November 2019 Food News: The Latest on the Metro Detroit Culinary Scene

We say ”goodbye” to Da Nang Restaurant, but ”hello” to a new menu at Besa, the opening of Leila, and new food events
Photograph courtesy of Besa

In The News

Dom Eats Local: In a Nov. 20 feature of “Dom Eats Local,” a series published by the State Island Advance newspaper, chef Dom Tesoriero takes a tour of the Detroit soul-food scene. Stops included Bert’s Marketplace, Yum Village, and more.

Now Open

Highlands: Offering three restaurants in one location atop one of Detroit’s most iconic buildings, Highlands is bringing dining back to the GM Renaissance Center. Highland Steakhouse keeps ties to classic American steakhouse fare while sharing a space with High Bar, a scotch-lounge available for drinks and desserts. Across from High Bar is Hearth 71, a more casual space that offers locally sourced dishes and microbrews, which you can enjoy around a cozy fire. Highlands, 400 Renaissance Center, floors 71 and 72, Detroit; 313-877-9090;

Xolo: Business owners Phillip Shaltz, Spencer Ruegsegger, and Kristy Bearse felt something was missing from the culinary scene in Flint: Latin street food. So, they opened Xolo. In addition to its tasty like Elotes, Korean Beef Bologi tacos, and Xolo Nachos, the restaurant also has an extensive bar, mainly focused on tequila.  Xolo, 555 Saginaw St., Flint; 810-766-9798;

Delmar Kitchen and Bar: While rooftop bar Delmar has been entertaining guests with live music and bottle service since the spring, Delmar Kitchen and Bar opened on Nov. 4 and is located on the ground of 501 Monroe St. The new kitchen offers dine-in options with TV screens for sports fans, an extensive menu, and 25 beers on draft. Delmar Kitchen and Bar, 501 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-355-2670;

Leila: Owned by the same restaurateurs behind Birmingham’s Phoenicia, Leila offers a large selection of Lebanese food, each dish is made with staple Lebanese ingredients and a whole lot of heart. Leila also offers a beer and wine list to pair with their divine dishes. Leila, 1245 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-816-8100; 

Detroit Metro Airport: With the biggest travel season of the year among us, Detroit Metro Airport is preparing for the Christmas chaos by unrolling three new restaurants for hectic holiday travelers going through the North Terminal. National chains like MOD Pizza, plus Detroit-based National Coney Island and Common Grace Coffee Co. are some of the few that have found a home at DTW this November as part of DTW’s four-phase dining renovation plan. 

Balkan House: After major success in its Hamtramck location, the Balkan in mid-November. The Ferndale stop is open until 3 a.m., hoping to appease the bar crowd. Balkan House, 314 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-268-4920;


Da Nang Restaurant: After 10 years, the Vietnamese cuisine restaurant in Clawson closed in early November. There was little notice, and no explanation for the sudden closure, but De Nang did leave a note on its website thanking customers for their loyalty. Da Nang, 1 S. Main St., Clawson; 248-577-5130;


Besa: The restaurant’s new lunch menu features a Chicken Paillard Sandwich, Steak Fritte, and Hamachi “Hot Pot,” while the dinner menu is now offering up Roasted Colorado Lamb, Lamb Belly Ragu, and Gnocchi. Besa, 600 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-315-3000;

GreenSpace & Go: The quick-serve plant-based Royal Oak favorite is adding vegan breakfast options to its menu. Available from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Monday-Friday, and all-day Saturday, you can choose from gluten-free waffles, cinnamon rolls, avocado toast, and more. GreenSpace & Go, 32867 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-850-8500;

On Our Radar

Oak and Reel: Michigan native Jared Gadbaw, a Michelin-star chef who has studied and worked in New York for the last decade, is making a return to his home state with a new Italian and seafood restaurant, Oak and Reel. Oak and Reel is set to open in early 2020.Oak and Reel, 2921 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit

Woodpile BBQ: A Madison Heights location of Woodpile BBQ is set to open early December. The new Woodpile BBQ is expected to have 16 draft beers and a bourbon list, in addition to a classic barbecue menu. Woodpile BBQ, 630 E. 11 Mile, Madison Heights; 248-565-8149;

Upcoming Events

Vegan Potluck: This event is for vegans and non-vegans alike as a night to celebrate plant-based foods and recipes. To participate, bring one vegan meal, large enough to share with at least two others. In the spirit of sustainability, it’s encouraged to bring your own silverware to cut down on waste. Dec. 1. No cost. Cultivate Coffee & Taphouse, 307 N River St., Ypsilanti; 734-249-8993;

Sparkling Holiday Dinner: Kick off your holiday season with “good friends, tasty bubbles, and delicious food.” Guests can enjoy a selection of sparkling wine and champagne, chosen by General Manager and Wine Director Maria Papp, in addition to creative and locally sourced cuisine by Executive Chef Jeff ­­Lanctot. Dec 5 and 6. $85. The Rattlesnake Club, 300 River Pl Dr., Detroit; 313-567-4400;