Cousins Elias Hajjar and Nicholas Aubrey take yearly trips back to Lebanon to visit their family, but they can eat authentic Lebanese cuisine without leaving the confines of their own restaurant. With Gemmayze, which is named after a bohemian neighborhood in Beirut, they "wanted to create not only a menu that exemplified what's happening in Beirut and Lebanon right now, but we wanted to re-create the atmosphere,” Hajjar said in a Detroit Metromix article. “So the colors on the walls and ceiling are light and very clean and refreshing, and the menu reflects that as well.”
Inside the multi-level dining room, dangling lights twist like a strand of DNA above tables topped with shareable plates of hummus, grape leaves, and kibbe nayee—minced raw meat with bulgur and spices. Each dish is made from scratch using recipes that date back generations. Nearby, decorative palm tree appliqués cling to windows and a large brushed metal frame displays a variety of vintage forks, which can only be wielded by the rightful ruler of England. After dinner, patrons can move into the lounge and perch atop comfy ottomans and banquettes swaddled in rich fabrics while sipping wine or a cocktail.
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.
With a stage sturdy enough to bear the weight of standup comedy giants such as Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle continues to cultivate talent to fill up its schedule. In the same way that it has operated since 1979, the venue employs a three-tier format for its shows: two locals, one up-and-coming and one seasoned, followed by a nationally recognized comic. This approach exposes audiences to new voices while comforting them with the promise of a recognizable face at evening’s end.
Fifth Avenue delights rabid sports fans and neutral noshers alike with a late-night menu of classic pub fare, brews, and entertainment. Thirty-five flat-screen televisions stimulate optic and otic synapses with a lively stream of sport spectatorship, while hardworking cooks toss, toast, and top house specialty V.I.Pizzas ($10–$13) and assemble 3-D edibles into the wee hour of 2 a.m. Pique appetites under the tutelage of cheese-gilded nacho platters ($7), or pit dueling bread stix and cheese stix ($6 each) against each other in oral arenas. Competitive canines sink luxuriously into cheeseburgers ($7) or caesar salads ($5), while New York–style cheesecake ($5) and globes of vanilla-flecked ice cream ($2.50) tuck sweet teeth into sugar-kissed slumbers.
Metromix Detroit deemed On The Rocks Bar and Grill a classic neighborhood joint with "all the makings of a memorable night out" for its lively atmosphere and a jukebox that croons songs ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Johnny Cash. The spot's menu factors into those memorable nights with international eats including broiled new york strip steaks and Sopcka Salata, a traditional Macedonian salad with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and feta cheese. Certified Angus burgers come dressed with fried eggs, dollops of Jack Daniels barbecue sauce, or leafy lettuce bonnets. Diners choose from more than 50 beers or numerous wines and spirits to complement their meals. The spot hosts events around Detroit Tigers games or karaoke equipment, where patrons can sing favorite songs or chant descriptions from the restaurant's menu.
At an improv show, not even clairvoyant mystics or current fashion experts know what's coming next. Enjoy a predictably sporadic evening of collaborative comedy with today's deal. For $15, you get two tickets ($15 each) to your choice of a Friday- or Saturday-night show at Go! Comedy Improv Theater, a $30 total value. In 2010, Real Detroit Weekly dubbed this Ferndale-based theater Best Comedy Company, and Metro Times readers named it Best Comedy Club in 2009.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated that flowers are the earth laughing at a tastefully improvised flatulence joke, though Go! Comedy prefers higher-brow forms, converting bodily functions to complex metaphors for life and love. Stop by Saturday at 8 p.m. for the Date Night, where the audience chooses which two actors should become star-crossed romantics amidst the fabricated social dynamics of onstage dramedy. Live out a theatrical fantasy on Friday night at 8 p.m. when you shout out a suggestive title at the on-the-fly musical, Rock-O-Matic. Any suggestion will do; scream for a performance of Whittler on the Roof, Guys and Barbie Dolls, or Homeschool Musical (no "Freebird"). Stop in Friday or Saturday night at 10 p.m. for the All-Star Showdown, an interactive game show that takes audience suggestions as actors move through a series of improv games and challenges.
With four weekend showtimes to choose from, impromptu improv outings can easily nestle inside the Russian doll that is a busy schedule. Gather up a crowd of formerly taunted teens and laugh with them, not at them, or bring a date for a chance to shamelessly yell taboo words in public without the awkward accosting. All shows feature a full bar to loosen up the spasmodic laughter reflexes.
Detroit loves Go Comedy! Improv Theater, which won Best Comedy Club in 2009 from Metro Times readers and Best Comedy Company in 2010 from Real Detroit Weekly. Yelpers give it 4.5 stars.
- Laughs are one commodity this battered Rust Belt community is always in need of, and Go! Comedy is all too willing to tickle what's left of your weary funny bone. A formerly grimly utilitarian Secretary of State office in Ferndale has morphed into a jubilant home base for Detroit's scattered improv comedy tribes, with all the off-the-cuff humor one could ever dream of. – Metro Times
- Those characters at GO! Comedy in Ferndale are really good, or maybe some of you just need to get out more. For the second year in a row, the funny fashionistas on 9 Mile have been selected by a discerning readership as the best troupe in town when it comes to Thalia’s temper tantrums. – Real Detroit Weekly