Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina

>> Sunday, May 5, 2013

We decided to check out the "new" Wolfgang's at the MGM for Detroit Restaurant Week.  Scarlet, Master P, Hot Rod (HR) and I are so lucky to be joined by The Greek, who has peeped his eyeball out from his hibernation cave and saw it was time to awake.  If anyone has wondered where he has been, you only need to know that out of 10 million players of whatever-video-game-that-is, he has ranked in the top 5,000.  What a wonderful use of your precious time.  
We had super-duper high hopes for tonight, as we had so loved the previous wolfgang establishment.  But, as you can already see by the abysmal 1 1/2 D rating above, we were sorely dissappointed.  We nicknamed our waiter "the angry waiter" because he just did not seem to be a happy person, and did not seem to enjoy his choice in vocation.  
The atmosphere...is much like what used to be Saltwater (see our posting previously).  Yet, they removed some of the glitz, unfortunately.  And some of the light bulbs were burnt out.  It looks like they just don't care as much around here. 
The food started off well enough with the bread basket, which was decent, but not extraordinary.  The hummus was "eh" ok.  I'm getting tired of hummus served with bread baskets.  Everyone seems to be doing this lately, so now it just seems unoriginal. Also, this is an Italian restaurant, and we are confused on the appropriateness of hummus.  Maybe I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me on the origins of hummus. The foccacia would have been better had it been warm, as the onions on top had turned slimy when cold.  

Master P was very disappointing in the portion size for the Tuscan Bean soup.  This bowl is deceiving.  The amount of soup you see below is barely a ladle full.  Although I have come to discover you will not get full size portions during restaurant week. I want to disagree with this practice, because if you are trying to win over new customers, they may assume your portion sizes are always this small.   However, I did order my soup off the regular menu.  I choose the spring garlic soup.  I was also unimpressed and the soup was definitely not worth the $9.        

Scarlet enjoyed the caprese salad, which astutely used roasted tomatoes instead of fresh...good sub for this time of year. HR also enjoyed the Caesar salad.  However, both HR and her were greatly disappointed with the pizza.  Hello....this IS a pizzeria..it's on the front sign!  The crust on one was "gooey" in the middle.  The sauce tasted exactly as if you had opened a can of tomato paste and spread it on.  The Italian sausage pizza states on the menu it contains "roasted garlic" and you cannot taste even a hint of garlic.  Do not waste your money on pizza here.  I have had infinitely better pizza at a dozen places:  Green Zone, Pizza Papalis, City Kitchen (try the spinach artichoke dip pizza), Supino's, Bommarito's, Mama Rosa's, Papa Romanos, MiChicago, Como's, Green Lantern, Buddy's, Cloverleaf....I could go on. 

For my entree, I have the anglotti with english peas and goat cheese.  The portion was very small for $20.  Again, the picture here is deceiving.  This is a small portion.  The anglotti were skillfully made, but not all that flavorful.  The sauce was too salty.  The description included "asparagus".  This had literally about 1/4 stalk of asparagus sliced thin..probably less than that.  I really cannot say much good about this. I'm not a huge stickler for portion size, but if you are going to go small...it better pack a ton of oomph for twenty bucks.

Master P had the salmon off the Restaurant Week menu, and said it was "ok, just fine".  He isn't always big on flowery description.

The Greek has the spicy sausage pasta, and I will say this was probably the best dish of the evening.

 I didn't mention the cocktails earlier.  The menu is creative and the drinks were decent, but not extraordinary.  But they lost points when I requested a vodka beverage, and received Gin.  But better Gin than nothing at all....which is what Scarlet received when requesting a second libation.  

Master P ordered the cheesecake off the DRW menu.  It was extremely boring, bland, and disappointing.  This was like something you could have at Denny's or Ram's Horn (clack-clack).  Where...oh, where....are the days of Wolfgang Puck's extraordinary chocolate souffle with homemade fifty-bean vanilla ice cream???  

Scarlet was surprised that at some point during the meal the "angry waiter" literally threw a fork at her place setting from about three feet away.  With no comment.  As if this is normal.  Scarlet thinks Wolfgang should be ashamed to put his name on this place.  It is a woeful decent past the pit of mediocrity in comparison with previous Wolfgang Puck Grill (see our previous posting). 
We all agree that we would never come back or recommend it to anyone.  Most gave it a score of "1", but I think Master P feels bad for the place and gives it a "2".  I'll give it a 1.5 just to be generous.  I'll average it to that also. 



Red Smoke

April 2013.
Tonight Scarlet and I head for adventure in Greektown.  We join our friends Lyndy and Ronnie, who are new guest stars.  I had high hopes for Red Smoke, as Lyndy has been coming here for a long time and loves it.  I have not been too happy with other local BBQ places lately (except the new Red Crown..see posting).  I have been especially unimpressed by Rub Bbq Pub lately.  So I'm hoping Red Smoke will be my friends new favorite so I will not be forced to go to Rub any longer.

Lyndy insists we try the skillet jalapeno cornbread to start...saying it is better in the skillet than the muffins that come with the meals.  We slather this with butter, and it is fabulous.  A win for me.  Although, as local cornbread goes, my picks in order are currently:  Red Crown, Local, and then this Red Smoke bit.  

Between the four of us, we sample the carolina back ribs, beef brisket (pulled and sliced), the fried catfish, the greens, the mac and cheese and the green beans. Here, as in many other local BBQ joints, you have a variety of sauces on the table.  The Redsmoke sauce is the spiciest, and the cherry is sweet.  My favorite is a combo of the cherry and the roasted poblano. The sauces are great, and I do believe I like them better than Rub's or Slows.   The greens were very good.  The mac & cheese was pretty good, but still not as good as St. Cece's or even Red Crown.  

Our service was great.  The atmosphere was cozier than Rub or Slows.  I liked it better than both.  Our scores averaged a 4...great food, atmosphere and service.  I wouldn't hesitate to stop here if you are in Greektown or just craving some decent bbq.