8325 E. Jefferson Ave.
Detroit, MI 48214
The Gathering is known for its brunch, but also has a live musical cabaret on Friday nights, with a complimentary buffet menu (tickets are $5) – which might be the best deal in town. The restaurant has an art gallery that is always changing, with new artists each month, and it’s located in Detroit’s Indian Village. Reservations can be made for Sunday brunch as early as 9 a.m., and the restaurant is very small – perfect for dates.
735 Forest Ave.
Birmingham, MI 48009
The Forest Grill allows BYOB, but has specific rules: patrons are allowed to bring in quality wines but it has to be something that the restaurant does not offer. There is also a $25 corkage fee. Chef Brian Polcyn serves up everything from charcuterie to short ribs, and the Grill has a $65 five-course tasting menu (seasonal, changes daily). The restaurant has a patio (open in the warmer months), is open late on weekends and also offers a “community table.” Entrees range from $21-$30, or come for dessert ($10-$16) or an after-dinner drink with the wine you bring.
9737 Joseph Campau Ave.
Hamtramck, MI 48212
Revolver is extremely unique in that no dinner is ever the same at the restaurant. It offers “multi-course, prix fixe dinners” that change daily, hence the restaurant’s name. Seating is communal, and chefs also rotate. Dinner is served twice on Friday nights and some Saturdays at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. BYOB is allowed, and the restaurant has corkscrews and wine glasses on the table for its patrons to help themselves to whatever drinks they have brought. Tickets for the dinners must be bought on revolver’s website ahead of time, and tips are certainly encouraged.
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110 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Vinology, located in downtown Ann Arbor, does allow BYOB, with a $20 corkage fee. Like Forest Grill, the wine should be something that Vinology doesn’t carry. Vinology’s owner, Kristin Jonna, who also owns The Bird and the Bread (see below) and Vinotecca (Royal Oak), agrees that the law is a good thing, but hopes that customers bring in higher quality wines rather than your average $10 bottle. Vinology also does a great and long happy hour: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (half off all glasses of wine and up to half off draft beers), with a food happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays (half off flatbread of the day and slider trio).
210 S. Old Woodward Ave.
Birmingham, MI 48009
Kristin Jonna’s newest establishment, The Bird & the Bread, also offers BYOB with a $20 corkage fee. The restaurant is “European comfort food-inspired concept” and is located in downtown Birmingham. TB&TB offers a huge selection of wines, as well as more than 100 beers, cocktails and spirits. There are lunch and dinner menus to choose from, as well as an “all day” menu of pizza and mussels, and not your standard children’s menu. Kids can choose from a cashew butter and homemade jelly sandwich, to baked chicken kebobs, to a beef brisket Sloppy Joe and more. And don’t forget dessert. Three pots de creme, brown sugar cake and seasonal cobblers are offered.
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