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

Tap Tour 2014

Use our handy guide to plan your customized metro Detroit ‘beercation’

Slurp's Up

Celebrated chef Takashi Yagihashi returns to area with a ramen restaurant

High Society

Rooftop entertaining can take your party to the next level

Comfort Food Hits a New Level

The Bird & The Bread is a refreshingly different addition to the Birmingham dining scene

Bourbon Is Back

From Michigan micro-distillers to billion-dollar buyouts, America's whiskey business is booming

Most Popular

  1. Touring the Town
    A ride on an old school bus can reveal the secrets of a city we all think we know
  2. Detroit's New Social Fabric
    Metro area still attracts immigrants searching for a brighter future.
  3. High Society
    Rooftop entertaining can take your party to the next level
  4. Rediscovering the Garden
    Transformation of the 'worst block on Woodward' began with a vision — and a parking lot
  5. Slurp's Up
    Celebrated chef Takashi Yagihashi returns to area with a ramen restaurant
  6. Tainted
    The underlying “addiction” to tanning — the need to look a certain way — is a complex,...
  7. Tap Tour 2014
    Use our handy guide to plan your customized metro Detroit ‘beercation’
  8. Michigan Bier Celebration 2014
    Frankenmuth is gearing up for The Michigan Bier Celebration on July 19
  9. The Art of Smooth
    Tony Bennett brings his classic voice and cross-generational appeal to Freedom Hill Amphitheatre...
  10. The faces of Michigan wine: Jan Van Maanen
    Metro Detroiter's passion for wine leads to second career up north