Nothing makes a person appreciate dining out like eating in for three months (and counting). By now, you’ve mastered every cookbook recipe and self-developed concoctions. But frankly, you’re not alone if what you really crave is a good old dish from your favorite local restaurant, prepped by your favorite chef and hand-delivered by your favorite server.
While Michigan restaurants are now able to operate at 50 percent capacity, many are still only offering carry-out services or are holding off on opening their doors again. So, as the local restaurant industry eases into reopening, we asked several Detroit restaurateurs to tell us how to make dishes and drinks off their summer menus. Consider it a taste of the dining-out experience right in your own home.
From the Kitchen of Michigan & Trumbull
The Peach Pit
At Michigan & Trumbull, the new pizzeria on the block in Corktown, unexpected ingredient pairings are baked into Detroit-style pizzas. A summer favorite, the Peach Pit, which stars ripe peaches and a sticky bacon jam, offers a sweet-savory mix that guests can’t get enough of. “Peaches are now in season, and caramelized peaches are especially delicious,” says co-owner Kristen Calverley. “The nice thing is, the leftover bacon jam would be delicious with cheese and crackers or on cheeseburgers — the possibilities are endless.”
Your favorite pizza dough recipe (Calverley uses an 8×10-inch Detroit-style pan and a 10 oz. dough ball, but a traditional round would be equally delicious.)
1 whole peach
Hot honey (preferably Michigan & Trumbull Haute Honey, $6)
Cook bacon in a pot until crispy and set aside in a small bowl, reserving a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pot. Add the onions and jalapeño to the pot and cook at medium-low heat until caramelized. Then add brown sugar, minced garlic, cooked bacon, vinegar, and a splash of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce until the onions are jammy.
Halve your peach, removing the pit. Halve each half so the peach is quartered, and slice into thin half-moons. Using a knife, remove the dark leaf end of the leek and discard. Thinly slice leek into rings and discard the root end. Submerge the sliced leek in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.
Use the pizza dough of your choice and knead it into pan. Top with shredded mozzarella. Using a teaspoon, add dime-sized dots of bacon jam. Sprinkle leek rings on top. Finally, add peaches. (Adding the peaches last will allow them to caramelize nicely in the oven.) Bake at 500 degrees for 12 to 18 minutes or until crispy. Drizzle with hot honey and enjoy.
Michigan & Trumbull, 1441 W. Elizabeth St., Detroit; 313-637-4992; michiganandtrumbullpizza.com
From the Kitchen of Empire Kitchen and Cocktails
Chef Aaron Lowen says the Raspberry Dragon is Empire Kitchen and Cocktails’ most popular cocktail. “It’s fruity and citrusy and features a delicious sparkling rosé to cap it off,” he says, adding that the drink is a perfect summer treat and “very easy to make at home.”
½ oz. housemade raspberry simple syrup
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. pamplemousse liqueur
1 ¾ oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Housemade Raspberry Simple Syrup:
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
For the Housemade Raspberry Simple Syrup, boil raspberries and water for 10 minutes, then strain. Add granulated sugar and simmer until dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Combine all ingredients except rosé into a shaker tin with ice and shake. Strain into a glass and top with sparkling rosé for a fizzy float.
Empire Kitchen and Cocktails, 3148 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-315-3131; empirekitchenandcocktails.com
From the Kitchen of Rose’s Find Foods
Grandpa Richard’s Pancakes
Like most dishes at Rose’s Fine Food, the charming diner that has occupied a small Jefferson Avenue lot since 1964, this menu item is endearingly nostalgic. “In a time like this, I’ve been spending time looking back on things I miss,” says chef and owner Molly Mitchell. “I based the recipe for our pancakes on my grandpa’s recipe — he made blueberry pancakes every morning for breakfast.” What makes Grandpa Richard’s Pancakes better than the average golden stack, Mitchell says, are the extra eggs (which lend a custardy texture), fresh-milled flour, Michigan maple syrup, and housemade cultured butter to dress them up. “Real maple syrup is non-negotiable!”
2 cups all-purpose or pastry flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
¹/3 cup sugar
¹/3 cup olive oil or melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Whisk together the dry ingredients, except sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, and buttermilk well. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry gently — a few lumps are fine. Let the batter sit for ½ hour. Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron griddle or pan. Before cooking, add a drop of water to the pan to test the temperature — it should hiss when dropped on the grill.
Add butter to the pan and pour in ¼-cup-sized cakes — 2 to 3, depending on the pan size. They will spread out, so make sure they have space to expand. Now is the time to add berries, chocolate, bacon, or some combination. Flip when the edges begin to look dry and a few bubbles have popped on the surface.
Cook for another few minutes. Slather in butter, douse in syrup, and enjoy.
