Every morning at Tom’s Oyster Bar, chefs scrawl the day’s battered and grilled seafood specials on chalkboard menus suspended from the ceiling. In addition to that list of freshly caught fish, the chefs tout their commitment to fresh seafood by stocking their raw bar with oysters that are shucked to order and then gently scolded for hording pearls.
In the wood-accented dining room, companions can sip from dozens of draft and bottled brews and bask in the glow of flat-screen TVs, or retreat to the outdoor patio and take in views of downtown Royal Oak.
A mermaid basks in the warm glow of track lighting, reaching to embrace a starfish as onlookers point and stare. This maritime beauty lives on a large mural inside Northern Lakes Seafood. She?s just one way the restaurant?voted Best Seafood Restaurant in Oakland County by Detroit Metro Times?celebrates the ocean?s many wonders.
In addition to a vast selection of seafood, Northern Lakes Seafood serves ribeye steak, chicken and waffles, house-made pasta, and kobe burgers. Fresh fish and shellfish arrive daily from Boston, Hawaii, Florida, and the Great Lakes each day, landing in the kitchen, where chefs broil, grill, and saut? them and drizzle on gourmet sauces such as beurre blanc and b?arnaise. To ensure that the fish is fresher than a mint-flavored iceberg, the chefs revise the menu each day, highlighting the newest catch available. In the lounge, guests can sip signature martinis and explore an oyster bar brimming with specimens from the East and West Coasts. The dining room teems with elegant decor such as ornate chandeliers, old-fashioned ceiling tiles, and burgundy carpet that matches the cabernets in the eatery?s wine library, which has won an award from Wine Spectator.
Whether through good fortune or just a good eye, brothers-in-law ?Buster? Blancke and ?Van? VanHollebecke found the perfect location when they were opening Sindbad's Restaurant and Marina in 1949. Previously the site of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the restaurant's scenic marina-side spot has since become a Detroit staple. While renovations over the decades have kept the nautical-themed decor intact, they've added mahogany-inlaid flooring and more rooms that overlook the river. There, diners often see boats float up to the docks for a chance at Sindbad's steaks and seafood.
Signature dishes, including the open-faced new york strip sandwich and vegetarian ciabatta sandwich, arrive in the dining room thanks to Chef John Fleming's expertise and super-human ability to not eat every lobster tail he sees. Obsessing over his ingredients, Chef Fleming sources fresh perch directly from Lake Erie and unsoaked, East Coast scallops from Foley Fish in Boston. Bartenders round out the menu with ice cream cocktails, dozens of house wines, and bottled beer?including craft brews?while live music in the second-floor Sohar Room heats up the summer months. To seal the deal for sports fans, Sindbad's even runs a free shuttle service that ferries customers to Red Wings, Lions, and Tigers games.
• For $43, you get a two-course dinner and wine for two (up to an $87.50 value). Click here for an overview of the courses. • For $80, you get a two-course dinner and wine for four (up to a $174 value). Click here for an overview of the courses. • For $119, you get a two-course dinner and wine for six (up to a $276.50 value). Click here for an overview of the courses.
At Brownie's on the Lake, chefs grace tables with burgers, hand-cut steaks, and fresh seafood from a classic American menu. As with most dinner entrees, Brownie's lobster mac 'n' cheese centers on a protein as it tucks butter-poached lobster into leagues of molten cheddar and reefs of elbow macaroni. The char-grilled New York strip steak pops with signature zip sauce, and the pan-fried Great Lakes perch wears a flaky coat of cornmeal. In addition to a mixed-greens salad or serving of house-made coleslaw, each diner can add a side such as sweet-potato wedges or herbed rice pilaf.
At Dylan’s, customers find themselves contemplating a generous spread of entrees and tapas, sushi, and an extensive wine list. For starters, patrons can slurp a bowl of clam chowder ($7) or chomp on single pieces of red-snapper (tai, $3), bluefin-tuna (toro, $8), or squid (ika, $2.75) sushi, then transition to a plate of lobster mac 'n' cheese ($8) or flash-fried coconut shrimp with pepper jelly ($11). After a sweet helping of Japanese– inari tofu-vegetable rolls (6 pieces, $5) or a squid-and-octopus tako salad ($7.50), omnivorous eaters can set their appetites at ease with a serving of beef-tenderloin tips tossed with whole-wheat pasta ($20), a 12-piece sashimi combination plate ($22.50) served with sushi rice, or a platter of frog legs ($15) in hot-pink leotards. Clogged body pipes can then be flushed with a glass of Cartlidge & Browne sauvignon blanc ($9), Latour chardonnay ($7), or Montoya pinot noir ($9).