Voyager, a seafood restaurant and oyster shop in Ferndale, sets sail for business this afternoon, and the proprietors hope to take diners on a journey with their coastal-inspired fare and drinks.
“The name ‘Voyager’ points to a fresh frontier for seafood in metro Detroit,” says Eli Boyer, the owner and operator of the 40-seat eatery at 600 Vester St. “I’d like our diners to be transported to a new place with our food, beverage, and hospitality.”
Justin Tootla, one of the executive chefs along with partner Jennifer Jackson, has said the menu “harnesses a coastal American vibe while tying in influences from our experiences abroad and here in the States.”
Oysters figure prominently on the menu, with a raw bar boasting a rotating selection – from east, west, and south – available on the half shell, fried, dressed, or grilled. Oysters are being sourced from seaside shellfish farms such as Island Creek in Massachusetts; Murder Point in Alabama; and Taylor Shellfish and Hama Hama in Washington.
The “plates” portion of the menu showcases the chefs’ playful and inspired takes on seafood with dishes such as Mahi on the Hibachi (blackened mahi mahi grilled on a binchotan hibachi with callaloo curry and rice), Clams and Carnitas (radish, greens, and pasilla vinaigrette), and Chili Crab Spaghetti (jumbo lump crab with Sichuan peppercorns). Carnivores can dig into Beef Tartare and Steak (served with Crab Louie), both sourced from Ferndale butcher shop Farm Field Table.
The beverage program offers an array of libations that pair up with the fare. Among the beer selections are brews from Michigan breweries such as Greenbush, Blackrocks, and Odd Side Ales as well as draft selections from California’s North Coast Brewing and New York’s Brewery Ommegang. Among the highlights of the cocktail list is a classic Mai Tai featuring a blend of rums, homemade hazelnut orgeat syrup, and tangerine liqueur.
The team of Tootla and Jackson replaced Stockyard chef Marc Bogoff earlier this year. The chef duo relocated to Michigan after consulting, traveling, and hosting pop-ups in the Midwest. Both alums of the famed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, they’ve worked at spots such as Prune and Le Bernardin in New York as well as Mission Table in Traverse City, and Yusho and Kinmont in Chicago. Tootla is a Bloomfield Hills native and has long planned a return to metro Detroit.
Before embarking on Voyager, Boyer helped open Gold Cash Gold in Corktown.
The restaurant will be open from 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and from 4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour specials, including $1 oysters, will be available daily at 4 p.m.