Rose’s Fine Food, 10551 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-822-2729; rosesfinefood.com
From the Kitchen of Leila
Leila, with its polished dining room and swanky underground bar, is a downtown Detroit newcomer serving upscale takes on Lebanese classics. Executive chef Nick Janutol shares a simple dish that can be easily recreated for an at-home taste of the restaurant’s fine-dining experience. “Fattoush is an amazing salad to serve year-round but makes for a great patio salad during the summer,” Janutol says. “We love this salad because it has bold acidity, which makes it a crisp and clean dish that goes well with anything coming off the grill, or stands alone for a light and healthy summertime meal option.”
1 oz. romaine, small dice
1 oz. green peppers, small dice
1 oz. radish, small dice
4 oz. cucumbers, small dice
1 oz. onions, small dice
4 oz. tomatoes, small dice and drained
1 Tbsp. za’atar spice
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 oz. dry pita, small dice
1 tsp. pomegranate molasses
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and toss until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to your desired taste and serve.
Leila, 1245 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-816-8100; leiladetroit.com
From the Kitchen of Mutiny Bar
Drinks at Mutiny Bar, Detroit’s destination tiki bar, are as fun as they are potent. This whimsical elixir, as the bartenders say, “is a tropical vacation mixed up into one drink.”
1.5 oz. Cabresto Tequila Silver
¼ oz. Campari
¾ oz. mango juice
¼ oz. passion fruit juice
¾ oz. pineapple juice
¼ oz. lime juice
Fill your favorite tiki mug with crushed ice. Pour all ingredients into mug and stir. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel or dehydrated pineapple and enjoy.
Mutiny Bar, 4654 Vernor Hwy., Detroit; mutinybar.com
From the kitchen of Ivy Kitchen + Cocktails
Cream Sauce Scallop Tostadas
An eclectic menu abounds at Ivy Kitchen + Cocktails in Detroit’s East Village. Southern favorites, such as shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles, comprise the brunch menu; charred whole branzino shines as an entrée; and mini wonton ahi tuna tacos are so artful they hardly seem edible. And a robust beverage program offers craft cocktails that pair well with each dish on the menu. This one, owner Nya Marshall says, is one of the restaurant’s healthy options that “has a burst of flavor that you don’t expect from such a light dish.” It also pairs well with a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc, she says.
4 oz. hass avocado
¼ cup tomato, diced
2 Tbsp. red onion, diced
2 tsp. lime juice
2 tsp. chopped cilantro
½ tsp. kosher salt
Fresh black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. light sour cream, thinned with 1 tsp. fat-free milk
6 large sea scallops (8 oz. total), side muscle removed, rinsed and patted dry
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. olive oil
2 large gluten-free corn tostada shells
Mash avocado in a small bowl with tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper
Season scallops with salt and black pepper. Add butter and oil to a 12-inch skillet on high heat. Once the butter begins to smoke, gently add in scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear scallops for 1 ½ minutes on each side. The scallops should have a ¼-inch golden crust on each side and translucent centers.
Spoon guacamole onto the tostada, top with scallops, and drizzle with sour cream.
Ivy Kitchen + Cocktails, 9215 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-332-0607; ivykc.com
From the Kitchen of Taqueria y Cenaduria Triángulo Dorado
Sushinola Sushi Roll
Best known for its tacos, ceviche, and various authentic Mexican street food dishes, Taqueria y Cenaduria Triangulo Dorado in Southwest Detroit features one menu showstopper that may make most diners do a double take — sushi! Santiago Torres, co-owner of the restaurant (known as the Golden Triangle, as its name indicates in Spanish), which highlights specialties from Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua, says he plans to introduce a new menu of sushi, putting a Latin spin on a Japanese staple. This one, starring carne asada and grilled shrimp, is deep-fried and scrawled with a creamy Tampico sauce.
2 cups long-grain
½ cup vinegar
2 oz. sugar
½ tsp. salt
Grilled steak (2 strips)
Grilled shrimp (2 pieces)
Cucumber (1 strip)
Tampico (a mixture of crab, mayonnaise, and cream cheese)
The process begins with the rice. Pour 2 cups of rice (rinsed) and 2 cups of water in a pan and let cook for 45 minutes. Once cooked, add vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir.
Place a sheet of seaweed on a sushi roller, then spread a lump of rice the size of a golf ball evenly across the sheet. Add layers of grilled steak, shrimp, bacon, cream cheese, cucumber, and avocado.
Roll the mixture, pour pureed egg over top, and coat in breadcrumbs. Fry for up to 20 seconds or until brown. Once the roll is removed from the fryer, top with Tampico and a sweet Anguilla sauce and enjoy.
Taqueria y Cenaduria Triángulo Dorado, 8065 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-652-5247; triangulo-dorado.com