One of my favorite restaurants in Royal Oak is Tom’s Oyster Bar. To state the obvious, they are known for their oysters, and seafood. They always have such delicious specials to choose from. We went early so it was a bit empty. I never mind that there though. Its always comfortable sitting in their wood paneled dining room, visually perusing all the seascape, fish and boating art hanging from the mahogany walls.
I was not in the mood for oysters that day. Even though they have an amazing selection that I have had on many occasions. You can see their vast menu here.
We started off with the Artichoke and Spinach Dip – baked with Asiago cheese & served with pita chips.
It was thick and delicious. You could taste the artichokes and the cheese.
I was in an onion ring mood. Don’t ask. I crave the weirdest things at the weirdest times. They were exactly what good onion rings are. Crispy, oily and guilt inducing.
I had the buffalo shrimp salad. The shrimp were huge and perfectly cooked. The creamy salad dressing a perfect compliment to the spicy shrimp. The only thing is I wish it was less hot sauce, since the delicate flavor of the shrimp was overwhelmed.
The hubby had the Shrimp Pasta Alfredo I believe. He loved it. Creamy and perfectly satisfying. Something that soothes the soul. His one qualm was there was way too much sauce, and the richness made it too hard to finish the plate.
His shrimp was amazing, plump, and so juicy when chewed.
For dessert, we had the Key Lime Pie. I usually hate pies (the weirdo I am), because my dislike for pie crust. But this one was made with a graham crust. It was sweet, tart, creamy and the perfect light bite.
I’m sure we will be in again, and maybe next time I will have some pictures of their amazing oysters for you.
Have you been to Tom’s Oyster Bar? I know they have a few other locations, one location being in Detroit. You should definitely stop by. Especially now that their patio will be open. I can’t wait to go again. I’m obsessed with seafood and can’t go too long without it.
Mexican food is one of those cuisines that you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. At least for me it is. Nachos with beans, jalapenos and cheese, bean burritos, fresh salsa to snack on, there is something for everyone.
Our favorite place outside of mexican town in Detroit is Monterrey Cantina in Royal Oak. Now, its a bit Americanized, but still really good. Its nothing like On the Border (which to me has nothing to do with Mexican food), but its not fully authentic either.
In the summer, the patio is always bumping with a long wait, and its located in the middle of main street, so its prime location.
We hang out in Royal Oak alot, and have ate here sooo many times.
The decor is rustic and playful with big peppers everywhere.
I had my usual. Refried bean burritos with rice and beans ($12). Yummy! Perfect ratio of beans to sauce and cheese.
Hubby had the veggie quesadilla ($10), which is huge btw.
Lots of cheese, zucchini and peppers. Very fresh and simple.
If you are ever in the area past 10pm on Friday and Saturday night check it out since everything is 1/2 off. It also seems to be the place most club goers come eat before hitting places like Black Finn and Mr.B’s. Again, its not authentic mexican food, but its pretty good simple food for what it is.
Tucked away into the side of the building that houses Bastone & Vinnotecca, is Cafe Habana. It has a little sized dining room compared to its sister restaurants. I liked the dark feel of the place. From the rustic brick style walls to the wood tables to the crystal and iron wrought chandeliers.
Their menu is big enough to want to try several things, and they entice you with these little plate appetizer dishes that you just want to try.
Started off with some Tostones – twice fried green plantains, with mojo ($3). I always enjoy plantains at home. If you have never had them, they are closer to a potato than a banana. These were really crunchy and I enjoyed that.
Pan Cubano – grilled Cuban bread with chimichurri ($3)
The bread was just like any normal bread. BUT, the chimichurri made it knock your socks off good.
Calamare Fritos – fried calamari strips with sweet & spicy citrus sauce ($9)
Hubby had the Quesadilla – grilled vegetables and herbed goat cheese ($8) . It’s technically listed as an appetizer but that didn’t make it too small.
It was really generous on the goat cheese too.
I was craving something more and hearty. What satisfied that itch was the Fricas de Cameron – seared shrimp and bell peppers in a spicy tomato sauce over saffron rice ($13). The shrimp was surprisingly sumptuous. The bell peppers and chunky tomato sauce the are perfect merger between the rice and shrimp. My one qualm with the whole dish was there. was. not. enough.rice! When I asked for more, the waitress brought me a teeny tiny ramekin. The rice to sauce ratio was really off.
Ahhh..the piece d’irrestance. A tres leches cake with chocolate covered hazelnuts. The hazelnuts didn’t have to be on this plate. That cake was perfection. A very generous portion, perfect to share. Its simple, moist, rich and light at the same time, and just mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Thats all I can say about this. mmmmmmmmmmmm.
A neat thing in the decor of the place was the real Cuban pictures which are part of an art display or competition I think.
There was one thing that I found very very disappointing. Our waitress was terrible. I’m not over exaggerating. She barely checked up on us. Mind you, its a very small room, and there are not many tables. And the worst part is it took her 15 min to charge my card, of which she swiped like 3 times on 3 different computers because she couldn’t figure out something or other.
The bad service we experienced aside, Cafe Habana is definitely worth a try! Food is fresh and alot of little plates to try. don’t forget, the Tres Leches cake is a MUST! Also, check out the Commune (literally an underground club), if your there on a Friday or Saturday night.
Not many sushi places in Royal Oak on Main St. that I’m familiar with. I know Toms Oyster Bar does some sushi, but not a great variety. We decided to try Little Tree Sushi bar. Surprisingly, they and sister restaurant Katana next door, have no websites.
