Tin Fish

>> Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday September 17th
I arrive soooo late as I have to take Master P to urgent care, he has pneumonia! But after tucking him in with his antibiotics, I still drive to Novi to meet Lulu, Thad and The Greek....they call me heartless, but he is fine, really! Dinner was scheduled at 7, but at 8 i'm driving and Lulu states they are just now getting their salads...wow, service was slow. So she orders my entree while i'm driving. I arrive in time to eat, which was nice because I was starving! It so happens that our poor waitress (Sara) also had a party of 50 in addition to us, it wasn't her fault we had slow service and felt ignored. It was also annoying that the party was so loud and are table was uncomfortably close to them.
I missed the appetizers, but thankfully Lulu has kept notes. They ordered the Oysters Rockefeller, coconut shrimp, calamari and spinach artichoke dip. They declared the shrimp excellent and the dip "amazing". Thad liked the calamari, but said the tomato caper sauce was bad. The oysters, oh the oysters. I am so glad I missed the oysters and I believe the universe was delaying me in order to protect me! The Greek and Thad ate bad oysters. The Greek literally had to run out of the restaurant about 30 minutes after I arrived. The next day he text me, his stomach "contracted down to the size of a walnut then spewed forth the demon". For entrees, Lulu had vegetarian ravioli florentine with white wine alfredo sauce. She was not impressed, said she could have made store-bought ravioli more interesting. The Greek ordered a crab cake sandwich, and was disappointed that it seemed a pre-formed frozen crab cake. I think he was expecting a homemade, more interesting crabcake-type thing. Especially since the menu calls it a "signature" lump crab cake? He didn't eat much of it anyway, as he was sick from the oyster. Thad ordered the tuna au poivre, which came with house-made asian slaw, wasabi, pickled ginger. The tuna was seared, looks like he ordered medium to my eye...and he complained it was dry. I think it would have been better a little more rare. Either way, Thad wonders why doesn't anyone remind him he doesn't LIKE tuna? I swear this is the 3rd time he has ordered it in a month! They ordered for me, the resort pasta: fettuccine with spinach, pine nuts, chicken, tomatoes, garlic and cream sauce. The pasta is yummy. I cleaned my plate. Or was I just starved? We shared cheesecake for dessert, it was just a predictable ho-hum slice. Total bill $217 plus tip. That included 4 pama pomegranate martinis, Jack & Coke, and red wine for Thad.
The average of the ratings is about a 2....of course The Greek declares he hates the place. I also think he was most disappointed as he was the one who chose it. Thad, Lulu and I hang out at the bar for another drink and watch the band, Plan B. We like the bar balcony open to the outside. We agree that if we worked at the mall, we would hang out here after work (the restaurant is attached to 12 oaks mall...so maybe we had unfair expectations for a "mall" restaurant).
We also try to pin down our non-scientific rating system: 1) we will never go back under any circumstances. 2) The Pit of Medocrity 3) average, decent 4) Either great food, great atmosphere or great service, but probably not all three together 5) Excellent across the board, food - atmosphere - service. We are fully aware that we are spoiled. You do not need to point that out.
A Tin Fish at the Tin Fish.
We make plans for the upcoming Friday to go to Slow's BBQ. They want to start dressing in theme each Friday and state "pimps & hoes at Slows"....ah, no...
But as the next post will tell you, Thad changed his mind at the last minute and wanted to try the new Lockhart's BBQ instead.


