There’s the tangy and sweet deliciousness of the scallions in a romesco sauce, the chorizo with white beans, and the sweet succulence of the trout with fennel and fingerling potatoes. Detroit’s Selden Standard does these all superbly well — and much of it begins on a remarkable wood-fired grill.
At the controls on one visit is John Sloan, a slim young man with a 1,000-watt smile and ambitions to be a chef. He barely breaks a sweat despite the intense heat from logs he has just stoked onto the fire bed.
Sloan regulates the grill by raising or lowering meat, fish, and vegetables toward the hot wood coals with a couple of turns of two cranks connected to the cooking grate by what appears to be bike chains.
The heat blast is strong enough that the customers sitting at the counter about 10 feet away are tempted to consider moving down a few seats.
The Grillery, as the fire-pit contraption is called, is just one of many factors that contribute to the richness and unique cooking that comes from Andy Hollyday, the chef and co-owner of Selden Standard who was just recently named a James Beard Award semifinalist, his business partner Evan Hansen, and their 70-some employees in the dining room and kitchen.
Selden Standard is our choice as 2016 Restaurant of the Year.
For the rest of the story, pick up the March 2016 issue of Hour Detroit.