Photo courtesy of Selden Standard

The Hit ListDetroit

The Resy Hit List: Where In Detroit You’ll Want to Eat in June 2024

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There’s no question we hear more often: Where should I go eat? And while we at Resy know it’s an honor to be the friend who everyone asks for restaurant advice, we also know it’s a complicated task. That’s where the Resy Hit List comes in. 

We’ve designed it to be your essential resource for dining in and around Detroit: a monthly-updated (and now expanded!) guide to the restaurants that you won’t want to miss — tonight or any night.

Four Things In Detroit Not to Miss This Month

  • Motor City Pride: Ferndale’s Pride celebration kicks off June 1 with a vibrant mix of bars and restaurants along 9 Mile and the surrounding area joining the festivities. Hot spots like Pops for Italian, Tigerlily and Mai Tiki, Como’s, Voyager, Bobcat Bonnie’s, and Public House are all in on the action. The food court will also be buzzing with popular local food trucks such as Fork in Nigeria, Hero or Villain, Impasto, The Drunken Rooster, and Nepantla, among others. Following Ferndale’s festivities is Motor City Pride, Michigan’s largest pride celebration, and it takes place with live music and entertainment all happening riverside at Hart Plaza on June 8 and 9. There will be 14 different food vendors and food trucks that promise a delightful array of culinary options and beverages throughout the weekend celebration.
  • Pinot Party: Highlands is hosting a summer party highlighting the pinot varieties (noir, gris, and blanc) alongside a currated menu by Chef Shawn McClain and his team. Added bonus, sip and celebrate the versatility of these grapes while enjoying a sunset that overlooks some of the best views in the city. Book here.
  • EAT Detroit: Eat good food, drink good drinks, and support SAY Detroit’s initiative to create pathways to success for Detroiters in need. On June 18, restaurants across the city will offer tasting menus; event participants can walk between restaurants or hop a shuttle bus. The VIP ticket grants entry to an exclusive reception at San Morello and a dessert afterparty hosted at The Whitney. Waka by Baobab Fare’s food truck and Detroit Water Ice Factory will also be parked at a marked location. Find more info here.
  • Jubilee Freedom Weekend: Weekend-long Juneteenth festivities kick off on June 14 with an art-driven block party at the Motown Museum. Festivities continue on June 15 with a collard green cook-off and wellness-focused event at the Joseph Walker Williams Community Center. To wind down the evening, enjoy blues, jazz, and soul music spun by local DJs at Batch Brewing Company. Wrapping up the weekend, the Juneteenth Freedom Fest will be held in Shed 5 at Eastern Market on June 16 from noon to 6 p.m.

New to the Hit List (June 2024)
Forest Bakery, Mink.

1. Ladder 4 Wine Bar Chadsey Condon

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Photo courtesy of Ladder 4 Wine Bar

Housed in a meticulously restored firehouse by James and Patrick Cadariu, Ladder 4 has steadily gained acclaim, including the Free Press’ 2023 restaurant of the year, for chef John Yelinek’s culinary excellence. Yelinek collaborates closely with local suppliers, adapting a seasonal menu with French and Mediterranean influences to showcase the freshest produce from the on-site garden tended by his wife, Charlotte Gale. But Yelinek’s efforts play in service to Ladder 4’s greater purpose as a wine haven. With a focus on European natural-leaning wines, a rotating glass selection, and curated cellar, by Omy Bugazia shine. Don’t miss the O-B-O (One-Bottle-Only) service, with rare selections from the bottle shop — but once it’s poured, you can’t repeat.

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Photo courtesy of Ladder 4 Wine Bar

2. Marrow West Village

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Proprietor Ping Go and chef Sarah Welch champion sustainability at Marrow, advocating for whole-animal butchery to reduce waste in the Great Lakes food system. By day, Marrow serves as a neighborhood butcher shop. By night, it transforms into an intimate date-night spot, featuring dishes from less showcased cuts. While not a typical steakhouse, Marrow still offers Michigan beef cuts, tartare, and its namesake dish. Chef de cuisine Eddie Moreau, with a background at Central Provisions in Portland, Me., ensures the seafood is as stellar as the meat. Pro tip: Opt for the five-course family-style tasting at $90 per person.

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3. Baobab Fare New Center

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It’s easy to become transfixed by the inspirational tale of Baobab Fare founders Hamissi Mamba and Nadia Majimbere, the refugee couple who landed in Detroit after fleeing violence and political instability in their home country of Burundi. In a few short years, the couple rallied the community with their optimism, love, and heartwarming East African cuisine, and in 2021, opened on one of New Center’s most iconic corners. In addition, they’ve launched a spinoff product line, food truck, and a forthcoming second location is planned for this year. Baobab has become the quintessential Detroit success story.

More info here.

