The Detroit Free Press countdown of the top ten best new restaurants in Detroit for 2018 concluded on Friday with critic Mark Kurlyandchik naming Chef’s Table at the Detroit Foundation Hotel his Restaurant of the Year. The ticketed tasting menu dinners helmed by chef Thomas Lents debuted on October 15 in a small 12-seat space overlooking The Apparatus Room.
At a cost of $175 a per person for a roughly 10-course meal, Chef’s Table most certainly falls into the category of special occasion dining. But as Kurlyandchik argues it’s worth the price to “experience cooking at a level rarely seen in Detroit — even in the storied dining establishments of yore.” Lents’ cooking, the critic writes, tells a story with each new course and “could be transported to anywhere else in the world and maintain its culinary relevance.”
On Thursday, Lents was named a semifinalist for a James Beard Award in the category Best Chef: Great Lakes (a category crowded with chefs from Chicago). The Detroit Foundation Hotel’s flagship restaurant The Apparatus Room, also overseen by Lents, was named the Hottest Restaurant of the Year by Eater Detroit.
The Detroit Foundation Hotel has branded the Chef’s Table as a place for Lents to showcase his talents, honed at places like two Michelin-starred Sixteen in Chicago and at star collector Joël Robuchon’s The Mansion at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, as well as a space to host outside chefs. Those guest chef appearances are expected to begin in March.