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Bistrot La Minette

I feel full of shame that I hadn’t gone to Bistrot La Minette earlier. I’ve passed by it dozens of times. It’s right across the street from Beau Monde. I always saw it and said to myself, hmm, I wonder if that place is any good. I just had no idea that it was an authentic French bistro and that it would be so darn good. Maybe I was afraid of French food. I just don’t know. But I’ve finally righted my wrong. So they do a prix fixe on sundays, $29(!) for four courses, and the menu changes weekly. And man, it was stupendous.
There are some cute tables outside and when you go in, it immediately feels like you’re in Paris. It really is quite transformative. What do we start with? Baguette! So good and served with the most delicious salted butter.
Here’s the amuse bouche – rillet on a little mini crostini.
Our first official course was the Soupe Parmentier. It was a winter root vegetable soup with fried leeks, butter-roasted chestnuts, and parsley oil. This was so velvety smooth and rooty. It definitely is made with roots, but nothing was overly bitter. The chestnuts were so good! I wish there had been more of them!
Next up was the Grillé au Cantal. It was a hunk of breaded and fried Cantal cheese with cauliflower and haricots verts in a lemon vinaigrette. It was like cheese tempura! It was a bit on the overly crunchy side, but who doesn’t like fried cheese!
The main entree was the Bœuf Bourguignon. You know what this is, it’s a beef stew with mushrooms, lardons, pearl onions, and potatoes dauphine. This stew had an intense flavor and the meat was tender and juicy. My favorite thing about this were the potatoes dauphine! They like deep fried mashed potato balls! So the puffed outside is a little crispity but the potato on the inside is whipped and creamy. It was so awesome.
And finally, for dessert, the Tarte au Citron et son Sorbet Cassis. It was a super duper lemony tart with a cassis sorbet. The whole thing was great, especially the cassis sorbet. It was so much food! And it was all delicious! We were both absolutely crazy about it. The service was also excellent, from our extremely blond server. He would have looked extremely at home in a Russian figure skating program. Early on when we first got there, which was like early bird time, it was pretty much deserted. But later in the night, we were happy to see lots more people show up. And you should show up too!

Bistro La Minette on Urbanspoon

TGI Fridays… Really, I’m Being Serious

While I avoid casual chain restaurants like the plague, sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. When stuck at an airport, your choices are limited. It’s typically a case of “least of all evils”. At DTW, I was given the illustrious choices of tgi friday’s, ruby tuesday, mcdonald’s, champps (where they allow smoking!?!??), cheeburger cheeburger, and a few other sandwich type shops, most of which were starting to close by the time I showed up. While I like cheeburger, cheeburger, the one at the airport was like a stripped down version, and it scared me off a bit. And the sandwich shops, those are always the pre-made ones, where the sandwiches have been sitting there for who knows how long! So really, what was I supposed to do? At that point, it was just a toss up between tgi and ruby, and for whatever reason, tgi mcscratchy’s won out.

I started out with a house salad and a virgin strawberry daiquiri. The salad wasn’t half bad. I haven’t been to a tgi friday’s for at least ten years, and I didn’t remember anything from it. The salad is nothing special, but I did like their vinaigrette dressing. This little fruit slushy was pretty darn tasty and refreshing too.

This is an airport restaurant, so it’s a stripped down version of a regular tgi’s with a limited menu. I got the dragonfire chicken, which is a grilled chicken breast glazed with a kung pao sauce and topped with pineapple pico de gallo,served over stir–fried brown rice, along side mandarin oranges and broccoli. Really, this was pretty good! The chicken was quite good, although the sauce was a bit too much on the gingery side for my liking. I didn’t bite into any ginger hunks, thank goodness, but the ginger flavor was a bit too strong. The sauce and the pico added just enough spice. The rice was pretty good, even though it was on the overcooked and mushy side. The mandarin oranges were from a can, so they couldn’t really go wrong there, and the broccoli was great! They were steamed just right, and not mushy at all. They still had some firmness. All in all, this sure beat a big mac!

Shiro – Dinner Near Detroit

I had to travel to Michigan this week. So flying into Detroit and heading westward, my research led me to Shiro in nearby Novi, MI.

This restaurant is in a mansion. Seriously folks, “historic Rogers Mansion”. I’ve never been to a japanese/sushi place this fanciful before. There’s a giant grand staircase in the middle, and tons of original details. The bathroom was nuts. It had crazy original colorful tiles and a weird sink fauce with hot, cold, and ice knobs.

I was seriously feeling the need for some greens, so I got the shiro salad, which is the typical japanese salad with the ginger dressing. It was nothing exciting, but the dressing was decent. The place is pretty big, and there’s a big sushi bar and a separate booze bar as well.

I also got the sunomono salad. Why did I get two salads? No idea. Actually, I like sunomono because there’s usually tons of cucumbers, and I was really wanting some cucumbers. But this was much more heavy on the seaweed salad side, and of course the octopus. It was a beautiful salad, but nothing exciting here either. There were only a bit of cucumber sticks, and it just didn’t do it for me. I should have skipped it.

This was some of the most attractive sushi that I have eaten in a long time. They put tons of effort in presentation here, and it shows. It’s beautiful, and tasty too!

They have a large selection of rolls, some of them typical, and some of them crazy. They take things to the extreme here. I ordered a couple of the spicy rolls. Instead of the fish being made spicy, their definition of spicy is to squirt a spicy mayo on top of any roll. Everything tasted fine, but it was a bit on the heavy side. They go a little overboard with the squirting.

For whatever reason, maybe this is something they typically do, they gave me a couple pieces of one of their special rolls for free. It was a roll with all kinds of stuff in the middle, and then topped with salmon, and then blowtorched! Sometimes, watching your food being made can be partly entertainment. These little suckers were good, and are probably good for people who may be afraid of raw fish. It was also a bit on the sweet side, so probably also a safer dish. All in all, a nice dinner in the middle of nowhere, in a random mansion. If ever around Novi, MI, stop by!

Shiro on Urbanspoon

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