Friday, August 8, 2008

The Whitney

The Whitney is an elegant hundred year old mansion in downtown Detroit that has been converted into a restaurant. It is a lovely spot to dine and is especially nice when celebrating a special occasion. This past week I went there for lunch to celebrate a friend's birthday.

Walking into the entry is a WOW moment. The downstairs is richly paneled and there is a stunning stairway with Tiffany stained glass windows. Dining is spread throughout several rooms on the main floor. Our room was bright with a bay window and pretty ceilings. The picture below is another one of the beautiful dining rooms. (To see more pictures, click on the Flickr badge on the right.)

The menu has lots of options and everyone had a hard time deciding what to order. I started with the lobster bisque which typically is a favorite of mine. Unfortunately I've had much better. It wasn't particularly rich or creamy and needed more seasoning. They actually forgot to put the lobster in the soup and after a few bites the waiter came with a small cup of lobster to add in. It also had small chunks of vegetables in it which added a strange texture. Disappointing. However my friends ordered a beautiful spinach salad with crispy pancetta which they said was delicious.

My main course was halibut on a crispy wild rice cake with champagne sauce. Again, disappointing. There wasn't enough salt or seasoning - even the sauce was so light it had little flavor. The others in my party ordered a salad with salmon and a crispy chicken dish and they enjoyed them, so I just ordered the wrong thing again, I guess.

Of course we ordered dessert! First they came with a slice of this pretty opera cake for the birthday girl. I had a lemon tart with berries which was absolutely wonderful.

Afterwards we wandered through the different floors of the mansion and gawked. This summer they are also serving meals out in the garden which would be a lovely spot for a meal.

Even though my meal was just ok, I still would go back. The experience at the Whitney is as much about the setting as the food and the setting can't be beat!

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