Must Try Restaurants of Metro Detroit: Volume III

In the vibrant culinary scene of Metro Detroit, there's never a shortage of tantalizing new dining spots to explore. Five phenomenal eateries are redefining the city's culinary landscape, each with its unique flair and irresistible offerings. From brunch in Northville at Hudson Cafe, to blend of tradition and innovation at The Peterboro, to the fusion of literature and libations at Vesper, the enchanting European journey at Alpino, and the unique seafood experience at Aliz in Dearborn; a culinary tour de force is waiting for you. Let's embark on this foodie journey, where each restaurant is not merely a dining option, but a must-try, sensory-rich adventure!


The Hudson Cafe 
17101 Haggerty Rd, Township of Northville, MI 48168

The Hudson Cafe's second outpost in Northville has quickly become a local favorite, where a helping of their celebrated brunch cuisine is served up hot to warm the hearts of patrons. Featuring the same beloved menu as its Detroit counterpart, Hudson Cafe Northville serves a sumptuous selection of your favorite dishes. To spice up the gastronomic journey further, a slew of innovative culinary delights will also find their way onto the menu at both the Detroit and Northville locations.

Occupying the erstwhile space of Applebee's at the junction of Haggerty and 6 Mile roads, the once-familiar restaurant space has been reincarnated into a stylish and welcoming brunch haven, exuding a contemporary charm that seamlessly blends with the warm, comforting vibe of the original location. As a feather in its cap, the Northville cafe also houses a sizable banquet room, accommodating up to 60 guests. The space lends itself as the ideal venue for intimate celebrations, be it baby showers, wedding showers, or other special occasions.


The Peterboro 
420 Peterboro St, Detroit, MI 48201

Back on the culinary stage and hotter than ever is The Peterboro, an enduring favorite that, after an unexpected hiatus for renovations, has made its comeback under new leadership. In full command now is Charles Inchaustegui, who previously charmed patrons as the managing partner in 2016. In a delightful blend of continuity and innovation, Inchaustegui has revived The Peterboro's beloved signature dishes, like the delectable Peking duck and expertly hand-pulled noodles, while also spicing things up with an array of new culinary explorations.


The revamped menu pays homage to the diverse tastes of regional Chinese cuisine, serving up small plates and entrees with distinct Szechuan and Cantonese flavors. A nod to the Far East continues with an inspired bar program, focused on Asian-influenced cocktails crafted with an array of unique ingredients and spirits, bound to tantalize adventurous palates.

As for the ambiance, anticipate some transformations here too, with the objective being to curate an even more inviting and comfortable dining experience. Within the coming weeks, The Peterboro is ready to fling open its doors to food enthusiasts once again, providing both indoor and outdoor dining arrangements. The revival of this culinary haven is a Metro Detroit event worth noting in every food lover's diary.


Vesper Detroit 
5001 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48208

In an intriguing fusion of literature and gastronomy, Vesper is set to unveil its third installment — a bookstore cunningly moonlighting as a wine bar, occupying the quaint setting of a former bank building on Grand River in Detroit’s Core City. Founders Symantha Duggan and Rob Wilson are pouring their energies into an anticipated Spring 2023 launch.

Vesper's collection presents an eclectic mix of carefully handpicked cookbooks, translated literary works, natural wines, amaros, alcohol-free beverages, and a tempting assortment of tinned seafood and other snacks. Catering to the city's culinary enthusiasts, they'll also offer a limited supply of cookware and cutlery — items traditionally challenging to find in the city. The unique confluence of items promises shoppers an experience like no other.

The concept of such a hybrid space has been a decade-long dream of Duggan's, harking back to her days in Austin. Though escalating housing costs forced a return to her Michigan roots, her aspiration persisted. Joining forces with Wilson, a seasoned local bar scene professional and current beverage director at Barda, they took the plunge in 2020 to resurrect Duggan's dream.

Vesper plans to serve as an events hub, hosting book signings with food writers, poetry readings, and collaborations with local chefs, creating a vibrant platform for interaction with local and national artists and a window into the latest culinary and literary trends.

