James Beard Awards, The Common Grille, & More Metro Detroit Dining News

Here are a few of the latest headlines you need to know
The Common Grill
The Common Grill is in new hands, but the menu remains the same. // Photograph courtesy of The Common Grill

Two Detroit Chefs, Restaurant in Running for James Beard Awards

A Moroccan bistro, a seasonally driven and sophisticated bakery, and an Argentinian-inspired restaurant are representing Detroit in this year’s James Beard Awards — i.e., the Oscars of the food world.

Barda in Core City is vying for Best New Restaurant against restaurants in Los Angeles; New York City; Oakland, California; and Phoenix, among other places.

Warda Bouguettaya, founder of Warda Pâtisserie in Midtown faces nominees from Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York City, in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category.

Omar Anani, chef and owner of Saffron De Twah in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood, is up for Best Chef in the Great Lakes category, usually dominated by Chicago chefs.

The winners will be announced at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 13, at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago.

New Food Hall Opens at MGM Grand

Food halls in Detroit have come (hello Detroit Shipping Co.) and gone (goodbye Fort Street Galley), and the trend doesn’t seem to show signs of slowing down, with the recent announcement that the former Detroit Water and Sewerage Department building will be transformed into one. Recently MGM Grand Detroit opened up Detroit Central Market, its take on hosting multiple food concepts under one roof. From hot fried chicken sandwiches and Detroit-style pizza to street tacos and noodles, there are plenty of options to feast on in between games at the poker table. 

Common Grill Gets Second Life

The restaurant group led by chef Zack Sklar has taken over the beloved Chelsea restaurant The Common Grill. 

Peas & Carrots Hospitality, which is also owned by Jim Bellinson and Josh Humphrey, purchased the Chelsea community institution earlier this year. The menu will remain the same, with favorites like the Miso Glazed Atlantic Salmon, Parmesan Crusted Lake Superior Whitefish, and The Grill’s Burger.

Proprietor and Executive Chef Craig Common isn’t going anywhere — yet. He says he will be staying on to oversee the transition. Peas & Carrots Hospitality’s culinary director, José Colín, will work closely with Common during the transition. Colín has worked for top chefs like Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in California. 

Restaurateur Reopens Fly Trap

Matt Buskard, the owner of local gastropubs Bobcat Bonnie’s, was a loyal customer of The Fly Trap and now owns the Ferndale staple. When the restaurant closed at the end of September, owners Kara and Gavin McMillian weren’t sure what was next for the diner after enduring challenge after challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Buskard then reached out to see what could be done about keeping The Fly Trap alive. The couple, who opened The Fly Trap 17 years ago, told customers in a Facebook post they never entertained any other offers and felt they were leaving The Fly Trap in good hands. Fans of dishes like the crab cakes and eggs, the burger, and the Swat Sauce can rest assured that nothing on the menu has changed. The popular breakfast spot reopened in March.

This story is from the May 2022 issue of Hour Detroit. Read more stories in our digital edition