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Best Tasting Menus In Detroit

July 24, 2013 8:00 AM

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(credit: therootrestaurant.com)

(credit: therootrestaurant.com)

(credit: therootrestaurant.com)

(credit: therootrestaurant.com)

If you’re out on the town or looking to celebrate a special occasion, why not try a tasting menu at one of the Detroit area’s fabulous restaurants? Check out this list to see which places have the best tasting menus in the area.

See our previous Best Tasting Menus In Detroit article here.

The Root Restaurant and Bar
340 Town Center Blvd.
White Lake, MI 48386
(248) 698-2400
www.therootrestaurant.com

James Rigato, the head chef and proprietor of Root, has become very well known lately, and the Root has the distinction of having both a regular and a vegan tasting menu. Its tasting menu is $40 a person ($55 paired with wine or $49 with beer), and includes four courses: two appetizer courses, a main meal and dessert. For course one, choose scallop, brie or a crab cake; for course two, soup du jour, Orchard salad or asparagus salad; course three, chicken, trout, pork or vegan; and course four, dessert. The vegan tasting menu is $29 ($44 with wine, or $38 with beer), and includes four courses as well: asparagus salad, split pea/Michigan ramp puree, vegan red lentil and cauliflower stir fry or linguine puttanesca and dessert. The Root has “seasonable, sustainable cuisine,” and offers a variety of meals to fit every palette.

Related: Ask A Detroit Chef: Best Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

Vellum
209 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 929-4929
www.vellumrestaurant.com

Vellum is one of downtown Ann Arbor’s newest offerings, replacing the Full Moon bar, and its tasting menu gives you lots of choices. You may choose the five-course ($45 per person, $75 with wine) or seven-course menu ($60, $100 with wine); the main difference between the two is that the five-course withholds the Rose Ice dessert, and you choose either the pan-fried walleye or the beef ribeye, rather than receiving both. The rest of the menu includes poached egg, quail consomme, tagliatelle and madeleine and tea for dessert. The restaurant’s owners, Peter Roumanis and his father and business partner, John, named the restaurant “Vellum” because of the building’s past: it’s from the 1800s and used to be a print shop.

Torino
201 E. 9 Mile Road
Ferndale, MI 48220
(248) 247-1370
www.torinoferndale.com

Torino is unique in that it only serves tasting menus, aside from its drinks, of course. The menu, which is prix-fixe, changes weekly, and seasonal and local products are often included. Torino also offers drink pairings with its menu, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and its resident “mixologist” can recommend what drinks to order. For the sample menu, three courses is $34, five is $52 and drink pairings are $25 extra. The drinks range from the bizarre to the sweet, including a bacon old fashioned (bacon-infused Maker’s Mark with maple syrup and choco bitters) and the fuzzy zoeller (grapefruit-infused vodka, smoked grapefruit juice, Earl Grey-infused rye, rye syrup, lemon bitters), among others.

Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room
45645 Hayes Road
Shelby Township, MI 48315
(586) 843-3690
www.mbtbtasting.com

What if you just want some wine and a few light bites? If so, you should check out Michigan By The Bottle, a tasting room in Shelby Township that specializes in gourmet wine. Shannon and Cortney Casey first started their Michigan By the Bottle website in 2009, and it soon became so popular that they opened their tasting room. Private tastings can be arranged for small groups, or you can stop by with your group anytime. The Full Flights include five two-ounce samples plus “Flight Bites” – small chocolate and cheese plates – and Mini Flights come with three two-ounce samples, and you can add Flight Bites for a small fee. You can also choose your own wine samples or have Shannon and Cortney choose for you.

Related: Best Wine Bars In Detroit

Logan Restaurant
115 W. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 327-2312
www.logan-restaurant.com

Logan is located in downtown Ann Arbor and there is street parking nearby. Chef Thad Gillies’ five-course tasting menu is available Tuesday through Thursday for dinner and Friday and Saturday after 8 p.m. It’s $65, with wine flights at an additional cost. If you’re adventurous, you can do the tasting “blind” – that menu changes frequently and sometimes includes dishes not found on the menu, so you’re in for a treat. A sample five-course sample in the past has included: caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil; Thai scallops with mashed potatoes; pan fried duck livers; pan seared beef culotte; and chocolate mouse with creme anglaise and pistachios. Named after chef Thad’s son, Logan opened its doors in November 2004 and is Zagat-rated. It was voted one of the Top 10 Restaurants in the Metro Detroit area.

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at Examiner.com and yesnofilms.com.

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