the result of focused intent. Painstaking selection.
We notice it in art galleries and museums. Clothing boutiques cater to a specific style and season. And in 2022, curated music playlists are the primary means by which we discover new music.
When it comes to the food we eat, Americans love options. But in a restaurant Mecca like Detroit, diners are afforded the opportunity to entrust the expertise of world-renowned chefs who specialize in crafting cohesive culinary journeys. If you’re looking for a meal that goes beyond the status quo, head into the city and experience one of these remarkable tasting menus.
Chef Garrett Lipar is doing the restaurant thing differently. As soon as you step foot in Albena, your experience is in his hands. The tiny restaurant – literally 8 seats at a counter – located within Detroit’s Siren Hotel is an oasis for foodies who seek out immaculate quality and creativity to the nth degree. Owned by the chef himself, along with his life partner Tiffany Henderson, Albena prioritizes highly-controlled preparation and intimate service. With a constantly-shifting menu, you’ll never get the same dish twice. And that’s the way they like it. At $225 per person, this is not a meal to be taken lightly. But if you’re looking for the best of the best, it should be at the top of your list.
Freya is Milwaukee Junction’s new kid on the block, and diners can’t get enough. Brought to you by the folks from Chartreuse and The Oakland, this veggie-centric, multi-course experience summons the finest farmers, fishmongers, foragers, and butchers in the area to provide artful dishes that inspire the senses. With omnivorous, pescatarian, and vegan menus available, there’s something for everyone. Reservations should be made in advance, as this is one of the hottest tables in town.
West Village’s Marrow has established itself as an outlier in Metro Detroit’s food scene. The restaurant is only half the story; Marrow also functions as the city’s elite specialty butcher shop. Behind the counter, you’ll find an assortment of locally-raised pork, beef, lamb, and poultry, along with a wide range of charcuterie, and products you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else close by.
It’s the quality of the ingredients that make Marrow the ideal setting for a chef’s tasting menu. At $65 per person, you won’t find a better value; five courses that encapsulate the diversity of their products, plus items unavailable to butcher shop customers. When the charcuterie board hits the table for round one, you know you’re in for an unforgettable experience.
The minds at Marrow celebrated the success of their flagship restaurant with an expansion into Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. This time, they set out to match the quality of their meat with exceptional, ethically sourced seafood. Mink offers items a la carte, but the tasting menu is the restaurant’s crown jewel. Expect the freshest oysters on the market (east and west coast), delicious shellfish, and seasonal Michigan veggies. If you’re willing to explore beyond the confines of the tasting menu, be sure to sample their unique array of tinned seafood. This is NOT your average can of sardines.
Contemporary French restaurant Cuisine is a go-to spot in Detroit’s New Center. Due to its proximity to the Fisher Theatre, the restaurant has incorporated a tasting menu to coincide with performances across the street. On Sunday show days, Cuisine opens early to please the thespian crowd with show-themed menus guaranteed to compliment the evening. Additionally, wine and beverage pairings are available upon request.