Visually, Duggan and Wilson aim for a vibrant, comfortable space, respecting the building's history while injecting it with splashes of vivid color. The interior will balance between a dedicated bookstore and a lounge area, with the old bank's built-in marble counters being repurposed as perfect bar surfaces. A visit to Vesper promises not just a unique shopping and dining experience, but also a feast for the eyes.


Alpino Detroit 
1426 Bagley St, Detroit, MI 48216

Corktown, Detroit's oldest neighborhood, welcomes Alpino, a recent addition to the local dining scene, offering the rich culinary traditions of the Alpine countries. Occupying the premises of the erstwhile Lady of the House, this European entrant is the brainchild of David Richter, a seasoned stalwart of the hospitality industry.

Richter's two-decade stint in the pulsating New York restaurant circuit saw him rub shoulders with industry luminaries like Joe Bastianich, Cesare Casella, and Michael Dorf of City Winery, where he served as the Vice President of Operations. Now, he's weaving his magic in his hometown Detroit, bringing the rich gastronomy of the Alpine region to Michigan with Alpino.


The menu at Alpino echoes the heritage, simplicity, and tradition of countries spanning Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. Akin to a gastronomic odyssey, diners will be transported through the varied landscapes of these European nations via the flavors on their plates.

Complementing the food, Alpino's beverage program is set to showcase a curated selection of affordable wines, cocktails, and European-style beers, mirroring the regions represented in the dishes.

The restaurant's design embraces the rustic charm of European countryside farmhouses and cabins, turning the 3,200-square-foot space into a warm, inviting haven for diners. With its stellar combination of traditional Alpine dishes, modestly priced beverages, and a cozy European-inspired ambiance, Alpino promises to woo food and wine enthusiasts in Detroit.


Aliz Seafood House 
14507 W Warren Ave, Dearborn, MI 48126

The streets of Dearborn are singing the praises of a unique newcomer, Aliz Seafood House, an establishment redefining the concept of seafood dining. Offering a menu that dabbles in a plethora of cuisines - including chicken, Mexican, burgers, and pasta - it's Aliz's captivating take on seafood that has the neighborhood buzzing.

Drenched in a playful nautical theme and echoing the culinary influence of Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Gulf states, Aliz transports its guests on a gustatory journey through the high seas. The restaurant's simple interior design, adorned with anchors, fishing nets, and marine-life motifs, complements the maritime culinary adventure that awaits you.

A veritable treasure trove of seafood delights awaits your exploration at Aliz. From fried and grilled platters, skewers, and casseroles to entire fish served whole, the options will have you feeling like a kid in a maritime candy store. A notable favorite among many patrons is the grilled whole branzini, a Mediterranean sea bass, served with a green sauce and tahini. With its rich, delicate, and slightly sweet flesh, it's a dish that insists on being savored slowly.

Aliz's kitchen showcases an impressive versatility, offering a range of rices, potatoes, and an array of ways to cook shrimp, salmon, and several other species of fish. Starters are just as exciting, featuring a pleasant tomato-basil soup, a creamy white shrimp soup, not-too-garlicky hummus, and a standout fattoush adorned with crisp pita and pomegranate seeds.

The restaurant's main offerings include a parade of grilled whole fish options such as red snapper, whiting, golden pomfret, sea bream, and even sardines. For those seeking a budget-friendly culinary escapade, fish or shrimp skewers offer a variety of preparations to suit all palates.

If the thought of a traditional casserole sparks your interest, be prepared for a delightful surprise at Aliz. The spicy fish and shrimp are firm favorites. In all, Aliz Seafood House offers an experience steeped in novelty, variety, and a distinctively refreshing take on seafood. So if you find yourself in Dearborn, take the plunge and discover the flavors of the deep at Aliz Seafood House!


Exploring Metro Detroit's culinary landscape is akin to setting off on an adventure filled with unexpected delights and gastronomic revelations. From cozy brunch spots in Northville to diverse seafood offerings in Dearborn, the area's eateries each bring their own unique flair to the table. Enhanced by the genuine local hospitality and a shared enthusiasm for crafting unforgettable dining moments, the food scene here mirrors Detroit's rich cultural tapestry and varied community. These establishments collectively elevate Metro Detroit's status as a true haven for food enthusiasts. So, when you're in the Motor City, know that a universe of tastes is just a stone's throw away.


Posted by Michael Perna on
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