Lifestyle

The Best Date Spot in Every Detroit ‘Hood

Published On 08/25/2015 Published On 08/25/2015
Flickr/Nicole Rupersburg
Flickr/Nicole Rupersburg
Flickr/Nicole Rupersburg
Flickr/Nicole Rupersburg
Flickr/Nicole Rupersburg
Coach Insignia
Craft Work
The Rattlesnake
Detroit City Distillery
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1. London Chop House 155 W. Congress, Detroit, MI 48226

Returning to its original location in the basement of the Murphy-Telegraph Building after a 20yr absence, London actually IS your grandfather's chop house (it first opened in 1938 as a power dining staple), so pay homage at the restored oak bar or polished classic red leather banquettes to devour meat and live jazz. Then, step into one of two working OG phone booths, and excitedly text everyone that you’re in a working phone booth. Seriously, the London Chop House is as old school as it gets, a throwback to a former era rich with sumptuous design and cuisine.

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2. Cliff Bell's 2030 Park Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Hands-down Detroit's finest cabaret club, Cliff Bell's is a cocktail bar, restaurant, and entertainment destination with dramatic Art Deco décor that includes a curved wood ceiling, mahogany leather banquettes, and a vintage Steinway grand piano. Stop by to wash down great jazz and burlesque with quality martinis and other beverages mixed by well dressed and professional bartenders.

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3. Rock City Eatery 11411 Joseph Campau St, Hamtramck, MI 48212 (Hamtramck)

Food, booze, and pies are the pillars upon which Rock City Eatery rests, and the industrial-chic eatery in Hamtramck has entertained a steady flock of regulars because of it. The breadth of the globally-inspired menu attests to the culinary skill of owner Nikita Santches, who proves that it's totally possible to excel at everything from duck fat-fried poutine to Spanish octopus. here's a big emphasis on local solidarity, ranging from regional microbrews behind the bar to the ingredients used in the kitchen, so don't be surprised if certain items on this focused, market-driven menu run out towards the end of the day.

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4. La Dolce Vita 17546 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48203

A double-threat, La Dolce Vita is equally capable of satisfying you with bottomless mimosas and shrimp benedicts in the early hours or wowing your date with lobster-stuffed ravioli and house-made gnocchi in the evening. When the weather allows, don't settle for anything less than a spot on the patio as you fatten up to jazz music.

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5. Detroit Seafood Market 1435 Randolph St, Detroit, MI 48226 (Eastern Market)

The charming interior of this Harmonie Park restaurant is perfectly complimented by the lobster trio. You could also order Flounder Rockefeller, Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops, or Trout Amandine, but why would you when you can order the LOBSTER TRIO.

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6. Prism 555 E Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226 (Greektown)

Tucked inside the Greektown Casino, this spot delivers the classic casino steakhouse menu at a more affordable price than the spaces previous occupants. The restaurant itself is beautiful, and they occasionally bring in live music acts.

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7. Coach Insignia 100 Renaissance Ctr, Detroit, MI 48243

This steakhouse is located on the 71st & 72nd floors of the GM Renaissance Center and has great views of the city. The menu is (suprise) a lot of steak, but unique standouts like lobster corndogs give specialty options.

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8. Iridescence 2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 40201 (Corktown)

This fine-dining Downtown restaurant sits on the 16th floor of the MotorCity Casino Hotel, offering stunning views of the city beyond from a sleek, dimly lit space. The American menu includes Black Angus beef filet, New York Strip Steak, oysters on the half shell, and South African lobster tail, all of which have a match from the restaurants considerable wine list.

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9. Craft Work 8047 Agnes St., Detroit, MI 48214 (West Village)

Chef Aaron Solley put in a lot of work to remake the West Village's Craft Work, classing up the offerings with Mediterranean and French touches in the library-like space. Come for the cocktails -- which keep things classic with Moscow Mules, Manhattans, negronis, and Old Fashioned -- but stay for the food. Red curry mussels, lamb over couscous, and pork should plates make for elevated eating. Even the venerable bar burger is spruced up with Wagyu beef. Perhaps most notable the raw bar, serving up oysters, ceviches, crudos, and fresh sushi that beg to be had with any of the European and Californian white wines.

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10. Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails 15 E Kirby Suite D, Detroit, MI 48202 (Midtown)

Located by the Detroit Institute of Arts, this large, lime-green hued restaurant sports glossy wooden tables, botanical touches, and a dried flower installation that makes you feel like you're part of the world's coolest garden party. The vegetable- and seafood-heavy menu aligns with the earthy theme as well, with entrees like grilled spanish octopus and Michigan shrimp served with polenta.

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11. El Barzon 3710 Junction St, Detroit, MI 48210

Since its debut in 2007, this Southwest Detroit spot has garnered a loyal following of regulars and significant acclaim for its unique Mexican-Italian menu. Helmed by chef Norberto Garita (who cut his culinary teeth in New York's fine dining scene), the kitchen serves upscale renditions of classic dishes like chicken Milanese and mole poblano, staying true to the staples of each cuisine. El Barzon also boasts a solid cocktail menu of vibrantly colored margaritas, top shelf liquors and rare mezcal selections. Combined with an inviting outdoor patio (decked out with lush plants and Christmas light strung from the wooden rafters ahead), it's a popular spot for relaxed yet refined dinners.

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12. Detroit City Distillery 2462 Riopelle St, Detroit, MI 48207

Detroit City Distillery uses locally-sourced ingredients from area farms and Eastern Market -- where the distillery and tasting room is located -- to offer a wide breath of spirits, including Bloodline Whiskey, Two-Faced Bourbon, Gilded Age Vodka, and Railroad Gin. The food menu doesn't go beyond finger foods and charcuterie, but with a killer cocktail list with both classics and Distillery-exclusives, the bar proves an ideal crowd-free pre- or post-dinner spot.

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13. Baker's Keyboard Lounge 20510 Livernois Ave, Detroit, MI 48221

What began as a humble sandwich joint in 1933 turned into a piano bar in the early 40s, at which point it became a pivotal venue in the history of American jazz. A frequent haunt for the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Art Tatum, and Miles Davis, Baker's is still thriving today, with touring musicians providing nightly jazz and weekly comedy shows in an authentic Art Deco space. Entertainment aside, the kitchen here is serious about soul food: succulent barbecue wings and ribs reign supreme, and regional tastes like grilled perch and whiting are equally as satisfying.