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The Whitney – Detroit

The Whitney

The Whitney has been a Detroit landmark since it was built in the 1890’s. Its a majestic sight and a glimpse into the old world of Detroit and the neighborhood of opulence that used to exist on Woodward. It has since been turned into a restaurant and I have been wanting to eat there for a while, if nothing else to see the inside of this glorious mansion.

The house is huge and the best part of eating there is being able to tour it after. You can walk around and explore all three floors. Each room gives you a glimpse into the life of the previous owners with the amazing Tiffany glass windows and the gorgeous wood and plaster details.

The Whitney

We went for lunch on a Friday. It was moderately busy, and they actually use the many rooms as different dining areas.

The Whitney

I’m a bread snob. I admit it. I like to get high on carbs. I feel like the bread sets the tone for the meal. If something as simple as bread is not executed properly it is a foreboding sign. Sadly, the bread bombed. I suppose it was an attempt at garlic bread. It was hard, cold, and oily.

The Whitney

The Caesar Salad was good. Fresh lettuce and properly dressed. I will note one thing, I was expecting silverware and plates reminiscent of the era. Not the square, white, modern plates that were served.

The Whitney

I skimmed the menu. I wanted something comforting. Something warm and lux. It was a cold day outside, and I needed to feel human again. I chose the Lobster Mac n Cheese ($23). It was a good plate of food. It was huge, I couldn’t finish it. The lobster was salty and was a bite of the ocean, a little over cooked though, and it seemed to be added on top as an after thought.

The Whitney

Sam had the Pasta with, Peas, Rosemary, white Cream Sauce over Fettuccini ($13). I am very sorry to say, it was bland, flavorless and uninspired. I know its a simple pasta dish, but it was sent out with no salt or flavor whatsoever. I get frustrated when simple dishes are overlooked. This plate could have been creamy and great. I get more flavor out of instant pasta from a rice-a-roni box.

The Whitney

Our friend “T”, ordered the  Orange Glazed Chicken with Garlic Polenta Honey Mustard Braised Carrots ($17). She said it was some of the best chicken she had ever had.

The Whitney

For dessert, we chose all three that they offered ($7 each). The creme brulee was the best and the only one worth ordering. It had the perfect crust, and was creamy and perfect. I always get an Amelie moment anytime I eat it. Maybe that adds to the magic.

The Whitney

The cheesecake was thick, and the crust too hard to cut through with a fork. I didn’t like it. Whatever happened to light fluffy pieces of cream cheese heaven?

The Whitney

The carrot cake was light and moist. The frosting a great consistency. I just thought it was way to small. It needed to be double the size.

The Whitney

After dining there and touring the mansion after, I have to say, you need to eat at the Whitney at least once in your life, just for the experience. The food could be improved, but it wasn’t bad. Maybe their dinner menu has more to offer and I believe they are known for their brunch. The mansion itself is gorgeous. I am so glad it is still around, and I hope it stays for around for centuries.

Wasabi – Korean & Japanese – Detroit

Wasabi

Wasabi is located on Kirby just east of the DIA in Detroit. The word “Wasabi” automatically makes you think of sushi, and Japanese food. Add Korean dishes to that and you have a restaurant I definitely want to eat at. Asian food is very mysterious to me. Sushi is the most straight forward in my book. So, anytime I get a chance, I like to eat something Asian I have not before.

What made it even better was the coupon I found. More food for less money. Can’t beat that.

We started with some appetizers.

Wasabi

Shrimp Goyoza Shrimp dumplings, deep fried ($4.99).

As anyone will tell you, I’m a sucker for fried dumplings. Crunchy and hot, just the way I like them.

Wasabi

Agedashi Deep-fried tofu in tempura sauce ($4.99).

Sam was not fond of these. I believe men do not like mushy textured food. I liked it. Firm on the outside, creamy middle and salty finish from the sauce.

Wasabi

The ubiquitous Miso soup, and ginger salad. Nothing revolutionary. Taste was ok. I have had way better miso and salad.

Wasabi

I can’t remember the name of the dish I had, but it was a Korean soup. It had zucchini, tofu, and egg among other things in a great spicy broth. It was pretty good and my mouth was on fire just the way I like. I could have done with the veggies being cooked a little longer.

Wasabi

Sam had the Hot and Spicy Shrimp from the Korean menu- Shrimp, and vegetables in a hot and spicy sauce ($14.99).

He loved it. Spicy, smoky and all around comforting.

Wasabi

The sushi coming out to the tables looked fantastic with a great display of knife skills. I had the Caterpillar Roll – Spicy Tuna wrapped with sliced of Avocado and Masago on  top. It was really good. Not as spicy as I usually like, but still very good.

Wasabi

For dessert, we were pretty stuffed and just had these ice cream balls. It was green tea and strawberry. They are wrapped in a rice paste of sorts that is chewy and good. These were fun to eat. The strawberry was the best and sells out fast.

