Top 10 Restaurant Takeover: Grey Ghost

By: Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers | March 24, 2017
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Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers and Detroit Free Press have once again teamed up for the Top 10 Takeover, a series of restaurant takeovers that will highlight the ten best new restaurants in Detroit and the surrounding area. For the inaugural event this year, the Takeover heads to Grey Ghost in Detroit on Tuesday, April 11.

With a team consisting of brothers John and David Vermiglio, co-chef Joe Giacomino and beverage director Will Lee, Grey Ghost brings an enthusiasm for butchery & craft cocktails, nested in a rustic, inviting interior. The restaurant gets its name from a rum-running pirate of the Detroit River during prohibition.

The cheeseburger from Detroit's Grey Ghost restaurant.

The cheeseburger from Detroit’s Grey Ghost restaurant. Photo courtesy of Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press.

After Grey Ghost received the honor of being named one of Detroit Free Press’ 10 best new restaurants in metro Detroit, I decided to chat with Free Press restaurant critic Mark Kurlyandchik to find out what made this urban steakhouse stand out.

“I don’t know that there was one single draw,” Kurlyandchik said. “It really was about the whole package, from the excellent craft cocktails to the whimsical spins on classic dishes (oysters Chicago-style comes to mind). I guess the biggest draw, then, is Grey Ghost’s ability to make a steakhouse fun and modern.”


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It was the Vermiglio brothers’ decision to open up shop in Detroit rather than build their respective careers in Chicago, the city they most recently called home. Given the success of Grey Ghost so far, one wonders how the restaurant would have fared in The Windy City.

“With the level of talent that co-chefs John Vermiglio and Joe Giacomino bring to the restaurant, I’m sure it would have been successful in any city,” Kurlyandchik said. “But that success means more in a city like Detroit, where the culinary scene is still finding its footing.”


The fried bologna appetizer from Detroit’s Grey Ghost restaurant features house-made bologna with sharp cheddar and jalapeno on a waffle. Photo courtesy of Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press.

Kurlyandchik also had equal praise for the eatery’s beverage program, calling it “one of the best in the city.”

“Beverage manager/partner Will Lee has a style all his own,” Kurlyandchik said. “It’s probably no surprise that all the syrups, bitters, and many other ingredients are house-made (they are), but his creations are at once complex and balanced with fruit-forward flavor profiles that never veer into sweet territory thanks to his deft use of acid.”

Those looking to attend this year’s Takeover dinner at Grey Ghost can purchase tickets beginning today, March 24 at noon. Tickets can be purchased here. Your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers will also be giving away tickets for two seats to this and every Takeover dinner this year. You can enter for your chance to win beginning Wednesday, March 29 at noon at