DETROIT – With spring here and summer just around the corner, it’s time to emerge from our warm cocoons and explore what’s new around town.
For me, that means food. You, too? Well jump in, let’s go for a ride through words. I’m not sure why, but I’m hearing Bob Ross in my head.
I’ve gathered a quick roundup of some new places that have opened since it was last warm out, so maybe you didn’t catch the news.
Here are some new Metro Detroit restaurants and bars to add to your list:
Taking the space of Lady of the House (and previously, St. CeCe’s) in Detroit’s Corktown, Alpino opened its doors to start the month of May.
The theme? Food inspired by the Alpine Mountains in Europe.
“Throughout the alpine region, people gather in small towns to celebrate the safe return home of beloved farmers and their livestock before the long winter. Farmers dress in traditional costume to descend the mountains accompanied by goats, sheep and cattle flaunting oversized cow bells and elaborate flower crowns. Once arrived at the lower fields, farmers, townsfolk, and livestock alike come together for a much needed rest over traditional food and drinks, and of course more drinks,” the website reads.
The menu includes a collection of “mountain cheese” and fondue, risottos, macs and pastas, and even some goulash.
(Check out more info here, including how to make a reservation)
Already one of the hottest new restaurants in the city, Mad Nice is the talk of the town -- in Midtown.
Mad Nice is an eclectic, trendy spin on “Italian meets coastal-California,” serving up pizzas that require scissors to slice up, oysters, pastas and more, in a colorful and spirited space formerly occupied by Will Leather.
Mad Nice comes from the Heirloom Hospitality group, which also operates Prime + Proper, Townhouse and Cash Only Supper Club, some of the more high-end establishments in Detroit.
(More info + reservations here)
La Ventana Cafe
Over in Eastern Market, on Gratiot, a new coffee shop has opened up -- La Ventana Cafe.
It’s a really cool, minimalist style coffee shop serving up Intelligentsia coffee, along with some cafe food, like sandwiches and baked goods from Canelle Detroit.
It features plenty of space to hang out, with a sleek wood interior design. There’s also an outdoor patio, if you need some sun!
La Ventana Cafe is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, at 1492 Gratiot Avenue.
Kitab Cafe and Bookstore
It’s a cafe and and a bookstore -- head over to Hamtramck for a sandwich and a read.
Kitab Cafe and Bookstore opened over on Holbrook Avenue just east of Joseph Campau Avenue. They offer some good espresso and coffee, sandwiches, pastries and a really cozy vibe, if you’re into that.
The cafe is open from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., daily, at 2727 Holbrook Ave.
See You Tomorrow
See You Tomorrow drew some buzz last year when the sign popped up in Detroit’s New Center area, but they finally opened in November -- and now we finally know what it is!
See You Tomorrow is a fast-casual brunch cafe serving up egg scrambles, chicken and waffles, salmon croquettes, salads, sandwiches, and rotating soups make up its no-frills menu.
“It’s a soul-warming food concept,” says See You Tomorrow general manager Suzette Daye. “There was a need for a fast-casual breakfast place in the area so that’s how the idea came about. We wanted to make it simple and not anything outrageous so people can pick up some breakfast while they’re going to work or school.”
See You Tomorrow aims to offer some slightly healthier options like breakfast potatoes and chicken wings that are broiled instead of fried. The menu also has vegetarian options like a veggie scramble.
See You Tomorrow also has a liquor license and hopes to eventually offer a boozy brunch and an outdoor patio in the spring. A building expansion is planned for much later once the restaurant gets its bearings.
(Find more info and order online here)
Detroit Institute of Bagels
It’s back! The Corktown bagel staple has resurfaced over in Core City, at Grand River Ave and Warren.
The DiB closed in fall of 2020 in Corktown, but has taken over the space vacated by Ochre and Astro Coffee earlier this year. They are serving up -- bagels -- you guessed it! But that includes bagel sandwiches, of all kinds, along with your classing spreads.
They have a to-go counter with quick online orders, and now a small cafe space where you can eat and have some coffee if you’re not in a rush.
(More info and online ordering here)
From the good folks at Grey Ghost comes Basan -- a new restaurant that opened last fall right next to Little Caesars Arena, inside the newly renovated Eddystone building.
Basan thrives with dark-mood lighting, and window curtains, serving up an Asian-fusion inspired menu, including skewers, wagyu ribeye, quail, snapper, gyoza.
The cocktail menu is also Asian inspired with some ingredients you won’t find in many bar programs.
(More info here + reservations)
This stylish cocktail bar opened late last summer in Downtown Detroit (technically, the Times Square area). Willow is the city’s first Black-owned craft cocktail bar, with a Southern flare.
Willow is a small space, featuring just 50 seats, with vintage photos and décor, set around a spirited array of greenery.
“Willow pays homage to the unknown and often overlooked contributions of Authentic Detroiters to the cocktail culture. Willow gives subtle but intentional nods to southern influences, presented with Detroit style, creating an authentic and culturally relevant cocktail experience.”
Willow also offers some bar bites, like cheeses and meats.
(Find more info here with reservations)