clock menu more-arrow no yes

Dear Bon Appétit: Never Mind, We're Just Sad Here

View as Map

134111232008_10_hasmaps%20%283%29%20%281%29.jpgWhen we asked for a general audience feel for Michigan restaurants that could have or should have made the cut for the 2013 Bon Appétit 'Best New Restaurant List,' we expected we'd get some frustrated folks and angsty anger. But we didn't expect this air of resigned negativity.

There's room for growth in the list that the Thursday call for new restaurants generated (if we can even call it a list), but all this talk of Detroit not having "the kind of 'cutting edge' cuisine that Bon Appétit's going to find appealing" largely misses the point. There's some merit behind comments that wonder how many new restaurants the metro area has seen since the beginning of the year. However, the list of exciting new restaurants around the country isn't necessarily 'cutting edge' or revolutionary.

Some of them are the kinds of experimental edible adventures that Detroit is lacking, but many of the 50 finalists are just restaurants providing good food in good places with good service. Detroit has plenty of those, and more than a few that opened in the last eight months.

Special thanks to the few of you who offered suggestions of places that could have or should have made the Bon Appétit cut — Isalita in Ann Arbor, Torino in Ferndale, The Root in White Lake (which doesn't qualify, but the effort counts), and Gastronomy in Southfield. (We feel compelled to add Ann Arbor's Vellum for consideration.)

The Metro Detroit and Michigan restaurant scene may not be as high-end or chef-centric as those in larger cities, but we've definitely got some interesting things happening here. Chin up, everyone. Keep eating, and be sure to remind yourselves that things around here are better than they might initially appear.


Feel like there's yet another restaurant that opened in the Metro Detroit region or Michigan at large that should have been considered by Bon Appétit? We're all ears at our tip line, and we want your take.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Root Restaurant and Bar

Copy Link
340 Town Center Blvd
White Lake, MI 48386
The Root opened all the way back in 2011, but there's still much to love in chef James Rigato's locally-focused, seasonally-charged menu in White Lake Township. [ Photo ]

2. Gastronomy

Copy Link
1 Towne Square
Southfield, MI 48075
Readers have raised questions about who exactly their current head chef is, but there's no question about their stunning approach to modern American cuisine. [Photo]

3. Torino

Copy Link
201 E 9 Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220
(248) 247-1370
Visit Website
Torino also probably doesn't qualify, since it was a coffee shop long before it decided to go the tasting-menu route. We'll include them anyway, because they're that good. [Photo]

4. Isalita

Copy Link
341A E Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 213-7400
Visit Website
With Mani Osteria on the other side of the street, the Liberty Street corridor is getting awfully exciting as of late. This unique take on Mexican cuisine is adding to the buzz. [Photo]

5. Vellum

Copy Link
209 S Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 929-4929
Visit Website
This is an addition from our editorial staff, but any meal at chef Peter Roumanis' tasteful and warmly-appointed dining room is a refreshing reminder of why our region is a culinary secret waiting to explode. [Photo]

1. The Root Restaurant and Bar

340 Town Center Blvd, White Lake, MI 48386
The Root opened all the way back in 2011, but there's still much to love in chef James Rigato's locally-focused, seasonally-charged menu in White Lake Township. [ Photo ]
340 Town Center Blvd
White Lake, MI 48386

2. Gastronomy

1 Towne Square, Southfield, MI 48075
Readers have raised questions about who exactly their current head chef is, but there's no question about their stunning approach to modern American cuisine. [Photo]
1 Towne Square
Southfield, MI 48075

3. Torino

201 E 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220
Torino also probably doesn't qualify, since it was a coffee shop long before it decided to go the tasting-menu route. We'll include them anyway, because they're that good. [Photo]
201 E 9 Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220

4. Isalita

341A E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
With Mani Osteria on the other side of the street, the Liberty Street corridor is getting awfully exciting as of late. This unique take on Mexican cuisine is adding to the buzz. [Photo]
341A E Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

5. Vellum

209 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
This is an addition from our editorial staff, but any meal at chef Peter Roumanis' tasteful and warmly-appointed dining room is a refreshing reminder of why our region is a culinary secret waiting to explode. [Photo]
209 S Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Related Maps