After the debauchery of Thursday’s Thanksgiving dinner, an orgy of blood orange and lemon drop martinis (both vodka so its ok) turkey, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, and three pies for six people, you’d think I’d go clean for Black Friday. I started out good – by increasing my step count running through the mall, boxercising at the sale rack with my fellow shoppers.  I tried to follow the exercise up with a kale smoothie thanks to my trusty old NutraBullet.  Well…forget that!!

Turns out Thanksgiving dinner is really the gateway meal to four days of a holiday food fest. Plus, my kids were in town. I knew I could guarantee more time with them if I feed them well over and over and over! So, as a follow up to turkey day, I went with my husband and our two babies to PARC.  From its website, I learned about its interesting menu and impressive chef. I was able to snag a rez on Opentable. Nice and easy.

I headed downtown and then drove repeated circles around Campus Martius until I realized that the restaurant was actually in the middle of Campus Martius. I parked in a nearby garage on Woodward and walked  to the restaurant. The atmosphere around Campus Martius was festive. People were walking around with Nike bags full of purchases. The skating rink was hopping. My table was by one of the floor to ceiling windows that gave me the feel of being both inside the restaurant and outside where the action was taking place. I had a great view of the Campus Martius Christmas tree and skaters as I ate. The food was fantastic.  We had salmon, branzino, rigatoni, baby back ribs, tuna tartare.  All top quality and the service was great too. There was plenty of action inside the small, modern, comfortable space. There was a large bar in the back where people were two-deep enjoying elegant cocktails and lively conversation. I was treated to plenty of Led Zeppelin, The Who and the Rolling Stones. Given the choice of music and prices, apparently Parc caters to my kind of middle aged crowd!



Grey Ghost

When my parents visited from Florida, we decided to take them to one of my favorite new restaurants in Detroit, Grey Ghost. Reservations are a great convenience there as I did not want to make my folks wait.  Grey Ghost exemplifies the epicurean cultural shift from meat and potatoes to meat and craft cocktails. With high ceilings, exposed pipes, plenty of brick and leather, the atmosphere is hip industrial chic at its finest.

The restaurant is located at 47 East Watson Street, the former location of Ye Olde butcher Shoppe in the Midtown section of Detroit.  Getting there from the 248 is easy enough.  M10 to the Forest Warren exit to Woodward.  Its right off Woodward.  As far as the parking, it’s street parking and so far, we have been able to park on Watson, among the high end SUVs.

I prepared my parents for noise and “interesting” menu choices. My mother promised she would not ask for any food substitutions. They easily embraced the Detroit scene despite its sharp contract to the dining room in their retirement community.  Once inside, we were treated to a vibrant bar scene and a crowd that varied widely in age and hipness. Although it was a little loud and some of the tables for two are close together, but we all seemed to get used to the tempo with minimal skvetching.

The wait staff was knowledgeable, attentive and enthusiastic. Even though it’s a meat-centric place (their website invites you with the pun “we can’t wait to meat you”) there are vegetarian and seafood options. For us, the star of the show was the fried Bologna on a waffle with sharp cheddar and jalapeno. Sharing it among four people was a little dicey. Ribs, yellowfin tuna, and a double cheeseburger were all great. We enjoyed the creative sundaes for desert.  As we left, my mother said, “It was great, I don’t like to complain, but an early bird special would have been nice.”