Mackinac Island & The Woods

>> Friday, September 10, 2010

Mackinac Island Labor day weekend...Thad, Lulu, Master P and I head to Mackinac Island and walk across the bridge on Labor Day (well, all except Lulu who must get back home early). The rest of us decide to check out the Woods restaurant, which is owned by the Grand Hotel. It is in an old hunting lodge...deep in the woods. www.grandhotel.com/dining/woods
The website says it is a tudor-style mansion, but I'm saying looked much more like a giant hunting lodge. The decor was Bavarian. The horse carriage ride through the dark woods was so much fun. Spooky and fun. I'll never forget our trusty steeds, Gator & Donna.
The shiny plastic covered furniture trend we have seen throughout anything owned by the Grand Hotel continues here...
Master P goes for his G&T's, Thad and I drink red wine...a house red I believe. For appetizers: Venison ravioli with wilted mustard greens and black cherry gastrique, Terrine of foie gras with port jelly, caramelized pears and walnut bread. The ravioli was interesting and very good. I liked the cherries and bitter greens combination. The foie was disappointing. We have been spoiled with buttery whole livers...this was the cold pate version. It was not good at all and makes me wonder why anyone would eat this...
I also have the appenzeller cheese, beer & white onion soup which was delicious. Reminds me of the cheese & ale soup at Grizzly Peak in Ann Arbor...I haven't been there in years but used to love that place...maybe we should return soon!
For entrees: Master P orders the tasmanian salmon: served with lobster mash, ham hock consume and fresh horseradish. I order the hungarian beef goulash with bread dumplings. Thad orders the gingerbread crumb crusted rabbit loin, with mango chutney and whole grain mustard sauce.
The salmon was "ok" per Master P. I agree, it was cooked well, but just kind of plain. My goulash was awesome. So flavorful, tender beef, paprika, crispy onions, and dumplings of what tasted like bread stuffing. Yummy. The portion was huge though, and I had to waste so much of it due to staying at a hotel, no doggie bag for me. The rabbit was interesting to me...I have never tried rabbit, that I can remember. I swear SWEAR that it was chicken. It looked and tasted identical to a dry chicken breast.
Gingerbread Crumb Crusted Rabbit Loin
Tasmanian Salmon
Hungarian Beef Goulash
For dessert: Banana pecan bread pudding with banana ice cream & Jamaican rum sauce. It was decent, but we were way too stuffed to enjoy it. Thad had an espresso, which came with a lemon peel...and sparked the question, why do some places serve espresso with a lemon peel? It doesn't taste good in there...as Thad has discovered. So I looked it up. Answer: If you are in an establishment that serves it this way, they have not done their homework. During WWII, American soldiers in Italy confused this as the proper way to serve espresso. But what the cafes there at the time were doing was giving you a way to clean and sanitize the rim of your cup during water shortages. Also, lemon oil counteracts the bitterness of burnt old coffee. So serving a lemon peel with espresso is a holdover sign of poor coffee and poor sanitation. Not a tradition a quality establishment will want to continue, eh?
Total bill: $149 plus tip. I'm going to give the Woods a 3.5. The menu was creative, even if all the food wasn't spectacular. The ambiance was cool and the service was professional.


Inyo and Arts, Beats & Eats

>> Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday, August 30th.
No Lulu and no Thad tonight...I miss them, but will be spending the rest of the weekend on Mackinac Island with them.
Scarlet and Mr. C join The Greek and I for Arts, Beats & Eats in Royal oak. www.artsbeatseats.com But because The Greek is old and slow, we have to wait for him to shower. Therefore, the rest of us decide to have a drink at Inyo and wait for him. We love Inyo, and if you read any of this, you notice we go there often. It is also conveniently about 2 blocks from my house. I'm so glad we did this, as we met my new favorite bartender, Eric. Eric, in addition to being the most knowledgeable bartender ever, is also a drug & alcohol abuse counsler. Seriously. Eric was hilarious and smart, uses big words. He also is in two heavy metal bands...swoon. If he wasn't so young...and I wasn't married...lol.
So we drink our lychee drinks...I especially am fond of the Geisha: Takara shucoho, Soho Lychee liqueur, lemonade, elderflower and muddled cucumber...delicious!
Mr. C is a fan of sake, this is the second time he goes for the G:
So we drink, then WALK to Royal Oak once The Greek shows and slams back two Jack & Cokes. What takes 3 minutes by car seems to take FOREVER walking! ABE was much better in RO then in Pontiac. Our little group of friends go to ABE every year, so we would have went no matter the location, but I'm thrilled to have it so close and to have it in such a cool city as Royal Oak. It was packed, so many people in such a small space. We eat from various booths, and drink. We didn't listen much at the main stage, but Saving Abel, Candlebox & Sponge played. We bought art. The Greek is drunk, dancing in the streets, then declares "I want seabass from Inyo!" So, we steal somebody's cab for the quick drive back to Inyo. It's almost 10 now, but luckily their kitchen stays open until midnight. My beloved Eric is still here...so we take a table next to the bar.
We order edemame (like always). The Greek, who so wanted seabass, orders the mango lobster:
Mango Lobster
I order the ginger chicken with brown rice, it was good but predictable. Scarlet orders the seabass...and wow, now I'm not a seafood or fish lover, but the seabass here literally melts in your mouth. Highly recommended!
Chilean Sea Bass with miso glaze and asian veggies
Mr. C orders the hot & sour soup...which was the best we ever tasted. He orders two sushi rolls: The dynamite and the volcano. I get so excited when he orders the dynamite roll, because even though it does not say so on the menu, I know it comes to the table on fire!
Our lovely server, Eva, with the dynamite roll
Both his rolls are declared the best sushi he has ever had. We highly recommend them, and we always recommend Inyo. It is still our favorite.
The Greek, after watching from our table all the ladies going into Boogie Fever across the way, says Sayonara to us and goes to try his luck. We don't see him again this eve. Oh...total bill at Inyo, not sure, as I lost my notebook. I'll guess somewhere towards $150 to $200...I believe there was wine involved for sure.