Sunday we saw our first opera, Cyrano, at the Detroit Opera House. It was fabulous! The sets were so intricate along with the costumes, and the performers sang like I’ve never heard before. The story is a sad classic, and even though it was in Italian, I was riveted from start to finish. It was also the final performance for long time Detroit Opera House artistic director David DiChiera, so that was something really special to see.
Because the opera and the festivities surrounding the artistic director lasted nearly three and a half hours, we knew we wanted to grab dinner instead of coming home and cooking, so we met up with another couple at Standby. We were late because the opera ran late, but the couple were already settled into our table. We felt so bad but they said it was no problem.
I’ll tell you the first thing that bothered me about Standby: they don’t answer their phone. Ever. This is rather frustrating, especially when you are like me and like to ask questions and know what’s on the menu. There is one online, but it was not the correct menu.
Still, the restaurant is in a very nice alley with art on the walls and lights strung across it. It’s a place I’d be happy to hang out. The restaurant was small, loud, and bustling. We settled into our table and ordered drinks. A bacon old fashioned for Dad, a Midleton Cup with Irish whiskey, Pimms, mandarin, allspice, cucumber, ginger, mint, and nutmeg. It was super refreshing and looked awesome with a cucumber ribbon floating in the glass. I had La Joya, a strong, medicinal drink with San Luis, chartreuse, sherry, and hopped grapefruit bitters. It was so flavorful!
Then it came time for food. The other couple ordered the fried cauliflower as an appetizer while they were waiting for us, and I ordered it with our entrees. It’s a really unique dish in which the cauliflower is coated in chickpea batter with paprika and honey. Everyone loved the dish but me. I really wanted to love it, but there was just something about the flavor that I didn’t love.
Mom and Dad both had the cheeseburgers. Dad got bacon on his, apparently he had a serious bacon craving. The burger is the star of the menu with a custom blend patty, American cheese, pickled red onion, lettuce, and black pepper aioli on a sesame seed bun. It was pretty freaking fabulous and arrived to the table steaming hot.
The fries were another story. They were rather cold, brown, and not crispy on the outside, tender on the inside like we all want from awesome fries.
The other couple and I both ordered the Wagyu strip steak which comes with a house salad and the brussels sprouts. I don’t typically order steak out because I am always disappointed, but this did not disappoint one bit. The fatty steak was cooked to perfection and perfectly balanced with the fresh salad. At $30 this may be the best steak, particularly for the money, in the area.
The Brussels sprouts were a huge hit too. The crunchy cashew and fried potato chunks really stood out. They should serve those fried potatoes with burger instead of the fries – a total world of difference.
The desserts didn’t interest us, so after walking around town for a bit, we headed for Custard Time in Northville for some soft serve. The small serving was literally the best way to end a great meal and an even better day.