Good morning and Happy Monday!
Today I am coming to you after the perfect weekend… well, besides the whole out-of-nowhere snow blizzard aspect… but we’ll talk more about that later.
Scott and I had a long overdue #DetroitDateNight as soon as I returned home from work on Friday. We ended up missing our 5 p.m. plans, but we were able to rearrange the night and had a fabulous date out in the city that I am excited to share with you!
We weren’t celebrating anything special, but Scott and I had been wanting to dine at Roast since we moved up to the Metro Detroit area in 2012.
The restaurant is connected to the lobby at the Westin Hotel, and is located right in the heart of the city. They offer valet parking, but we decided to stay out of the madness and found an easily accessible parking garage right on Washington Blvd.
Roast is a Michael Symon restaurant, who is a well-known chef on the Food Network! Knowing that, we went into our dinner with high expectations. We made reservations for a later arrival, but with a change of plans, we took our chances on walking in over two hours early. We expected to wait, but we were sat right away.
There’s no denying that the restaurant is gorgeous. It’s dimly lit and calls for dressy or business casual attire. Scott got up a few times throughout the night to see what appeared on the charcoal grill in the kitchen that can be seen from the dining room. It was pretty cool!
We were warmly greeted by our server, Brian, right away. He was wonderful and very helpful with our menu selections. He handed us a tablet for the wine and drink menu, which was something neither of us had seen before.
You could even see a picture of each cocktail! I selected a Burgandy wine (per Scott’s suggestion), and he ordered the Shorter Days cocktail. We enjoyed the complimentary bread dipped in oil while we looked over the dinner menu and ordered an appetizer.
I’m not usually one to dive into a pork belly, but the apple cider glaze and blue cheese grits got me. Oh my gosh, the combination of everything was so good.
Our entrées didn’t come with sides, so we split a salad that is unlike anything else I’ve tried.
Root Vegetable Salad
There wasn’t any greens, but there was a fresh selection of mixed root vegetables, almonds, feta, and mint. (Delicious!)
I often choose a sea food dish at steak houses, and Scott almost always orders a steak. This time, however, he took the suggestion of our server and went for the pork chop.
Smoked Pork Chop with creamy polenta, pickled chilies, and BBQ onions
Since the entrées come à la carte, we split two sides. We could have easily done without them, but we were previously told that we have to order the Brussells sprouts from friends. They were right because they were incredibly tasty!
Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts, Sweet Potatoes
I’m not really a huge fan of Brussels sprouts. They have to be cooked in a certain way and adequately seasoned. I loved that they were chopped and tossed in a vinaigrette dressing. The sweet potatoes were glazed in some type of bacon jam which was also really, really good.
Although we could have easily split and entrée, I ordered the scallops for dinner.
Pan Seared Scallops with butternut squash, lardo, and micro cilantro
They were delicious, and we ended up taking half of our meals (and sides) home to save for later. That said, we had just enough room left for dessert.
The Bar (chocolate malt marshmallow, pretzel, smoked salt, and whiskey sauce)
I think it’s safe to say that we walked out of dinner full and happy campers!
A little tip I learned from friends (to cut the bill down) is to come early at take advantage of the Happy Hour (4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.) menu and prices. If you’re looking to celebrate an occasion like a birthday or anniversary, make sure to tell them when you call for a reservation. We saw the staff acknowledging different occasions with sparkly (lit) desserts throughout the night.
I don’t know when we’ll be back, but it sure was worth the wait to try Roast at least once!
Campus Martius Tree Lighting
Scott was adamant on going to Detroit for one main reason, and it was to see the annual tree lighting at Campus Martius.
After dinner, we bundled up and made the short five minute walk over to the park. There were neat things to see during our walk including this sitting area outside the Detroit City Lofts and the Christmas lights lining the retail shops on Woodward.
How pretty is this?
We are spoiled by living so close to the Downtown Rochester Lights, but it’s so nice to see the bright and colorful trail lit up in the heart of Downtown Detroit.
Christmas is most certainly in the air!
As we got closer to the park, it was clear that something big was going on. The streets were crowded, and there was loud music playing as we approached.
The Annual Tree Lighting happened at 5 p.m. that evening. The main attraction is a 60-foot Norway Spruce tree, grown in Michigan, that holds over 19,000 LED Christmas lights and assorted ornaments!
The event also opens the ice skating rink for the season. Skate rental is $3, and admission is $8 for adults and $7 for children and seniors.
There were also horse-drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate stations, and a heated Rinkside bar to warm up in!
We didn’t want to wait in line to go ice skating, but we want to come back with a group of friends before it closes.
I’d say that our #DetroitDateNight was a great success!
Thanks for reading about our fun night out in the city, and I’ll be back later this afternoon to share more of our (snowy) weekend snapshots.
Previous #DetroitDateNight Adventures:
(You can see more of our whereabouts exploring on the Detroit & Michigan page!)
Have a great start to your week!
Questions of the Morning
• Have you ever been ice skating on an outside rink?
• Do you have any family traditions that involve the lighting of a Christmas Tree?