Red Crown

>> Sunday, March 17, 2013

On Friday, March 15th, we had the joy of checking out the hot new spot in Grosse Pointe Park.  I had such high hopes for Red  Crown and eagerly awaited its opening.  It did not disappoint as you can see by the average score of 4.5 above. 
In restarting the adventure, I have decided to let every new guest pick their own nickname, it is so much more fun!  So tonight, joining Master P and I, we have Lovey, JD, Kitty and Chad.  
First off, I adore the decor.  Mindy Lopus (Owner) did a fantastic job turning the old standard oil station into something so trendy yet cozy and warm.  I love the use of edison bulbs throughout.  I was also surprised at how big it was inside, as it appears so tiny from the outside.  I'm really looking forward to the warm weather when it appears the garage doors will open to a small patio area.  Perfection!

The drink menu is creative...I must say by far the most creative cocktails in all of GP or maybe even the east side.  Unfortunately, I don't think they have posted the menu online yet.  I won't remember much of the creative ingredients without being able to reference the menu, sorry!  But, I will tell you the Cherchez la Femme is absolutely lovely...tastes almost like a cosmo but more "floral" made with Valentine Vodka (always a fav), St. Germaine (my other fav) and creme de violette (something new!) I also really like the El Diablo, which is my new favorite version of a margarita.  The Moscow Mule is served in awesome copper mugs (which I refrained from slipping into Lovey's purse).  The PBR is served in a paper bag-how cool is that?
Onto the food:  I can tell you that it seems to me this place is all about the BBQ, although there is more variety on the menu.  I cannot find a description on-line, but a friend told me that the "little red smoker" set up they use at this joint is very unique.  I wish I could find more about it....
For apps, we had the onion rings and the pretzel sticks.  Both very good.  The pretzels were served hot out of the oven with a cheese dip...yummy.  And the onion rings have a slight curry in the batter, so different, but it worked really well.  I recommend both the apps highly.  JD was quite upset when Lovey declared the onion rings "better than Marge's".  JD is a die-hard Marge's fan and even the Crown wasn't going to change this.
We pretty much sampled all the BBQ entrees available between the six of us.  There was absolutely no complaints.  I have to speak only for myself: having sampled many local bbq places (Slows, Lockharts, Rub Pub...) these ribs I had beats them all by far.
There isn't alot of fancy sauce choices, but the sauce was perfect.  The green beans were "ok".  I also sampled the greens on both my visits.  The first day they were awesome, this night they were bland.  The cornbread:  I've been avoiding bread these days but this is going to be trouble.  I know everyone likes cornbread different ways.  This one is light and delicate with just a hint of sweetness.  Paired with the honey butter it is HEAVEN for this girl.  Dangerous.
My arm was twisted into sharing a piece of the pecan pie.  They bake their own desserts and are opening their own bakery next door (construction underway).  Lovey and I agreed this was the probably the best pecan pie we have ever tasted!

So overall, the score averaged 4.5, but I myself give it a 5 plus!  Also, our waitress, Stephanie, was great.  I do want to mention that during our wait for the table she was so gracious to Master P and I by offering us drinks and offering suggestions.  She gets an A+ in my book.
Thank you Ms. Lopus for bringing this gem to my neighborhood!  I'm so looking forward to the opening of the next places in what I'm calling "the new ferndale" area!
And Cheers to the new ADD!


Long time coming...

>> Friday, March 15, 2013

As you can see it has been over a year since our last (sad) posting.  Much has happened in MY past year, including finishing up my MBA at Wayne State, moving to Grosse Pointe Park and turning my Ferndale house into a rental.  Being so busy and occupied, the dinner group & blog suffered and died.  Well, I've been giving lots of thought to reviving it.

My dining partners rarely get together now, sadly.  I do see Scarlet on a regular basis, and Master P (probably because I'm married to him!)  The Greek has been in hibernation for the winter, but I do fully expect him to come out into the sunshine for the Orion Fest at Belle Isle in June!  I'm so pumped.  If you love metal and Detroit, please watch the "line-up video" and try to NOT get excited.

I love love love Grosse Pointe Park for a myriad of reasons, but I do have to mention how much I miss the restaurants and libations in Ferndale.  GPP, as you may know or may have read in many yelp reviews of east side restaurants, is the pit of mediocre food.  I just do not fully understand why an area with many well-to-do residents is flush with dull restaurants.  I KNOW I am somewhat of a food snob...but come ON.  Honestly, the majority of the digs here offer run-of-the-mill bar food and plebeian   diner food.  Hear my plea:  there is VAST opportunity here for some creative restauranteurs!!  Ok, to be fair, I do like The Hill...high quality food but pricey.  And there are a handful of places I've yet to try, so I will mention them when I get to them.  City Kitchen is "Okay", nice place but doesn't blow me away.

That being said, I told everyone I know that I fully expect the GP area to grow and become more "hip" as the younger people move here, which I believe is happening because of the unbeatable house prices for the area.  I do believe there is hope.  The Cotton family's plan for the Kercheval area (near Alter) is already well on it's way with the opening of Red Crown.
I had cocktails at the bar yesterday and am SO excited to have a quality creative establishment near my house.  I am having dinner there tonight with a small group, and plan on doing a full post review.  Btw I love Zach & Thomas at the bar, looking forward to a beautiful long-term relationship with my new fav bartenders.

So cheers to a new start on my blog, and I will follow with a list of my favorite new "bites" from the past year:

1)  Tacos at Imperial in Ferndale:   The tacos are amazing, the drinks are creative and everyone must try the hot dog.  I also recommend the Ring of Fire (habenaro infused tequila & grapefruit juice).  My true favorite is the corn, but you cannot eat this in public without looking like a mess.

2)  Green fried tomatoes at Local (also in Ferndale) :  Awesome place, cannot wait to go back.

3)  Sugar House:  have you seen their new drink menu?  Its gigantic.  I adore this joint.  Master P and I are using the decor as inspiration for our new basement bar, which we will then declare "the best bar in GP".

4)  Mac & Cheese at St. CeCe's:  Love the stained glass and dark wood.  This place is beautiful.  Creative dinner menu and drinks.  I also love the pickled cantaloupe and cheese trays.

5)  Beef Tenderloin at The Bedford:  This is a super exclusive invitation-only place.  You have to know someone.

6)  The California pizza at Green Zone Pizza (Grosse Pointe):  I get it with the red sauce in lieu of the oil.  Delish.

7)  Cheesy grits and biscuit with homemade jam at Mae's (Pleasant Ridge):  Voted best breakfast 2013 in Real Detroit.  Damn, I didn't want anyone else to know about my favorite breakfast spot.

8)  Sliders at Green Dot Stables:  I had the one with the fried chicken and maple syrup.  Yummy. Need to go back to this spot and sample more.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some things.  I wanted to make a list of ten.  Oh well!  More to come.