Flying High

Located within a Russian Orthodox monastery, The Royal Eagle Restaurant hits Eastern European culinary heights



Drive along Old Homestead Street between Beaconsfield and Kelly Road in Harper Woods and in the midst of the well-kept bungalows on the tucked-away side street is a surprising sight: a serene and beautiful monastery surrounded by luxuriantly blooming gardens, splashing fountains, and mosaic shrines.

The first glimpse of St. Sabbas Orthodox Monastery could stop traffic — if there were any on the quiet street. Rich blue and gold onion domes rise from the cluster of buildings behind a wrought-iron gate that leads to the six-acre complex.

It’s as if a bit of old Russia has been dropped into the suburban setting.

It’s likely that only the parishioners and neighbors would know about this oasis, were it not for the Royal Eagle restaurant, which was opened by the monks last year. Dinner is served on Thursdays only, and tea on Tuesdays and Thursdays in a setting of antique silver samovars and traditional art in the high-ceilinged, fancifully decorated room.

Tall, arched windows allow diners at the linen-covered tables to see the gardens. Included in the décor are portraits of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov of Russia, in whose memory the place is dedicated. On a screen above the fireplace, a silent video showcases Moscow’s architecture and history.

The dinner menu follows the Eastern European theme, with such dishes as chicken breast stuffed with herbed garlic butter (the classic chicken Kiev), chicken paprikash with dumplings, Bulgarian lamb kebobs, and a platter that includes potato pancakes, house-made sausage, stuffed cabbage, pierogi, and sauerkraut.

There are also a few daily specials more suited to hot weather.

At tea, which is really more of a luncheon, cucumber and other tea sandwiches, smoked salmon, and Russian crêpes, as well as an array of sweets and a choice of more than 40 loose-leaf teas are served.

Everything is prepared in-house by Czech-heritage chef Petr Balcarovsky, who studied culinary arts in Europe and is one of the St. Sabbas parishioners.

Menu prices are listed as donations, since all the funds are used for the upkeep of the monastery, which has been carved out of the neighborhood, step by step, over the course of a decade.

Royal Eagle Restaurant, St. Sabbas Orthodox Monastery, 18745 Old Homestead, Harper Woods; 313-521-1894, theroyaleagle.org.

Archive »Related Content

Honest and Well-Done

Royal Oak's Trattoria Da Luigi isn't glamorous — just rustic, lovable...and marvelous

2014 Restaurant of the Year

Marais' chef/owner David Gilbert has brought world-class, top-end dining to Detroit.

Good Taste

Trying to eat healthier? Campaign aims to help consumers combine taste with nutrition.

Untapped Potential

Michigan looks to sweeten its maple syrup output

In the Mix

Wolf Moon — with an assist from McClure's — launches line of all-natural, fresh-fruit cocktail concoctions

Most Popular

  1. Raising the Bar
    From metro Detroit hails an online fundraising platform that's been redefining philanthropy on a...
  2. If You Build It Right, Millions Will Come
    How an arms race architect named Dave Dombrowski has taken the Detroit Tigers from helpless to...
  3. Honest and Well-Done
    Royal Oak's Trattoria Da Luigi isn't glamorous — just rustic, lovable...and marvelous
  4. Scene Stealer
    Detroit-born Broadway star Elaine Stritch still attracts — and charms — a crowd
  5. Long Gone
    Tiger Stadium isn't the Detroit area's only bygone baseball venue
  6. Fashion Meets Furniture
    Nigel Barker left N.Y. Fashion Week early to team up with Art Van
  7. Green is Good
    It's the time of the season for digging, pruning, and (maybe) planting
  8. Into the Deep
    n an underwater world of mystery and intrigue, an enchanting creature reveals the season's most...
  9. Bastone Brewery Turns 10
    Bastone Brewery has reached a milestone of 10 years in business. To celebrate their anniversary,...