The Benstein Grille receives a nod from Detroit Free Press dining editor Sylvia Rector in a preliminary visit. Located in the former Draft Sports Bar building, Rector writes that the new restaurant and bar offers an "airy, attractive dining room and inviting, well-executed menu." While it's too early for a full review (Benstein opened April 9), the editor found many of the items she sampled to be "more interesting than expected and quite good" including a bone-in pork chop with apple cider bacon sauce and the restaurant's take on shrimp ‘n' grits.
The 160-seat restaurant's menu is designed by executive chef Steve Toomey and culinary director Erich Chieka to create a special experience for lake area residents and visitors looking for a place to grab dinner with friends. Designed by the Ron and Roman firm, Benstein Grille offers "expansive, wood-framed windows that fill the room with light," as well as tongue-in-cheek details like photos pairing famous Bens with images of beer steins — a play on the restaurant's name.
"The reason we (built) it out here is not just because we live here," says co-owner Glenn Kaplan, "but because this location is 3 miles to Milford, 3 miles to Novi, 3 to Union Lake Road and 3-plus to White Lake and Waterford. This area needed something for the people who live here."
The Benstein is focusing on dinner service for now but the owners plan to expand into weekend lunch service beginning April 25.