Dinner

Corktown Detroit:Katoi

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites (colorful lights illuminate exposed brick)

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites (Scored one of the last tables @ 6 PM, Thursday night)

Wow Factor: 4.5 out of 5 bites (seasonal menu)

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Located on Michigan Ave in Detroit’s historic Corktown, Katoi opened its doors in March 2016 and has been the hottest new spot ever since. Currently it is being considered as Best New Restaurant for 2017 James Beard Awards and I am convinced when the winners are announced in March, Katoi will be awarded the honors. Diners expect an “out of this world” experience. The flavors are on a whole other planet and this is what the restaurant is centered around. The mother ship has landed and it brings bold and intense tastes!

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Shared plates, so order a lot and be prepared to chow as each plate is delivered

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Thrice Cooked Sweet Potatoes: Palm sugar, sherry, cilantro, topped with crispy shallots and served on a bed of avocado cream sauce.  Insane! The outside of the potato was crispy, yet the inside was tender and creamy. The potatoes weren’t super sweet, but the sugar caramelized the outer edges of the potatoes. The avocado cream sauce added a creamy freshness that offset the richness.

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Chickpea Tofu: Served with herb salad topped with crispy shallots and a sweet chili garlic dipping sauce. The tofu was soft and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. I didn’t think I would like this as much as I did, but it was delicious! It was like a soft, fluffy, chickpea pillow. The crispy fried shallots added a subtle onion flavor and texture. The sweet chili garlic sauce was the right amount of sweet and heat to spice up the chickpea tofu.

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Drunken Pastrami: Stir-fried rice noodles with thai bail, tomatoes, chilies, black soy sauce, and gai lan (Chinese broccoli). This was my first choice, but it ended up being super spicy! The pastrami was tender and delicious, but the chilies really took over this dish. I really liked the rice noodles and gai lan. Pair with sticky rice to tone down the heat.

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Phat Mama: Stir-fried ramen, sea urchin, cherry tomatoes, chilies, thai basil, steelhead roe, and galangal (root spice similar to ginger). One of my favorites! I was very intimidated by the sea urchin, but it melted into the dish acting like a creamy sauce. The ramen was perfectly tender and delicious. The chilies added a slight kick and Watch out! I wasn’t looking and accidently swallowed one and it lit my tongue on fire.

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Panaeng Curry: Kabocha squash, tofu, lime leaf, peanuts, roti (Indian flatbread). My favorite dish! Most curry’s are too sweet for my liking, but this was the perfect trio of sweet, spicy, and curry. The curry wasn’t overpowering and the sauce was the perfect velvety consistency. The tofu was slightly crispy and absorbed the delicious sauce like a sponge. The squash was creamy and perfectly cooked. The peanuts added texture and the toasted roti was the ideal tool to scoop up the sauce.

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Scallop Sour Curry: Jasmine rice cake, napa cabbage, long beans, thai basil, cured egg yolk. The rice cake was crispy and paired well with the rich broth sauce. The scallops were tender, light, and perfect with the sour curry.  I like that this dish was served with long beans, they added a nice brightness.

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Tom Yum Hotpot: Hot & sour soup, pork & shrimp dumplings, lemongrass, lime leaf, lime, cilantro. This was unlike any hot & sour soup I have tasted before. The broth had a good flavor, but the hot/sour element was subtle. The pork & shrimp dumplings were slightly sweet and tender.

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Flank Steak & Mushrooms: Wild hedgehog mushrooms, king trumpet mushrooms (high quality longer mushrooms), puya (botanical plant), lemongrass, lime, herbs. I loved the meaty, earthy array of mushrooms. The steak wasn’t as tender as I’d like, but it was sliced thin, cooked medium, and delicious.

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Superman Ice Cream: House made blue moon with almond crumb. The best way to end an amazing meal! You could really taste the homemade quality. Creamy, sweet, with that blue moon fruity flavor that I love. The almond crumb was subtle, but added a sweet, nutty crunch.

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Service was great from the moment we walked in and our server did an excellent job of explaining the menu and suggesting different dishes. Each bite was packed with a punch of flavor yet perfectly balanced. I have never tasted such a wide variety of different spices in one sitting before and it was incredibly pleasing.

It pains me to report that early Friday morning, February 17, 2017, Katoi was victim to a devastating arson fire. This breaks my heart as I was just there the night before and so excited to return. Please support the owners and staff of Katoi and help out in any way that is needed. I am confident that when the mothership lands again, it will come back bigger and better than ever!

