Ferndale's celebrated tasting menu only eatery, Torino will shutter Saturday, beverage director Ian Redmond confirms to Eater. A popular restaurant with critics, Torino has been a coveted reservation for many Metro Detroit diners hoping to get a taste of chef Garrett Lipar's fearless menu.
Staff seemed surprised by the abrupt closure when Eater stopped by the small restaurant on 9 Mile today. Redmond says the eatery could no longer move forward in the small space with its closet-sized kitchen. The owner does not have plans to move to a new location at this time.
Torino opened in May 2013 and was an across-the-board favorite among reviewers with the restaurant and its chef receiving local and national accolades. The restaurant was named to Eater's first-ever National 38 in January, the only restaurant from Metro Detroit to make the cut. Wrote critic Bill Addison: "Lipar has the alchemical touch of a chef beyond his years: He knows how to make Midwestern ingredients taste fresh and true to their essence but also amplified."
Likewise, Hour Detroit's chief restaurant critic Christopher Cook named Torino its 2015 Restaurant of the Year for its "freshness, intensity, and reconnection to fine dining — and a serious examination of what a restaurant is and does." Lipar is a member of the Eater Young Gun's 2014 class and was a semifinalist this year for the James Beard Rising Star award.
The restaurant released this official statement:
This week we were visited by the Health Department and together we have determined that it is no longer possible to continue serving a menu of our caliber due to the current size of our facility. The overwhelming response to our concept and team has been beyond anything we could have imagined and we sincerely apologize to anyone who has been waiting to dine with us or unable to get a reservation. We look forward to the future and continuing to share our passion for food and drink with all of you.
We want to thank everyone for all of the encouragement and support during the last two years. It has been a wonderful journey with our amazing team and each of our loyal guests. We have contributed to a reinvention of the dining experience in this region, and we know the best is yet to come!