What’s Cooking: Metro Detroit Dining News for May 2024

Metro Detroit’s biggest food and beverage headlines this month and a conversation with Adelina chefs.
Adelina opened in a street-level space of downtown Detroit’s One Campus Martius building on March 22. // Photograph courtesy of Simran Bajwa

New Ferndale restaurant will provide a helping hand to immigrants

Chef Nikita Sanches and his wife/business partner, Jessica Imbronone Sanches, are the couple behind Hamtramck/Midtown restaurant Rock City Eatery, which closed in 2021. Their latest concept, Patchwork Culinary Project, is expected to open this year in Ferndale’s former Hilton Road Cafe space.

The small, 12-seat space will be something between a deli and a general store, “almost like a New York bodega,” Sanches tells Hour Detroit.

Sanches, who immigrated to Detroit’s suburbs at 12 from Russia, says the restaurant will offer training and other resources for immigrants interested in pursuing careers in the culinary field.

Downtown Detroit’s Zuzu to get second location in Nashville

The upscale Guardian Building sushi spot will be opening its second location in Nashville, Tennessee, the restaurant announced in March. It’s set to open later this year. Owned by Birmingham-headquartered Elia Group, the restaurant made its Detroit debut in August 2023.

A conversation with Adelina chefs

In March, celebrity chef Fabio Viviani’s Italian-Mediterranean eatery Adelina opened its doors near Campus Martius Park. We caught up with Viviani and Executive Chefs Marco Dalla Fontana and Gabriel Botezan — both former chefs at Bacco Ristorante, our 2005 Restaurant of the Year:

Gabriel Botezan: I thought I knew how to cook Italian until I met Marco [at Bacco]. He changed my whole point of view of Italian cooking. I learned that simple things make food good.

Marco Dalla Fontana: When Gabriel had the opportunity to come to Adelina, he came to me and said, “I won’t do it without you.” I felt really overwhelmed, because I was out of the kitchen for a couple years as a general manager.

Fabio Viviani: We can’t tell, though. He made me a veal scallopini last night. I took a bite, and I had to give him a hug.

GB: We just want to put out good, simple food in this beautiful setting.

FV: It’s home cooking; it really is. It’s an elevated version, because they plate a lot better than my mom does it. But it’s just as good.

This story originally appeared in the May 2024 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. To read more, pick up a copy of Hour Detroit at a local retail outlet. Our digital edition will be available on May 6.