The chefs at Wrought Iron Grill design dishes that are artfully executed down to the last detail. Take, for example, the housemade sauces and soups that are made fresh daily, or the veal demi-glace they make to flavor hand-cut, marrow-encrusted filet mignon. They also take care to incorporate local ingredients, coating wild-caught scallops with Michigan morel mushrooms and flash-frying fillets of Michigan perch.
Housed in the five-story brick structure that once held Woodard Furniture Company, Wrought Iron Grill's decor harks back to the building's industrial past. Flooring reclaimed from a welding room tops the bar, and 110-year-old windows hang over the heads of bartenders as they pour Michigan beers and mix drinks such as signature bloody marys garnished with spicy Mandingo pickles, 45th Parallel asparagus, and jumbo shrimp. Live bands often play atop the building's loading dock, allowing singers to be conveniently wheeled away after they've finished performing.
Gracie's serves up rotating menus of upscale American lunch and dinner fare made from fresh, local ingredients. Gastronomes seeking to bisect the day with culinary delights can try the seared salmon salad with fried tofu, mixed veggies, and yuzu-miso dressing ($12) or a teriyaki fried tofu with jamaican rice and house-made kimchi ($8).
The Michigan Brewers Guild wanted something very specific when it turned 15: it asked the state’s breweries to concoct a 15th-anniversary ale for its summer beer fest. Chef and home brewer Amy Sherman, host of Great American Brew Trail, went behind the scenes at the celebration, where she interviewed local breweries’ staff members about their celebratory brews. Reports like these are typical of her show, Great American Brew Trail, for which she travels to microbreweries across the country and unveils the creative and culinary processes behind beer.
Refined new New American flavors meet international culinary influences at Red Cedar Grill, which fills its menu with familiar classics as well as re-imagined staples. Much like the closets of celebrity dogs, the menu rotates seasonally as the chefs search for freshly harvested produce and other newly available ingredients throughout the year.
These ingredients can lend their vibrant flavors to dishes such as the spice-rubbed cuts of filet mignon and new york strip steak, the chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, or the salmon flavored with a sweet-and-spicy combination of bourbon, ginger, and honey marinade. The chefs may also use the ingredients in fusion-inspired items, including a Mexican-style poutine featuring sweet-potato fries glazed with mole sauce, queso fresco, and salsa verde.
Meals pair with beers from Michigan breweries and artisan cocktails made using spirits from Michigan distilleries. The wine list even incorporates a handful of Michigan wines alongside its selection of bottles from as far away as Australia and Italy.
The cooks at Sparta Grill Coney Island fill their dense menu to feature something for everyone with breakfast omelets, gyro plates, and char-grilled new york strip steaks. They grill third-pound burgers and crown them with slices bacon and cheese or gyro meat, feta, and tzatziki sauce. Dinner favorites include crusty chicken pot pies served with mashed potatoes and gravy, as well as healthier meals such as chicken salad plates paired with cottage cheese and seasonal fruits or greek salads taped to a running treadmill.
Blondie's Barn is never open past 3 p.m., but the kitchen team still manages to whip up three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and brunch. The breakfast classics run the gamut from huevos rancheros to a chocolate-chip waffle topped with chocolate drizzle and countless dollops of whipped cream. For lunch, there's plenty of sandwiches, such as a pulled-pork wrap or a burger. Then there's brunch, when diners are welcome to eat anything they'd like, including their tables.