octopus

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

Bar Siena

Located in Chicago’s West Loop, Bar Siena is new to the neighborhood (EST. 2015), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t bringing it. Bar Siena is a rustic 2 story structure consisting of a 1st floor bar, an upstairs dining area, and outdoor patio. Bar Siena also houses a giant pizza oven made out of mosaic tile (they even named her Bella and she is the focal point of the space). With a menu ranging from pizza to Short Rib Lasagna and Duck Mac and Cheese to Bomboloni’s (Italian hole less doughnuts) from Bombobar, Bar Siena is one of the hottest spots on Randolph St. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.6 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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Grilled Octopus and Shishitto Peppers (sweet, East Asia): Charred escarole, Calabrian chili vinaigrette. I have died and gone to heaven! This was one of the best things I have ever had. The octopus was fresh, tender, and melted in my mouth. The chili vinaigrette was spicy and was the perfect condiment and the escarole added a nice smoky  freshness to balance out each bite. I really appreciated that the octopus was cooked perfectly, lightly charred, and not tough. You could definitely taste the quality. Order this!

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Pecorino Biscuits & Gravy: Oven dried tomato, chicken sausage, charred green onion, fried egg. I love a dish where the silky, richness of an egg yolk can flow  down around the rest of the ingredients. It’s brilliant. The chicken sausage was mild and tender. Charring the green onion brought out a sweet mild flavor that was perfect against the rich sausage gravy and buttery biscuits. Well done!

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Bar Siena is definitely serving up some flavor bombs. The restaurant was buzzing for brunch at 1 on a Saturday. Everyone was enjoying drinks, laughing and conversing as the servers brought out delicious plates. With a “liquid brunch” menu consisting of the classics: Bloody Mary’s, build your own Mimosa’s, mulled wine, cold pressed juices, there’s something for every palette. The food was great and the dining room had such an awesome vibe. This is my new favorite weekend jam. If only I lived in Chicago.

Thanks to Janet and Emma for such a blast. I ❤ day drinking with you ladies!

Bar Siena Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato