Inside Kyoto Japanese Steak House, guests sit at large hibachi tables with a close-up view of chefs cooking scallops, filet mignon, chicken, and lobster. More than 80 traditional Japanese and Thai dishes are grilled up by hibachi chefs, and 25 specialty rolls take shape in the hands of sushi chefs, who combine ingredients such as soft-shell-crab tempura, flounder, and submarine meat. Above the dark-wood floor of the dining room, a curved bar serves up sake and fruit-infused cocktails.
It’s no easy task, but somehow Duo Restaurant & Lounge manages to meld elegant dining and a sophisticated Manhattan-inspired lounge experience all under one roof. The duality also applies to the cuisine, an artfully plated cross between upscale bar food and classic steak-house items. Toasted cheese-stuffed ravioli and burgers crowned with white cheddar and bacon represent the former, and the latter includes potato-crusted yukon salmon and 10-ounce new york strips served with whipped potatoes and house zip sauce.
The theme is also evident in a cocktail menu divided between classics such as pomegranate martinis and inventive signatures such as the plum sake and the Taste of Asia’s elderflower blend. Visitors can also peruse a wine list that groups selections around flavor categories such as Light, White & Interesting and Lots of Pinot Noir.
For such a decadent culinary tradition, churrasco comes from humble origins. Gauchos in the southernmost region of Brazil would typically end their long days of cattle ranching by meeting around a roaring fire pit, where they prepared family-style meals and roasted skewered meats over the open flames. This tradition lives on in churrascarias throughout the world, allowing diners to experience this rustic style of home cooking in a more formal atmosphere.
At Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse, the chefs remain faithful to the flavors of those countryside meals. Skewers of as many as 16 different meats—including rib-eye steak, lamb chops, and pork tenderloin—slowly rotate above the grill's flames or a handful of fire-breathing dragons, imbuing the hearty proteins with an unmistakably smoky tenderness.
As servers travel throughout the dining area with skewers hot off the flames, diners can catch the staff's attention by flipping their coasters from red to green. This signals the servers to approach and carve tableside servings directly off the skewer. Although the savory meats are the main attraction, even earning the eatery WDIV's Vote 4 the Best award for Detroit's Best Steakhouse in 2012, a salad bar also tempts diners with more than 40 hot and cold side dishes, including everything from fresh spring mix to mushroom risotto.
The dining room's mural of a Brazilian gaucho herding cattle nods to the cuisine's rustic roots, but its earthenware floor tiles and cherry-wood columns ensure a refined ambiance. The tables, draped with crisp white linens and flanked by red-cushioned chairs, are well spaced so as to allow for intimate family dinners and the regular plate-patrol rounds made by the vigilant servers.
The Lakes Bar & Grille calms appetites with a menu comprising a wide variety of grilled meats, perfectly cooked seafood, and plentiful entrees. Blackberry chicken takes center stage by singing a song of house-made blackberry pan sauce, surrounded by a supporting cast of vegetables and a potato cameo ($15.95). Dine on the grill's most beloved staple, steak, with such succulent meat slabs as filet mignon seared in zip sauce and coated in herb butter ($23.95–$28.95) and16-ounce hand-cut delmonico steaks with all the fixings ($26.95). Pan-fried perch leap from griddles to plates in a magnificent display of annual migration, eager to reach their home in lakes of lemon butter and tartar sauce ($18.95). Combining the very best of water-based sports and artificial football fields, surf 'n' turf mac 'n' cheese piles plates with steak bits, lobster, and elbow macaroni ($15.95).