We have been very lucky here in Michigan to have some lovely October days and nights. A couple weeks ago on one such night, I just couldn’t stay home and inside, so Mom and I headed to Toasted Oak Bar and Grill in Novi, Michigan to sit outside for dinner.
I spent most of the day searching for a restaurant that still had an open patio. Luckily, Toasted Oak did, because on an 80 degree, sunny, breezy warm October night, I wasn’t going to be cooped up inside a stuffy restaurant.
I have heard about Toasted Oak for a while and wanted to try it, so I was excited to finally have the chance.
Like so many restaurants these days, they source as many local ingredients as possible with a farm to table philosophy and make pretty much everything on the menu from scratch. What sets them apart is that instead of in a space somewhere in downtown Detroit, Toasted Oak is in a hotel adjacent to a mall in a suburb of Detroit.
The mall and hotel setting fell away as we sat on the evergreen enclosed patio, the sun setting and the building thankfully blocking most of the breeze. Plus, we only got attacked by one bee, so I’m calling that a serious win.
Our waiter was nice and knowledgeable and presented us with cornbread. It was warm and super moist with great flavor and the whipped butter along with it was nice as well.
The housemade kielbasa was our appetizer and favorite dish of the night. The charred outside of the meat contrasted the tender, decadent interior and the mustard and potato salad accompaniments were delightful on their own. We were so glad we tried this dish, as it isn’t something we would typically order.
Before long our entrees arrived. Mom ordered one of the specials, a ribeye steak with potatoes, onions, bleu cheese, dried cherries, and a peppercorn crust. It was cooked to perfection and melt in your mouth tender, something that can’t always be said of a ribeye.
I ordered another special, a lobster salad. I had had a craving for lobster so it was fate. The perfectly cooked meat went so well with the last of the season local tomatoes, black radishes, some greens, and a bold dressing. I devoured it, but was disappointed to find a few pieces of shell. Kindly the manager did remove it from the bill.
We also tried the French fries, because you know I can’t skip fries! They were good but not great. It would have been better had they been slightly less brown and crispier. Still they stand up to most of the local fries I’ve tried.
The meal might not have been perfect, but the evening was. We had such a nice time sitting outside and enjoyed our meal. And really, you can’t ask for much more than that.