A few weeks ago, Mom, Dad, and I went with a couple friends to the Garden Party on Belle Isle. Dad had been on the island many years ago, but neither Mom nor I had ever been on it.
Though Belle Isle went through some tough times, it is totally making a comeback, like much of Detroit, and it was awesome to see the huge turnout for this event. Everyone was all dressed up and as I mentioned not too long ago, it was great people watching and my Granny totally would have loved it.
The event took place in and around the conservatory where tropical plants are housed year round. We all agreed a trip back in the middle of winter is totally necessary for signs of life in the middle of what feels like the tundra.
Cocktails flowed, food was served, and Ben Sharkey played awesome music, as always. He by far and away my favorite local musician. It didn’t hurt that the weather was literally picture perfect. Partly sunny, warm, and not humid.
We all loved the pond in the back with fish swimming about enjoy the evening just as much as we were. An a capella group also performed and they were great and sang my grandparents’ song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
We drove around the island before leaving to see the Detroit Yacht Club, bike paths, a barn, and more. With the clouds in the sky and the sun going down, we also saw a beautiful sunset. All those oranges and purples floating about like magic. It was really something.
There was a little fiasco with our scheduled dinner plans that I don’t want to get into too much, but it was getting late and we all wanted something to eat before heading home. We ended up going to Michael Symon’s Roast in the Book Cadillac Hotel. Mom, Dad, and I ate there once years and year ago, not too long after it opened and were pretty meh on it.
I read a lot of press recently on how awesome Roast is, so it was the perfect opportunity to give it another chance. Even late on a Tuesday night, the restaurant was bustling. The hostesses were super nice as was the waiter.
While the menu features a lot of typical steakhouse dishes, it also featured local, seasonal produce, which I love to see in restaurants. We started with the special vegetable soup. I’m not typically a fan of tomato based soups, but the way the waiter described it with all the fresh vegetables, made us try it. It was a highlight of the meal and outstanding with the fried squash blossom on top and more than a hint of spice.
Then it was time for the entrees. The pasta special was a hit. Dad also enjoyed his pork chop, though there was a piece of fat running through the center. Mom’s steak was outstanding, seriously outstanding, but it was pretty severely undercooked, so I ate some (medium rare all the way!), and we took the rest home to cook more the next night.
I also loved the salmon as did one of the other diners, but like the steak it was severely undercooked. The flavor was there, and it’s so nice to see wild salmon on menus, but when I ask for something fully cooked (no raw fish for me!), I mean it.
The fries were hot and crunchy perfection, the macaroni and cheese, OMG, seriously the macaroni and cheese was kind of everything with the creamy goodness on the bottom and just the right crunch on top, and the Brussels sprouts were pretty fab too.
All in all, I would say Roast is good, and I would totally try it again, particularly when they aren’t rushing to close for the night. It’s nice to know a high quality, go-to type restaurant is there to turn to.
It was also my parents’ anniversary the next night so they brought a fun plaque. Happy anniversary, guys <3