This dining experience in Royal Oak is pretty eye-catching

We’re talking flashing lights, a giant sword, and even an old-school popcorn machine

ImaginATE Restaurant on Live in the D
ImaginATE Restaurant on Live in the D

As they say, you first eat with your eyes, and at ImaginATE Restaurant in Royal Oak, their first impression can be pretty eye-catching.

“We like to say we put the fun into fine dining,” says Omar Mitchell, the Executive Chef and Restaurateur. “We actually bring out their food, which is served with props... It brings laughter, it brings joy, and it also gets them to pull out their phone to do some Instagram.”

We’re talking flashing lights served next to a “dangerously delicious” chocolate cake, a giant katana-style sword accompanying grilled salmon, and even an old-school popcorn machine being used to serve their popcorn shrimp! Their goal is to give you a “Walt Disney style” experience. If when you walk in you don’t say “wow,” they say they’re not doing their job.

Their Chef’s Table takes all that creative energy up a notch. They utilize projection mapping, similar to what you might see in those Immersive Van Gogh Experiences to project a 3D video on the table. Guests are greeted by Chef La Petit, a pint-sized chef that gives you a bit of culinary history before introducing you to each course. You can choose to do either a 5 or 7 course meal. The chef’s table comfortably seats 16 people in a private dining room.

However, they don’t let all this fun get in the way of a fine dining experience. You will see white tablecloths at every table, with a chic, modern atmosphere with a bit of bling from their chandeliers. Chef Mitchell has a fine dining background, and really wanted to make the food and the atmosphere “cutting edge.”

The menu, while upscale, is quite approachable with items like a ribeye steak and lamb chops on the menu. Again, all items are served with a fun prop for you to take pictures with.

At 10pm the vibe changes a bit when they invite a DJ to come in and play live music. You can book one of their 6 cabanas to lounge in while you groove to the music.

It is recommended that you make reservations, but they do except walk-ins. ImaginATE Restaurant is located at 401 S Lafayette Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067.


About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a Multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.