Frida is a welcome addition to the Downtown Dearborn dining scene. It fills a much needed void in the area. This contemporary style bistro takes traditional Mexican dishes and elevates them to the next level. The restaurant is named after Frida Kahlo, and her paintings adorn the walls.
The decor is fantastic. Minimal decor, warm tones, wicker chairs and the perfect little plants in the window.
Almost immediately you are greeted with chips and salsa, with a mild and extra hot version.
One thing I love about the place is you can add a soup for $0.99 with any plate. Its the perfect start to meal, and the little cup of creamy roasted poblano soup was like liquid gold. I have never had anything like it. Creamy, hot, smoky and a tad spicy, what more can you ask for.
Sam had the chicken fajita with cheese. It came with the regular accouterments of beans, rice, guac, sour cream and tomatoes. It was in a spicy tomato sauce and was reminiscent slightly of a stew. The flavors melded beautifully and begged to be wrapped in a tortilla destined for my tummy.
Frida’s has a “combo” section on their menu which I love. If you can’t decide what to order, because quite frankly everything is amazing, then you might find getting a combination is for you.
I had the Frida combo that comes with a Chicken chimichanga, beef burrito, cheese quesadilla and a chicken taco.
I have also tried the Diego combo on a separate occasion and the enchiladas were delicious.
The beef burritos were filled with succulent chunks of beef that had been simmered to perfection.
For dessert we decided to try the rice pudding. This was not like your grandmas rice pudding. It was a sexy version with sweet cinnamon agave nectar and al dente rice granules.
The service is always great and the attention for detail is astounding. Nothing is left to chance, and everything is under the watchful eye of the new owner that is usually there. We have had many great dinners there and I plan to work my way through their menu.
If you are ever in Downtown West Dearborn be sure to stop in, they also have great breakfast and lunch specials. Have you tried it yet?
photo credit: Maia C
Its almost time for the Maker’s Faire this weekend (July 30 – 31)! Its my first time going, and I’m really pumped to see everyone’s creations. Think of a wonderland, crossed with genius power, crossed with magic. Yup. Thats what it is. Creators will show off their inventions and ideas. I’m prepared to be wowed. Its also at the most perfect location, The Henry Ford. There is still time to get tickets.
One of the things I’m super excited about is Sean Casey’s Tornado Alley movie showing and the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (known as TIV). I’m sure you have seen that bad boy on TV.
You can check out the schedule and find them on facebook and twitter. Let me know if your going!
Anyone that lives in the area knows the Ritz in Dearborn is no more. It was sold last year, and out of the remodeling rubble The Henry has emerged. Within its walls is Tria, a restaurant described as “An American Brasserie”. I wasn’t sure what to expect when the hubby and I were invited to dinner there. I was expecting maybe an even stuffier albeit updated version of the Ritz restaurant. Let me just say, I didn’t imagine the swanky, modern and luxurious decor that greeted us as we walked into the hotel.
Blue, silver and white tones, crystal chandeliers, huge mirrors and amazing art. I was impressed, and its hard to really impress me.
The restaurant has a good sized bar, and a mixed style of tables.
The menus were already at our tables. They were folded and sat like pyramids.
The menu selection is great. They have tapas style specialties and they also have dinner plates. There is something for everyone whether you are famished from a long trip or want to snack and enjoy drinks in between meetings.
The meal started off with the complimentary bread.
If you know anything about me, you should know that I thoroughly enjoy appetizers, even more than the dinner itself.
I started off with the Angry Seafood Cocktail – poached shrimp, jumbo crab, and fruit de mar spicy tomato sauce ($9.50)
It was playfully presented in an ice bowl. I really loved the presentation.
It was a great start to the meal. Cold and crisp. Buttery crab and shrimp. I would have liked a less sauce and less powerful herbs (I believe it was parsley) so I could taste the sea food even more, but I still loved it.
Next up was the waitresses recommendation Oysters Rockefeller – fresh shucked oysters, pernod cream, spinach, bacon parmesan crust ($9). I asked for it without the bacon. The oysters looked beautiful. They were good, but not really my favorite.
The Woodland Mushroom Flat Bread was one of our favorite things of the dinner. It is always the simple dishes that are executed so well, they capture your heart. It has caramelized onions, chevre, arugula, truffle oil ($7). Grilled bread, tangy goat cheese, bitter greens and all dressed nicely. Just perfect.
