Restaurant of the Year 2011: Iridescence


(page 2 of 5)

 Iridescence is a sassy, white-linen restaurant with a style and flair all its own. The menu is heavily flavored with French and Asian cooking styles that emerge from a kitchen run by a 30-year-old chef whose culinary mentor was one of metro Detroit’s greats.

Perched like a crown atop the casino’s 16-floor hotel, the two-tiered dining room is flanked by massive Dale Chihuly-like glass panels that rise the full height of the interior and frame the open kitchen.

Suspended from the ceiling are glass globes of assorted sizes that seem to float bubble-like, lending a momentary sensation of being inside a glass of champagne.

The dining room’s top-tier tables face the twinkling panorama of Detroit’s night sky, while velvet half-moon-shaped banquettes and well-spaced four-seat tables with high-back padded chairs create an intimate setting on the lower level.


Interestingly, the hotel and the casino are in separate buildings, a blessing for anyone not into gambling, the jangle of slot machines, or cigarette smoke (smoking is legal on casino floors).

Combine the exceptional food with the setting, refined table service, and well-priced wine list, and the result is an unusual and enjoyable dining experience. According to chef Derik Watson, Iridescence has become a very popular place for proposing marriage. “At least six times a year, I’m asked to put a ring in a cake,” he says. “And those are just the ones we know about.”

Across our several visits in the last 18 months, Watson’s menu and cooking have evolved and become more focused. “In the beginning, we were trying to figure out what we were,” Watson says. “We wanted fine dining, but we also needed to fill chairs. That meant making the food approachable. … We do better selling chicken than squab.

“What we do on the menu is to try to elevate the familiar, taking dishes people know and adding new, different twists.” A chicken potpie, for example, is enhanced with truffle oil.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Fall Arts Preview: Upcoming Events

Cultural life is especially vibrant this season. In this section, we offer a glimpse of upcoming exhibits, concerts, and drama, along with an introduction to the fresh faces of the DSO and a look inside a new book devoted to Detroit’s architecturally stunning churches.

Men's Spring Fashion: On The Town

Men's Spring Fashion.

Bridal Fashion: Garden of Love

Ethereal silhouettes, couture details, haute bijoux, and abundant blooms are the essential elements for undeniably romantic bridal fashion.

Stop & Glow

The Auto Show Charity Preview and the AutoGlow that follows (Jan. 14) offer an opportunity to shine in formal attire.

Spring Fashion: The Hour of Enchantment

In a secret forest where the forces of good and evil collide, a fantastical cast of characters brings the season’s most magical fashion to life.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. An Animated Life
    As Rob Paulsen prepares to publish his memoir, the Hollywood veteran and voice behind some of the...
  2. An Hour With ... Teddy Dorsette III
    President, Detroit Black Deaf Advocates
  3. State of the Arts
  4. Gold Standard
    Tucked into an industrial strip in Ann Arbor, a new restaurant offers French fare
  5. A New Noodle Shop on the Block
    Midtown Detroit welcomes Urban Ramen
  6. Drink Beer, Do Good
    Local breweries and pubs jump on the charity bandwagon
  7. Recipe: Roast Boneless Pork Loin With Tart Cherry Chutney
    Executive chef at Ford’s Garage, Darin Thompson’s boneless pork loin marvel
  8. Business Class
    Trim suits, creative layers, and crisp white shirts - Fall's wardrobe essentials are fitting for...
  9. In Tune
    Influenced by its storied past, Willis Show Bar sets the tone for a nostalgic sound
  10. 13th Annual Best of Detroit Party
    On June 29, Hour Detroit brought the Best of Detroit issue to life at the 13th annual Best of...