The restaurant itself is cozy and small with a modernesque look with aluminum touches. We had no issues with the service or waitress. Although, I do have to mention, I have been there again recently and the owner or manager made the dining situation uncomfortable with him yelling at the waitress and the sushi chefs. You could tell everyone was on edge with him there.

I would still recommend this place. Food is great, with a large selection. They also have Bibimbab’s, which is always a “hell yeah”. Have you eaten here, or do you have a Korean or Japanese restaurant in the area you would recommend?

Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Iridescence – Motor City Casino – Detroit

Iridescence Detroit

Iridescence is a restaurant perched atop the hotel section of the Motor City Casino. I was excited to dine there since I have eaten several times at rival MGM Casino restaurants Wolfgang Puck and Saltwater and I wanted to see how it stacked up. One of the draws to Iridescence is the great decor and the views overlooking the river and the  Ambassador Bridge.

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We were seated within ten minutes of our reservation, and while waiting we enjoyed live piano music in the lounge area. Upon being seated the first thing I noticed was the grand floor to ceiling wine rack. Each row is automated and rotates to deliver the required bottle of wine to the bottom for dispensing.

Iridescence Detroit

After ordering, we were delighted by an amuse bouche sent out by the chef. It was a nice chunk of crab. Wasn’t super seasoned, just simple and clean tasting.

Iridescence Detroit

Our friend Mike had the special appetizer that day. Hamachi crudo –  in foie gras, cranberry-elderflower compote, granny smith apple, cucumber, popcorn shoot ($14). I had a bite. It was good, the apples quite interesting. I was not a fan of the cucumber because it made it too watery. A version with less seeds might work better.

Iridescence Detroit

Next, the tomato soup that was poured at the table. The plate first came out with a cube of tomato covered in greens, then the tomato soup was poured over it. It came with mini grilled cheese finger sammie.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly so far. And then one thing pretty much ruined our night. We waited and waited and our entrees had not come out yet. It was an hour and still no food. It was really bad. We noticed it was not just us though. Looking around the room was lots of disgruntled faces. Not too many happy campers at this point.

Needless to say my husband Sam had quite had it and called over the floor manager. At first he seemed a bit surprised and taken aback by our complaint. He didn’t say much and walked away and then came back. He had gone to check our reservation time (8:30 pm). At this point he said that while we had ordered multiple courses, our wait was not too over but it was still more than should be. Mind you it was 10:00 pm at this point and I was fuming, but bit my tongue. So, he said that the appetizers were on him and on that que the plates came out.

After he walked away, we were very unhappy to be honest. Not that we wanted anything or to get “free” food, but, we did not feel it was handled well. It didn’t feel sincere, and it definitely wasn’t an apology. More unfolds after our dinner…

Iridescence Detroit

I had the fish chowder ($24). I have to say, despite the huge and almost unforgivable time misstep, this is one of the best dishes I have had all year. Fish, clams, salmon, shrimp, sticky sweet rice and this deeply flavored and slightly salty in a good way broth. I could eat it all over again. It was superb. It almost redeemed the whole night for me. Almost.

Iridescence Detroit

Mike had the Yellow Perch breaded in Better Made potato chips ($23). This too was a deliciously cooked fish. I was also surprised at the amount of food on the plate. Usually places like this give you a sliver of fish.

Iridescence Detroit

Sam had the Roasted Atlantic Salmon with risotto ($23). It was cooked perfectly.

We were very happy with the food, but to be honest we were eating while still upset at the way the situation had been handled.

At some point during the meal, the manager finally noticed we still were not happy, and he finally cracked a smile, gave a real apology and was very friendly and said something along the lines of let’s end the meal on a sweet note and enjoy dessert on us. Finally, a real apology.

Iridescence Detroit

For dessert we tried three things. Mike ordered the apple pie with cinnamon ice cream ($7). It was quite good and not overly sweet. The apples also still had a bite to them just the way I like it.

Iridescence Detroit

I ordered the Candy Sampler ($12). It was whimsical looking but fell short. It was more dessert than “candy” and the execution on some parts was just not there. The best part was the Vernor’s float, and I am not even a Vernor’s fan. I loved the pop rocks on the rim of the cup and you could actually drink via the twizzler. It was fun and I was expecting something more whimsical.

Iridescence Detroit Iridescence Detroit

Sam had the Key Lime Pie ($7). It came with mango, basil and lemon sorbet. The basil was fantastic. So fresh and the perfect bite to end with.

Iridescence Detroit

Overall, the food was great, and better than I expected. I understand that sometimes kitchens can get overwhelmed and you could see the Chefs mad at work in the back. However, looking online at some other reviews it seems that the long wait for food has been a common issue. They need to fix this issue as it was the only issue we had and quite unacceptable. So, for now if you would like to dine there I would suggest to go at a time that is not usually as busy as Friday night, hopefully your wait won’t be as bad at that time. I would love to hear your thoughts. Is a long wait made up for by great food?

Iridescence on Urbanspoon

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