Maybe its just a soft spot for caramelized onions. You can never go wrong with them.
My hubby wanted a vegetarian pasta so they modified their fettuccine for him. Creamy sauce, fresh peas, and sprinklings of cheese.
I had the Rosemary Grilled Shrimp: tomato olive fondue, grilled bread ($10)
The shrimp was big and so succulent. It was some of the best shrimp I had had in a while. I couldn’t really pick up on the rosemary, but that didn’t matter to me. Rosemary could easily overwhelm the dish, and I’m glad it was subtle. The olives in the tomato sauce were a really good element.
Funny thing. I kept snapping photos of the dinner, so the couple next to us was intrigued and asked me what it was for. I told them it was for my blog. They were really sweet and insisted I take photos of their dishes for my blog. So, this is for you anonymous couple! Hehe. She had the Seared Diver Scallops – sweet pea puree, crispy pancetta, beluga lentils ($22)
Her husband had the Pork Plate – roast tenderloin, braised shoulder & crispy belly, Brussels sprouts, mustard seed slaw ($18)
All sides at Tria are $5. I like sides almost as much as I like appetizer. Its a way to taste more things, and usually fulfill my carb obsession.
We had the Inspired Mac & Cheese
The House Tater Tots were a revelation! Crispy on the outside, but like creamy liquidy mashed potatoes on the inside. Absolutely amazing.
The Butter Whipped Potato was also so good.My carb craving was very much extinguished after these sides.
For dessert, I usually go with the light and fruity route. I did find my absolute all time favorite thing in the whole wide world, Creme Brulee ($8). I am a discerning creme brulee snob. If the crust is too thick its ruined, if its not fresh I can tell, and if its made with less than quality ingredients I scream bloody murder. This was AH-mazing. Seriously. Perfect and a really healthy portion which is great for sharing. Two could easily eat this. The ingredients used were fantastic. I could see the vanilla bean in the custard. No cheap vanilla essence here. I have gone back since then and had this again!
The hubby went with the Sorbet Sampling. It was raspberry, mango and lemon sorbet. It was like eating real mangoes! These house-made sorbets were so pure tasting and so delightful and refreshing to eat.
Tria is a welcome breath of fresh air to the Dearborn area. I would definitely recommend it. They have something for everyone. It is a step forward in the city’s culinary scene. A restaurant with an imaginative menu, along with fresh great quality ingredients helps fill a void that I have longingly wanted addressed. The decor and ambiance is divine, and the wait staff is impeccable. They also plan on having lots of “shows” coming up with their award wining pastry chef doing things like making a wedding cake in the dinning room. To keep up to date on all this you can find them on Facebook.
p.s. Occasionally I accept dinner invitations, which in this case the food was provided for by Tria but all opinions as always are my own.
Its an understatement to say that Dearborn is lacking in culinary diversity and dazzle. There are very very very few restaurants I enjoy eating at here, and it’s kinda sad. I’m an adventurous eater, and don’t expect much. Just fresh ingredients, prepared to tease my taste buds.
Bistro 222 did not let me down. It really got me excited about Dearborn dining again. From the fresh funky colors in the quaint intimate setting to the different fresh choices that chef and owner Michael Chamas has created. Not to mention, everything is house made, the way it should be.
So we semi-dressed up, which basically means no jeans or shorts per dress code and decided to try what many are raving about.
My hubby loved the old style coke bottles.
We decided to split an app. The stuffed gnocchi were pillowy and creamy and melted away making your tongue beg for more. The sauce it is bathed in makes you want to just grab the plate and lick it all, and the delicious bread they give you is the perfect vessel to mop up all that umami flavor and make sure you don’t miss a molecule on the plate. The bread is also good with the house made basil olive oil.
*The stuffed gnocchi. It’s stuffed with Asiago, Peccorino, and Ricotta cheese over Palomino sauce
Samer had the David Allen pasta. It was cooked pefectly al-dente, and the herbs just elevated a regular creamy sauce into fresh punches in your mouth.
I usually know what I’m getting before I go somewhere, and on this occasion, I changed my mind. I regret that now. I had originally wanted the sauteed Lake Perch, with caper creamy garlic sauce over crispy and garlic mashed potatoes. I got the smoked salmon pizza, since I’m a huge smoked salmon fan. Unfortunately this was the one thing I felt fell short of the mark. The crust felt a bit heavy and the whole dish was just not harmonious. I’ll leave it at that and say that I will be going back for the fish dish.