4. Phoenicia Birmingham Birmingham

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As icons go, few have stood the test of time as long as Sameer Eid’s Lebanese-American jewel. But the restaurant’s age doesn’t show, especially with the addition of executive chef Talia Clark, who ran the short-lived but heralded Ochre Bakery kitchen. With a stalwart menu that regulars order from without even looking at, Clark’s initial impact can be most felt on desserts. Sure, Eid’s rice pudding got praise 30-some years ago, but Clark has brought finesse to the sweet side of the menu through elegant cardamom custard tarts and slices of chocolate peanut butter pie. It’s a challenge to improve a beloved classic, but Clark appears to have succeeded.

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5. Selden Standard Midtown

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Photo courtesy of Selden Standard
Photo courtesy of Selden Standard

For a decade, Evan Hansen and chef Andy Hollyday have meticulously crafted a culinary legacy in Cass Corridor. Their perfected formula: local, seasonal ingredients, infused with pan-Mediterranean expertise, all within an inviting ambiance centered around a crackling wood-burning hearth. All this, paired alongside a wine list full of artisan producers and crafty but unpretentious cocktails. Amidst it all, Hollyday’s famed corn agnolotti and vegetable carpaccio remain perennial favorites, and evoke that first-time experience — even if it’s the dozenth or so time you’re ordering it.

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Photo courtesy of Selden Standard
Photo courtesy of Selden Standard

6. Warda Patisserie Midtown

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Algerian-born pastry chef Warda Bouguettaya became a household name in 2022 when she won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef — the first chef from Detroit in 30 years to win a Beard. But the acclaim came as no shock to savvy Detroit locals, who had long been drawn to Warda for impeccable pastries. These creations are a tribute to her heritage, and the insights gained from a life spent traveling across the globe. From mango and black sesame financiers to yuzu-glazed madeleines and sand-dollar-shaped pear and frangipane tarts, each creation is devastatingly beautiful in its simplicity, but bursting with flavor.

More info here.

7. Grey Ghost Detroit Midtown

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Four Man Ladder Hospitality’s flagship stands as one of the city’s most consistently busy, reliable dining spots, perfectly tailored to a Midwest audience. Chef partners John Vermiglio and Joe Giacomino, with roots Chicago’s dining scene, brought a whimsical approach to Grey Goast, including oysters “Chicago-style,” incorporating bright green relish, pickled mustard seeds, and tomato. Executive chef Anthony Patton has added a more serious touch, but playful dishes like the supreme pizza twice-baked potato persist. And then there’s the signature bar burger, and Will Lee’s extraordinary cocktails.

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8. Sozai Clawson

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At Sozai, you won’t just find your usual suspects like tempura and chicken karaage or typical maki rolls. Nope, chef Hajime Sato is on a mission to spread the gospel of sustainability in sushi. After pioneering his approach at Seattle’s Mashiko, he moved to the Detroit area, and has tapped into the bounty of the Great Lakes. To truly get the vibe of Sato’s genius, you’ve got to snag one of the 13 seats at his specially crafted bar. That’s where the magic happens, with his exclusive omakase experience. It’s like a backstage pass to a sushi symphony.

More info here.

9. Leña Brush Park

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Leña, meaning firewood in Spanish, centers its wood hearth as the focal point of the Brush Park restaurant. Inspired by the cuisine and culture of Spain’s Catalan and Basque regions, the menu is a collaboration with the team behind Shelby and Coffee Down Under, executive chef Mike Conrad, executive sous chef Marcello Molteni, and pastry chef Lena Sareini. Anticipate a range of offerings from a pintxos menu to substantial main courses. Complementing the cuisine is an approachable wine list featuring Spanish selections, a specialty cocktail list, curated gin and tonic menu, and a low-alcohol beverage program highlighting sherry and vermouth.

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10. M Cantina Dearborn

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Photo courtesy of M Cantina

Puebla native Junior Merino has brought a touch of “Nuevo Latino” to Dearborn with a restaurant that mirrors Mexico City’s chic Condesa or Roma Norte neighborhoods. Formerly a renowned New York bartender, Merino now delves into “cocina de autor,” akin to North America’s chef-driven movement. He wears multiple hats at M Cantina — bartender and chef both. And his sensibilities bring a new perspective to pan-Latin dishes: even the chips and salsa experience, with over a dozen housemade salsa varieties in squeeze bottles, sets M Cantina apart, as does the vast collection of agave-based spirits and offerings of edible insects, from chapulines to the rare escamoles.

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Photo courtesy of M Cantina

11. Voyager Ferndale

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Chef Ray Garrett’s menu at the award-winning seafood restaurant and oyster bar, mirrors the coastal vibe, harmonizing familiar favorites with original creations — all with a steadfast commitment to great sourcing, sustainability, and seasonality. Those nearby know the real drill: As the sun begins to dip, belly up to the bar for a happy hour filled with rum punches and 2-buck-shucks (aka oysters).

