Recently, on a day of record breaking warmth, my parents and I met a couple family friends at Antietam in Detroit. It is one of a crop of restaurants to open relatively recently in Detroit and has received much critical acclaim.
We were all super excited to check it out and overall were impressed with the experience, though there were a few flaws.
When we arrived, the restaurant was busy, but not packed. I’m sure this has to do with the fact that we eat very early, as by the time we left, the restaurant was loud and bustling.
Antietam has an old time speakeasy feel to it. Curtains cover the door and divide the rooms. The light is warm and low. Wood is the main medium in the restaurant and a large black leather banquette lines the wall in the dining room next to the bar.
The owner is present, wandering the restaurant, and friendly, stopping at our table to chat for five or ten minutes. The service was equally great with both the waiter and food runners attending to us to ensure we had a nice meal.
For appetizers we ordered the cauliflower with a curry sauce and Brussels sprouts, the rabbit en croute, a rabbit pot pie of sorts, and the beet tart. The rabbit was a hit, as was the beet tart, and the cauliflower was good, but nothing extraordinary.
The one real issue we had with the restaurant was that it took forever to get our entrees. We waited over an hour and had to speak with the owner before we received our entrees. This is simply too long to have to wait, no matter how crowded a restaurant is.
Once the wait was over, the entrees were pretty outstanding. The signature entrecote de beouf, the whitefish, the greens salad, and the special chateaubriand. Everything was devoured. Mom and I shared the chateaubriand, a prime tenderloin with black truffles and truffle mashed potatoes, and it was insanely good. Though the steak may have been a little overcooked, it was supremely tender, and I’m still having dreams about those mashed potatoes.
The owner gave us dessert on the house as an apology for the long wait. While Dad enjoyed the chocolate pot de crème, the rest of us savored the beignets. Light and fluffy doughnuts dusted with sugar and served alongside lemon curd and blackberry honey. To say they were amazing is an understatement.
The food at Antietam is nothing short of spectacular, and the restaurant itself as well as the service are great. But the kitchen needs to ensure food is presented on a timely basis for the experience to be complete and very near perfect.