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Detroit Food Writers Reveal Their Top Restaurant Newcomers of 2017

Recapping the best openings of the past 12 months

Potato doughnuts at Lady of the House.
Lauren Miller

As is tradition at Eater, we closed out the year by surveying local food writers and our own staff on various restaurant-related topics, and publishing their responses throughout the week. Here, we asked for their top new openings of 2017. Readers, feel free to share your thoughts below.

Melody Baetens, Features Reporter, Detroit News:

Voyager, Ima, Lady of the House, River Bistro and Apparatus Room

Lexi Trimpe, Web Editor, Hour Detroit:

Lady of the House, Gather, River Bistro.

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

Ima and Lady of the House were definitely two of my favorites this year. Every time I visit either of those spots I’m incredibly satisfied. Ima’s vegetarian options are the hot ticket when I want something that feels healthy but filling. Lady of the House’s bread and meat plates are definitely the power move and bar has so much range. I’m not a huge dessert person but the potato doughnuts are divine. That prime rib is also worth the splurge. I also appreciated spots like PizzaPlex, which offers affordable, super tasty pizzas. In general, it was nice to see more casual dining this year.

Nick Britsky, Beverage Director, Thrillist:

Apparatus Room has a beautiful space joined with incredible food and killer service. I would love to see their cocktail program get a more creative. Also Lady of the House: Do I need to say more than potato doughnuts? I do because everything is so yummy and the beverage geniuses there are constantly surprising me with tasty drinks.

John Reyes, Ann Arbor Contributor, Eater Detroit:

Ma Lou’s Nashville-style hot chicken and HOMES Brewery’s beers and Asian comfort food made for a spicy 2017.

Dorothy Hernandez, Contributor, Eater Detroit:

I know it technically opened last year, but Ima is such a welcome addition to the restaurant scene. I also like the fun vibes and creative spin on seafood at Voyager — I just had an uni fondue there that was to die for.

Serena Maria Daniels, Editor, Tostada Magazine:

Lady of the House was a long time coming, but so deserved for chef Kate Williams. True to her ethos for hospitality, when I visited during a soft opening night, chef and company were on point, striking up conversation, making informed recommendations. Yeah, I get it, I’m a food writer and some of that comes with the territory of being well known, but from what I saw, that level of service was provided to all guests — not just the “VIPs.”… Also, that decor was adult goals all the way. Sophisticated, yet warm and welcoming.

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