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12. Forest Bakery Oak Park

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Jo Burke, Kyle Suczynski, and Humna Tak have combined their years of industry experience (Ochre Bakery, Slows, Bar Pigalle, and more) to open a new bakery in Oak Park, and they’re already celebrating its success. The bakery serves up flaky croissants, galettes, and a variety of other great pastries. There’s a particular interest in savory takes — think asparagus galette or a danish with ramp pistou — in addition to sweeter baked goods. Pro tip: get there early, as they’re bound to sell out quickly.

More info here.

13. Brine Oyster House Grosse Pointe Park

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On Detroit’s eastern border, the vibrant entertainment district has embraced a New Orleans touch with Brine. The menu features freshly shucked oysters, seasonal seafood, and popular entrees like steak frites, burgers, and upscale fish sticks. And while Gulf oysters are notably absent, Brine captivates with a “seacuterie” cart navigating the dining room. Executive chef Gavin Russell curates a tempting selection of crudos, smoked shrimp, and tartares, adding tableside finishing touches.

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14. Alpino Corktown

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Located at the intersection of Bagley and Trumbull, Alpino occupies a historic cobblestone-fronted building that has previously housed various beloved restaurants. Founded by Michigan native and experienced New York restaurateur David Richter, it’s is a tribute to Alpine cultures and cuisines, with such menu highlights as tableside-melted raclette cheese, crispy wiener schnitzel, velvety spaetzle, and a well-curated wine selection spanning the Alpine regions from northern Italy to Slovenia. Andre Sykes, a notable figure from the Black on Both Sides pop-up collective, is heading the cocktail program, integrating vibrant botanical flavors with a Detroit perspective.

More info here or at 313-524-0888.

15. Cadieux Cafe East English Village

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Steeped in history as a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the Cadieux Cafe remains a vibrant social hub for Metro Detroit’s Belgian community. Offering a rich array of Belgian specialties, including feather bowling, steamed mussels, burgers, sandwiches, pommes frites, and an extensive selection of over three dozen Belgian beers alongside an extensive rotating bottle and draft selection. Since 1933, Cadieux has upheld these cherished traditions on the east side. Reservations for dinner are welcomed, while advance bookings for feather bowling lanes are available via phone or email.

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16. The Rind Berkley

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In 2023, Zach Berg and William Werner, the minds behind Mongers’ Provisions in downtown Berkley, expanded their offerings with the The Rind. Chef Will BeDell seamlessly weaves the incredible products from Mongers’ shelves into the menu here — tinned fish, nuts, cured meats, chocolates, and an abundance of cheese (even as a dessert!) take center stage. But the restaurant setting allows for an accessible selection of wines by the glass, and an impressive array of over 150 bottles. And if there’s something you really love, chances of it being available for purchase at the shop next door are high.

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17. Secret Bakery Ferndale

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What started as Maxwell Leonard’s hobby turned heads in in 2018, when people discreetly snagged fresh-baked loaves from his Hamtramck home. A few years later, whispers echoed again in Ferndale, but a neighbor’s report shuttered the clandestine bread haven. Fast-forward to 2023: Leonard emerged with a commercial space on Livernoise in Ferndale. A toasty aroma greets guests with every opening ring of the door. Alongside loaves and sweet pastries, the spot sporadically hosts collaborative pop-ups with local chefs, selling out in a flash. But, shhh. You didn’t hear any of this from us.

Find more info here.

18. Barda Woodbridge

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Chef Javier Bardauil leads this open-kitchen Argentinian homage to the mesmerizing dance of flames. His culinary ethos is minimalistic, employing fire, salt, and lemon to accentuate the pristine flavors of the ingredients. Throughout the night, stacks of chopped wood replenish the fire, where meats and fish are cooked, while local vegetables are roasted and charred in the clay oven. A surprise favorite? The glazed beets, which  undergo a trio of cooking techniques, and are then delicately sliced into petal-like forms. Pro tip: Thursdays bring a sizzling treat as the team fries up empanadas.

Call 313-952-5182 for more info.

19. Vecino Midtown Detroit

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The new Modern Mexican restaurant on Third Street is run by Adriana Jimenez and Lukasz Wietrzynski, alongside executive chef Ricardo Mojica and head chef Stephanie Duran. The menu offers wood-fired specialities including fire-roasted cabbage, red snapper, pollo adobado, and bone-in ribeye. Cocktails lean heavily on agave-based spirits and a large selection of additive-free Tequilas and mezcals.

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20. Mink Corktown

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Photo courtesy of Mink

Though small in size, the restaurant exudes an aura of exclusivity, making diners feel as though they’ve stumbled upon a well-kept secret. Despite its intimate ambiance, this eatery, a sibling to Marrow’s butcher shop, enjoys widespread recognition. Patrons can indulge in a carefully curated selection of sake, batched cocktails, and local craft beer, alongside a delectable six-course tasting menu — and, of course, oysters.

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Photo courtesy of Mink