In Season

John D Bistro dishes up contemporary cuisine in fashionable Ferndale


Published:

Photographs by Dorothy Hernandez

In Ferndale, between L.A.-style tacos, Lebanese, and fine dining, food lovers aren’t lacking in options.

Seemingly under the radar — but worth a try — is John D Bistro, which has been open for two years since taking over the former Club Bart. It dishes up new American fare in a modern, posh space that features a plush banquette decked out with a mirror trim as well as more traditional tables and ample stools at the bar where craft beers and craft cocktails are both available.

The lounge decor sets the scene for a diverse crowd; it’s a spot where you can take mom for brunch or your friends for bottle service.

Helmed by executive chef Scott Breazeale, John D’s kitchen recently rolled out seasonal menus — and with the creativity and use of local ingredients, these rotating offerings are definitely a draw.

On the evening we went, the menu had a wintry spin — comforting during the seemingly endless season. With summer approaching, Breazeale plans to change the menu to take advantage of Michigan’s cherries, asparagus, and corn, to name a few ingredients.

While Breazeale is dedicated to using local products, his food spans the globe.

“You may see a dish with strong Korean flavors next to a dish with northern Italian flavors next to a classic French dish,” says Breazeale, who can usually be found working the room chatting up the patrons. “For me this is the best part of the job — taking the guest on a culinary journey.”

For starters, there are plenty of shareable options, including tender calamari in a sweet and spicy sauce and duck sliders topped with a bright orange cranberry compote that balances the unctuous fowl. Want to go all out? There’s a foie gras burger with truffle fries.

We chose the rabbit ragu and scallops as entrees. In keeping with the seasonal theme, the ragu was a huge bowl of comfort: a well-balanced tomato sauce enveloped pieces of tender rabbit meat on top of pasta. The scallops were cooked with a nicely crusted, golden-brown sear; however, the best parts of the dish were the accompaniments of pate choux gnocchi, butternut squash, Brussels sprout leaves, bacon, and chevre.

Other entrees include an 18-ounce rib-eye steak that would satisfy Fred Flintstone; lamb chops; and several seafood options, including salmon, lobster ravioli, and lobster risotto.

As one who normally makes a cocktail her dessert, I made sure to save room because Breazeale has serious chops as a pastry chef.

We chose the panna cotta — and what a pleasant surprise it was. This classic, simple Italian dessert was elevated by extra packed-in flavor: a silky graham-cracker infused cream and a “milk jam,” which mimicked toasted marshmallow. A bittersweet chocolate sauce and graham cracker crumbs topped it off — and there you have the world’s most refined S’more.

We can’t wait to see the surprises the next seasonal menu will bring.

22726 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 248-398-4070.
D Tue.-Sun., Br. Sun.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Hour Detroit Magazine

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

This Jefferson-Chalmers Café Combines Cool Vibes With a Cryptic Name

Coffee and (______) is a small-town social center in the big city

It's Game On for Detroit's 'Bar Arcade' Scene

M-Brew, Pop + Offworld, and Ready Player One pair microbrews with retro video games

How One of Detroit's Legendary Steakhouses Almost Didn't Happen

Even a catastrophic fire couldn't stop Capers

Elevate Your Holiday Recipes With These Six Spices

From the classic to the unconventional

Sanders' Flagship Store Gets a Sweet Update

The Clinton Township candy shop boasts two chocolate fountains
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Why Abdul El-Sayed's Run for Governor Is for Real
    Can a political rookie from Michigan become America's first Muslim governor?
  2. Female Entrepreneurs Are Staking Their Claim in Detroit
    These three women-owned businesses are unstacking the deck
  3. Michigan’s Craft Distilleries Are Setting Their Sights on Bourbon
    Proof that the best things require patience
  4. Inside the Resurrected Takoi
    The restaurant has survived arson and controversy to claim a top spot in Detroit's culinary scene
  5. The Era of Autonomous Vehicles May Be Here Sooner than Expected
    What does that mean for Detroit's legacy automakers?
  6. The Faces of Michigan Wine: Josh Morgan
    To say that 2017 was a pivotal year for Josh Morgan would be putting it mildly.
  7. Introducing the Nordin Brothers: The Duo Behind the Detroit Design Center
    You may not know their names, but chances are, you've seen their art
  8. Meet the Makers: Pingree Detroit
    The brand is employing veterans to craft upcycled leather totes and journals
  9. It's Game On for Detroit's 'Bar Arcade' Scene
    M-Brew, Pop + Offworld, and Ready Player One pair microbrews with retro video games
  10. What You Need to Know About Oil and Gas Drilling in the Suburbs
    Energy companies are staking out new territory in metro Detroit