Detroit restaurant named among best new spots in America

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DETROIT – A popular new Detroit restaurant is getting some national buzz.

Thrillist posted their list of the best new restaurants of 2018 this week and only one Michigan eatery made the list.

SheWolf - Detroit (Midtown): Here's what Thrillist wrote:

Newton’s third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Apply this to dining in America today and it means for every person who decides to go keto and gluten-free, a stellar plate of pasta appears. Many of these live in the kitchen of SheWolf, chef Anthony Lombardo’s Detroit restaurant dedicated to all things Roman.

Related: Dearborn restaurant named one of best in America by Eater

Though he serves several courses of protein and raw dishes, at the center of the menu is a pasta family tree highlighting just how intertwined cacio e pepe, la gricia, carbonara, and amatriciana are. The differences are subtle -- the addition of an egg or a tomato here, the use of rigatoni there -- but it’s worth ordering all four. The cacio e pepe is simple, peppery (it is made with four different kinds), and it twirls perfectly around the tines of a fork. The la gricia is toothsome and savory, with each squat tube of pasta serving as a delivery vessel for guanciale and Parmesan. Add tomatoes and onions to the mix and you get SheWolf’s comforting amatriciana, or whisk in an egg instead and the result is the luxuriously rich carbonara.

The restaurant serves six other pastas, including a striking conchiglie. Jet black squid-ink pasta shells are stuffed with a tender octopus bolognese, draped with a wine-spiked béchamel, and topped with a flourish of crispy lemon and pine nut gremolata. It’s an elegant take on the classic Italian-American dish, swapping a heavy meat ragu for a more agile one made from octopus.

Every pasta, from orecchiette to tonnarelli, gets made in the dedicated pasta room -- a glass-walled space that gently juts out into the dining area and houses a photo of actor Stanley Tucci. The restaurant makes nearly 35 kilos (77 pounds) of fresh noodles a day, all from grains the restaurant mills in house. Lombardo says he sources the heritage grains he uses, like spelt, from Michigan, with the durum wheat, crucial to most of the pastas, arriving from Arizona. Nothing goes to waste at SheWolf, meaning the leftover bran from each day’s milling is massaged into the crisp and airy focaccia and used in the water to cook the pasta, maximizing the flavor of each dish. The kitchen is clearly paying attention at SheWolf, and the deliciousness is found in the details.

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