Katoi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Midtown: Selden Standard

One of Detroit’s favorite hot spots, Selden Standard, just celebrated it’s two year anniversary. Located in Midtown, Selden Standard is the ideal place for shareable small plates. With ingredients that are prepared at their seasonal freshness, Chef Andy Hollyday and his crew create mouth watering masterpieces that showcase their love and passion for their work. The style is rustic casual, but don’t let that fool you. These guys are bringing their A game with a menu bursting with local, fresh flavors. Expect to experience the same from a full bar that includes carefully chosen wines from around the world, perfectly paired brews, and craft cocktails that incorporate seasonal fruits with house made juices. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4.5 out of 5 bites (unique ingredients, quality, flavor)

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Sour Cherry Ale: Belgian. Perfect balance of sweet and sour. Loved it!

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Grilled Scallions: Romesco sauce (made with roasted red pepper and almonds). I never thought how much I would like whole grilled onions, but these were delicious. Sweet and subtle. The romesco sauce added a slight smokiness and freshness.

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Beef Tartare: Grilled bread, tonnato sauce (tuna mayo), olives, herbs. Whaaaat? This was the most amazing thing I have ever tried. I have never had tonnato sauce and honestly didn’t know what it was until today, but it was good. It added enough fat to compliment the lean beef without being fishy. The grilled bread added a great texture and when it was gone I found myself shoveling the beef into my mouth with just the fork. Get this! And when you’ve finished it, order another!

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Charred Octopus: Chickpea, chorizo, pepper salad. The octopus was tender and paired well with the subtle nutty chickpeas. I liked that the red pepper salad still had some crunch.

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Duck Bolognese:  Tagliatelle, pear, Parmesan. The sauce included delicate pieces of duck and big chunks of pear served over tender pasta. The pear was tender, but still had texture and sweetness. It was an interesting combo, but worked well. This dish was full of flavor, but wasn’t heavy. The pasta was buttery and cooked perfectly. My only complaint was that there wasn’t more duck. Very delectable!

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The service was great and our server made it a point to go over the menu with us before we ordered. I really liked that although there was a wait on a busy Thursday night, the staff didn’t seem flustered or overwhelmed. There was a very cool and relaxed vibe going on. The menu changes with each season and offers a wide array of eats. I will definitely be back for brunch and the donuts and cider.

Shout out to @motorcityknifeworks for showing me the Beef Tartare. Thanks, Jason!

Selden Standard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hard Rock Cafe, Detroit

Today on the Bite Tonight: Hard Rock Cafe.

Located in the heart of Downtown Detroit on Monroe St in the Compuware World Headquarters building, is Hard Rock Cafe. Hard Rock opened in 2003 and has been a favorite for locals and travelers ever since. After work last week, Inda and I decided to grab dinner. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites (a little pricey for bar food, but standard for Hard Rock Cafe)

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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I went with the Original Legendary Burger: Half pound Angus beef topped with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, golden fried onion ring, crisp lettuce and vine ripened tomato. The burger itself had good flavor, but was a little over cooked for my liking. I really liked the crispy onion ring which added some sweetness and crunch. And who doesn’t love Cheddar and bacon? Pretty solid burger which was served with crispy, delicious fries and some sort of spicy mayo for dipping and spreading which was very tasty.

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legendary burger, onion ring

Inda went with the Chicken Fajitas: served with pico de gallo, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, fresh guacamole, sour cream and warm tortillas. Inda seemed to like it because she couldn’t put these down. Fresh veggies and grilled chicken served on screaming hot cast iron. Kudos for presentation.

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We went at about 6:15 on a weekday and there was no wait and service was decent. If you’re looking for some culture and a good meal, check out Hard Rock Cafe. They have an extensive menu including everything from burgers to steaks and salmon to twisted mac and cheese. Be sure to swing by the merch shop and pick up some memorabilia on your way out.

Hard Rock Cafe on Urbanspoon

Parmesan Crusted Cajun Chicken Alfredo

Chef Judy style!

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Spicy, cheesy, and comforting!

Sometimes it’s refreshing to know that you’re not the only one who makes a mean Cajun Chicken Alfredo dish. 😉

For my recipe, visit http://detroit-food.tumblr.com/post/27789669478/cajun-chicken-alfredo

Tip: For Parmesan crusted chicken: coat chicken breast with Parmesan bread crumbs.

Add your favorite cheese (pictured above with Cheddar).