The decor is modest and warm. Wood everywhere. Lots of people on a Friday night.
Of course, you can’t have a little tree sushi bar without a little tree..lol, there little bonsai was so cute.
We went with our but buddy Mike.
Here Mike is acting silly, or laughing at something I said or both. Ladies, take note, he is single and ready to mingle (i’m sure I will get a phone call after he reads this, hi mike!)
Started off with the Shrimp Dumplings (Shrimp Shumai $5.25). I liked them. Salty, warm, comforting.
Then came the sushi we had ordered. I had a spicy Yellowtail roll ($5.75). It was good, but not great. Mike hated it. He had the Claifornia King roll ($8.00). He hated that too.
He also hated his Yellowtail nigri ($2.10/piece). So the conclusion was, Little Tree sushi is a meh…for the sushi at least.
Hubby only eats hot and cooked stuff, so he opted for the Lava Roll ($10.00): salmon roll, breaded and fried, topped with a jalapeno and sriracha mayo. Basically, there version Benihana’s “Las Vegas” roll. It was ok. It was lacking some sort of flavor and hit only one note.
A surprise to this place was that they serve a selection of other asian dishes and cuisines, not just pure sushi. We got a Mee Thai ($10.75) noodle dish. First thing i noticed, was a pet peeve of mine, and a really dated practice: the parsley sprinkled on the rim of the plate. What a nineties flash back.
Once I moved past that though, the dish was good. It was a bit spicy per request, and it had a slight sweetness to it that we loved.
The shrimp ($2.00) wasn’t really showcased. I could’ve done without it.
We don’t drink, but Mike does, and he had one of their beers ($7.75), which was a monster if you ask me. He liked it alot. May be the one thing he liked that night. lol.
Overall, I was disappointed by the sushi, considering that its a sushi bar. I also didn’t get what was so “Nu asian” about it. Other than its a term that has been thrown around alot to attract a certain clientele. I will be back to try some of the asian dishes though. But for now, the sushi should be exed out from the place.
In honor of Halloween, and the fact that I will always be a kid at heart, I wanted to share a really really awesome candy store called Pronto, that is attached to a restaurant, but can really stand on its own!
So much to choose from. Old style nostalgic candy. Colorful lollies. And yummy looking treats.
They also make the cutest little chocolate treats.
Aren’t these the cutest little doggies?
What really caught my eye was all the creatively packaged “gifts”. Everyone loves chocolate, but I will love you more if my gift comes in a pink bucket, and filled with old style candy and Wonka bars
Many different assorted treats.
Many different gum ball machines.
Hands down, the most unique items I saw were all the different HUGE pez dispensers. The thing was the size of my arm!
Some star wars Pez, and some Elvis Pez.
Pronto also offers a large collection of cards.
I haven’t tried out the restaurant, but this placement is a definite yay, and is a great place to start if you are having any sort of gift giving block, especially if its a gift for me
Bastone, a restaurant and brewery, open since 2004, brings a European casual elegance to the dining scene in Royal Oak. The Art deco facade juxtaposes beautifully to the worn, wood heavy European style interior.
As with most Royal Oak restaurants, the place boasts some nice outside seating that it also shares with its sister Vinotecca, which is a wine bar.
The shots of the interior are darker than I normally provide, but its because the lighting inside is dim and intimate.
The ceiling is high and decked out in warm wood.
There was communal worn in benches, booths and regular tables.
They make all their beer in house and all their items are 100% made from scratch. Which for me, is a mark of a great restaurant.
We started off with the soft warm pretzels ($8.95). My hubby a picky eater is still talking about them. They were great, soft, warm, salty, and the five cheese dipping sauce was smooth and surprisingly not heavy or gooey like I’ve come to expect of cheese sauces.
I have a thing for mac and cheese. Especially truffled mac and cheese ($13.95). This however was not mind blowing. It seemed to be missing something. So far I still love this mac and cheese.
My hubby ordered the grilled portobello ($8.50). This is now known in our house as the best veggie sandwich ever! I mean, who tops a sandwich with French Boursin (which happens to be my favorite) cheese?
I’m drooling just looking at this picture. Cheese is my friend. You could taste the portabello, the field greens, marinated tomatoes. It was all beautiful. The onion roll it was on was not oniony at all (in a good way), and if it had just been a bit crispier, it would’ve have been perfect. I’m just being picky.
Now apparently the Pomme Frites (french for fries) are award winning. I asked the waiter, who by chance was a lovely British chap, and he said they were twice fried. Meaning cooked first at a low temp to cook the inside, then flash fried to get the crispy outside. They were served with a special mayo. Artichoke I think? It was divine. Especially since its house made.
A great thing I loved on the menu is that they have a “Two bite” dessert concept for $1.50. I think this is genius and more restaurants should have this. Everyone likes a sweet end to a meal, but a full dessert always seems so heavy and unnecessary. They have everything from profiteroles to key lime tarts. My hubby wanted to try the chocolate dipped strawberries. These were disappointing. You could tell they were made the day before. The strawberry was soggy and mushy. My hubby still ate his. If he hadn’t I would’ve asked for something else.
The service was great, the waiter very charming and the atmosphere warm. We don’t drink, but for those at do, be sure to check out their in house made beer. This is a definite recommend, especially after those pretzels and sandwich.