Coming back for a second helping of Detroit’s great eats

Heed these words: You only have two more days to devour what is left of Detroit Restaurant Week. Get thee to an eatery.

I have been fortunate enough this week to enjoy two nights of dining in the D. The first came on Tuesday with friends at Angelina Italian Bistro. The second was a rare date night Thursday with my husband at 24Grille inside the Westin Book Cadillac hotel.

Both served superb three-course dinners with good service. I was in carnivore heaven: Veal at Angelina, Angus beef rib at 24Grille. I ate dessert without having to share it with my spouse in some feeble attempt to save money and calories. Best of all was seeing the restaurants filled to the gills – with those passing by on relatively busy sidewalks looking wistful and wishing they were there in your place.

Eating well is easy enough in Detroit; eating with adventure, gusto and abandon is far rarer in my case. Knowing that I was in capable hands, I was more willing to try new foods (a little Alligator Gumbo, anyone?). I ordered Michigan brews to accompany each dish, a true treat for a mid-week meal. And now I can highly recommend the Red Dwarf beer I’m always nattering on about.

I’m not a foodie, so I won’t wax poetic about the great textures and flavors I enjoyed. Truly, I’m not qualified to do so – I’m an old-school Polish girl; one-color meals featuring pork, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut aren’t rare in my household.

I could wax poetic about the great restaurant interiors – open, somewhat raw spaces that had that cosmopolitan vibe one associates with great cities. From everyone I spoke with who ate at Coach Insignia, Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and The Rattlesnake Club, the views weren’t so bad there either.

Instead, I’ll tell you about the green stuff. And I’m not talking salad. Checking out the DRW website, I found these amazing facts. This is the fourth time this promotion has been offered since fall 2009. Of the previous three, Detroit restaurants saw more than 85,000 diners who generated almost $1.5 million in sales. Compute that, you economists among us, and digest the good news.

That, my online friends, is stunning. I had missed the previous versions of this fine event, and I feel that regret deeply. This is the kind of thing you need to support if you want to have this level of fine dining in Detroit. I’ve learned that now, and I will become a rabid supporter of this event – and others like it – as they arise.

This has been such a fine week for our city: the new Art X Detroit festival, Rust Belt to Artist Belt conference and Detroit Restaurant Week. I admit to be a big cheerleader for Detroit in my little way – and I was so pleased to see the streets filled with vehicles, families out at the restaurants, tons of newcomers learning all about the city, tourists seeing the sights. That is just as satisfying as any great piece of meat in my opinion.

I have only one negative thing to say about the whole thing. While the diners I saw ranged in age, most were singles, young couples or the more mature diner. Thus, my only suggestion is adding one family-friendly selection each year…How about a three-course meal for the PB&J set? Or a dining scenario where my wild ones could carry on without getting me carried out the door?

Detroit Restaurant Week end Sunday – so take my advice and don’t let it slip by. If you cannot get a reservation at one of the participating restaurants, I have a feeling the lines might be a little shorter at Slows Bar B Q. Well, on second thought, maybe you should call ahead there as well. It seems Detroit suddenly is the city that doesn’t sleep. And it sure does eat well.

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