Chef Doug Hewitt and owner Sandy Levine have some celebrating to do. Their Midtown restaurant Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails took the well-deserved leading slot today on the Detroit Free Press's Top 10 Best New Restaurants list. Calling Hewitt "a vegetable wizard," critic Mark Kurlyandchik writes:
The restaurant is lively and fresh, quirky but unpretentious — a come-as-you-are gourmet dining destination that dishes up approachable but inventive regional cuisine and consistently good service whether you drop in for a quick Tuesday lunch or nab a coveted Saturday dinner reservation.
James Rigato's Mabel Gray tailed longtime friend Hewitt's restaurant in second place. The pair were followed by Standby in third, Forest in fourth, Republic in fifth, Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles in sixth, La Dulce in seventh, Vertical Detroit in eighth, Central Kitchen + Bar in ninth, and Townhouse Detroit in tenth place. The spread showed a strong showing among recent Detroit openings with only three locations coming from the suburbs.
The Detroit Free Press assembled its list based on restaurants that opened by December 5 of last year. Both former critic Sylvia Rector and her recent replacement Kurlyandchik participated in the evaluation process. Chartreuse joins last year's winner Selden Standard.