For dessert we had the homemade lemon sorbet. I am a huge lemon sorbet fan and this was spot on. It was a perfect end to the meal. Tangy, sweet, fresh. I was glad I picked that over the tiramisu.
The chef even presents it in a lemon, and its just so yellow and inviting.
I would definitely recommend going in for dinner. It has great ambiance and service. They also have a sommelier on hand. We don’t drink so I can’t comment much on the wine selection, but there are alot of good reviews out there. Also, the chef always changes up the menu and adds seasonal specials. We will be back for sure. So far, this has been one of the best meals I have ever had in Dearborn.
My last visit to Giulio’s was 3 days ago. To say it was my first time would be an understatement (the pictures are from a visit back in december). I’ve been there many times and thanks to Restaurant.com I NEVER pay full price. Especially since they also email you coupon codes to use on your coupon codes, so alot of times we pay less than $10 for a $25 coupon!
The restaurant is tucked away on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn. The decor theme starts from the outside and depicts an Italian village in the country. The hand painted murals are on the walls through out the restaurant.
Mural at Giulio's entrance
I have heard they have a great brunch on Sunday, but I haven’t been to anything but their dinners. At dinner, their Market Stand/glorified salad bar buffet comes free with the entree. To be honest, that is the main reason why I continue to go there. It has everything from your choice of greens, to shrimp, smoked salmon, cold cuts, grilled veggies, soup, pasta salad, couscous, hummus, cheese, fresh garlic bread and other daily delights. It has a great variety for veggie lovers to meat lovers and is always fresh and different.
The Market Stand
Shrimp, Artichoke salad, Mushrooms, Pasta salad
Cold cuts, Smoked salmon and more
My hubby always puts together a nice big green plate of greens,cheese and ranch. My plate ends up having alot of smoked salmon, and a little bit of everything else.
My hubbies choice at the Bar- good ol' green salad
My choice: shrimp, couscous, salmon, veggies
For main course, I ordered the chicken marsala ($24). Thick piece of breast, on bed of angel hair pasta, smothered in mushrooms. My chicken was cooked well, and moist and the marsala sauce was very good, I just wish I had more of it. I’m not huge on the peeled baby carrots and beans, it just seems like such a throwback.
By the time I got to the main course I was pretty full from the Market Stand (which I love). What can I say, I love variety.
After dinner, our very attentive waiter asked if we would enjoy dessert on the house! Now, I’m not sure if this is a common thing, because we have paid for dessert there before ($10 without dinner, $5 with dinner). My theory is that they are providing it as a courtesy to keep customers because of the bad economy.
I did notice that their dessert bar has much more “less” than it used to. They used to have a softserve with help yourself topping station, that was gone, but you could get icecream from the kitchen. I recall there being much more, however, there was still alot to choose from.
They had everything from mini eclairs, to cheesecake, carrot cake, bread pudding etc…The chocolate mousse cups were divine! I was too full to enjoy much, but what girl ever passes up free chocolate?
Chocolate mousse cups
Overall, dinner was good, nothing earth shattering, but straightforward and good. What I like about Giulio’s is that the quality is consistent, even though there a few corners are being cut on dessert. The service is amazing. The waiter was very nice.
When I have been there, the restaurant is never full, never even what I consider busy. It’s no surprise since it is smack dab in the middle of the auto meca, and we all know how buisness is going in that arena. So, if you are looking for a hip busy joint this is not the place for you. It’s more for a quiet dinner, maybe even anniversary or something to celebrate.
Now, on to the secret to making this place more affordable! We were able to purchase a coupon on Restaurant.com. It really brings down the price, and combined with the all you can eat salad bar, and the complimentary desert they seem to be providing, its really affordable and well worth it.
Overall, the decor is nice but a tad dated, the food simple and to the point, the service is great, and like I said the salad and dessert bars make it worth it. Frankly speaking, if it wasn’t for the Market Stand I don’t think I would pay that much for chicken marsala, and the discounts help alot. I don’t consider it gourmet food, it’s just simple food done well and there is nothing wrong with that at all.
Click here for a list of their menu’s, prices and hours.