last Friday night I received a bit of an unexpected treat. My mom scored tickets to Les Miserables at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit from her boss. I love going to see plays and musicals, and – gasp! – I had never seen Les Mis. My mom invited me to tag along with her, her coworkers, and various husbands and family members.
I was in for even more of a treat than I originally anticipated because our dinner reservation prior to the show was at Cuisine, a charming restaurant situated in an old house (I do seem to like dining in houses lately, don’t I?) across Lothrop from the Fisher Building. I am almost completely ignorant of the Detroit dining scene (though I hope to change that) so I went in with no preconceived notions.
The interior of the restaurant was as charming as the exterior. we were seated upstairs in a sunny yellow nook next to a fireplace. A blue curtain separated our large party from the rest of the guests on that level, but we didn’t feel secluded. I ordered a glass of lovely, flinty, French Sauvignon Blanc and made my menu selections.
I chose to start with the Tuna Tartare over rice cakes. Little heaps of fresh tuna came piled on what seemed more like a risotto cake – warm and melty in texture. The tuna was served with a shot glass of soy sauce, which the waitress wisely recommended I dot on the tuna with the tines of my fork rather than pour it on to keep it from overpowering the fish. YUM. Each bite–sized piece melted in my mouth, like a good tuna sushi roll – but way better.
I knew what I was ordering for an entree the minute I glanced at the menu. I love duck – it’s an addiction that started when I worked at the Earle and has never left me. I love the moist, dark meat in a way that I will just never love chicken (I like chicken, don’t get me wrong, but duck meat just seems more decadent). This duck was served with a honey vanilla sauce and red wine-braised strawberries. I was worried that the honey vanilla sauce might be too sweet, however, the duck was sauced with a light hand and it provided a delicious though delicate contrast to the savoriness of the duck.
My mom ordered a warm salad with shrimp and scallops over greens. The shellfish was cooked perfectly – scallops seared on the outside but not tough or chewy. The seafood was dressed in a little bit of a citrus marinade, but it was light enough to let the natural sweetness shine through. A bit of ginger provided a heavenly finishing touch.
The food was marvelous and the ambiance was perfect. The theater was right across the street, so we simply walked over. The Fisher building is gorgeous, with high, ornately detailed ceilings. The play was everything I hoped it would be – slightly over-dramatic, in the best possible way!
What a lovely evening in Detroit. I really should get over there more often to explore more of the city – my “exploration” thus far consists mainly of Red Wings games. Hopefully this was not a one-time-only experience!