And then following the text is this totally amazing wedding photo.

Click HERE for the full article and true story behind this photo!
This infamous Sautéed Sea Scallops 

I have never written a food or restaurant review on my blog, just something I never felt compelled to do. Plus, I think most restaurant reviews are meh and really do not enjoy partaking in what everyone else is doing. With that said, the reason I am writing this post is NOT to discuss the food or the drinks.  Quickly, though, everything we ordered from the menus received rave reviews from the table.  Not to mention that the ambiance is super sexxxxxxxxxy. I also like that you can see everything that is going on in the kitchen and not hidden from the dining/bar area.

Now that we got that out of the way, the real reason I am writing this post is because of their outstanding service and handling a common restaurant situation in a way that unfortunately most dining establishments (from any price point), do not partake in.

Just to bring you up to speed, Wright & Co.  is one of (if not solely) the most anticipated Detroit restaurants to open in 2014, and we are all thankful they did this past Monday. When you combine the craft cocktail mixology talents of Sugar House owner Dave K and the culinary genius of former Wolfgang Puck Executive Chef Marc Djozlija, the expectations are very, very high.

So for the fun part:

Last night, I went to Wright & Co. for an impromptu first round of going away parties for a good friend.  I was a little late to the festivities, and upon my arrival, met with a wait list and not one empty chair at the the bar. Fortunately my friends secured a booth at the front of restaurant.  Our waitress came over (who was super friendly) and I ordered The Room Key off the drink menu and The Sautéed Sea Scallops from the dinner menu (everything is Tapas). The drink came out quickly, the food on the other hand, took almost an hour.  I asked the waitress to check on it, she was great and ran right over to the kitchen.  10 minutes later, still was not out.  She sent over a manager (I did not request for him), who apologized, asked if I still wanted my meal, and let me know it was almost on its way and would be comped from my bill.  He asked me if he could bring me anything and I said, "a glass of Rosé."  He turned right around, headed to the bar, and quickly brought back my glass of wine.

This level of service is scarce in Detroit, which is unfortunate.  I spend a lot of my meals out opposed to my own dining room.  Do I know my way around a kitchen, yes.  I just tend to be out a lot because the food in Detroit is awesome and its summer. I also worked in the food industry in college, so I have sat on both sides of the table.

The point of me writing this is not to tell you that I got a free meal and beverage.  The point is how they handled the situation nicely, quickly acknowledged and  took care of the problem, and provided a high level of customer service.  They made me feel like I mattered as a patron, not just some customer in their bustling dining establishment.

So for $20, Wright & Co. got repeat customers out of the 10 of us (most of us living within walking/biking distance) and free publicity on this sweet blog.  That's pretty amazing ROI for a new restaurant in town.

I noticed they don't have a tagline yet, so maybe it should go a little something like, "Raising the Dining Standards In Detroit Since 2014."  It needs some polishing, but you get my point.

$50K is on the line for 4 competing entrepreneurs.

Are you ready to watch the next retail business HATCH in Detroit?

Tickets are now available for the 2014 HATCH OFF on AUG 20! Watch as our Top 4 Finalists pitch their business to a panel of judges, business and community leaders — the winner of the $50,000 grant will be announced that same night!

Enjoy a strolling dinner and cocktails in the glass atrium at Ford Field as you watch the competition unfold and the 2014 winner crowned. Reserve your ticket here!

There have been so many stories written about the demise and downfall of Detroit. The government is corrupt. The auto manufacturers are falling behind. The city is desolate and homes can be purchased for one dollar. I have spent a total of two days in Detroit, far too little time to assess whether or not any or all of those things are entirely accurate, but I can say without a doubt that I am excited to go back.

Unlike European cities with their centuries of history, American cities have so much opportunity for change and growth because they are still so very young. That said, in my opinion, it's far too early to write off an entire city as being too down-in-the-dumps to save. Detroit, perhaps more than any city other than New Orleans, has a tremendous amount of opportunity in front of it.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

The Guardian: Detroit Gets Growing


Strolling around his inner-city Detroit neighborhood, Mark Covington pauses to take in the view. The houses and shops that existed when he was a child are gone, replaced by empty lots, the buildings either burned down or demolished. In their place is wilderness. Tall grass, wild flowers and trees. "Just look at that," he says. "It could be a country road."

Such views are increasingly common all over Detroit, the forlorn former capital of America's car industry and now a by-word for calamitous urban decline. Once the fourth largest city in America, its population has shrunk from about 1.8 million at its peak in the 1950s to fewer than 900,000 now. Its streets are lined with an incredible 33,000 empty lots and vacant houses. City government is broke. The shells of dilapidated factories look out over an urban landscape that has been likened to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina – except Detroit's disaster was man-made and took decades to unfold.

Now the seeds of a remarkable rebirth are being planted – literally. Across Detroit, land is being turned over to agriculture. Furrows are being tilled, soil fertilized and crops planted and harvested. Like in no other city in the world, urban farming has taken root in Detroit, not just as a hobby or a sideline but as part of a model for a wholesale revitalization of a major city. Some farms are the product of hardy individualists or non-profit community groups. Others, like Hantz Farms, are backed by millions of dollars and aim to build the world's biggest urban farm right in the middle of the city.

Mark Covington, 38, is one of those 21st-century pioneers, though he stumbled on his role almost by accident. Finding himself unemployed after losing his job as an environmental engineer and living back with his mother two years ago, he started tidying up an empty lot near his Georgia Street home, planting vegetables and allowing local people to harvest them for free. An orchard of fruit trees followed, as did a community centre – made by converting a pair of empty buildings – which keeps local youths off the streets. The result is a transformation of the area around his childhood home. Local kids come to movie nights held amid the crops. Residents love the free, fresh food in an area where no major supermarkets exist. The Georgia Street Community Garden is never vandalized.

Click HERE for the full article!

Because of its economic problems, Detroit got a pretty bad rap and became a symbol of urban decay, but economic revitalization is underway in some of its historic neighborhoods. Once one of America’s wealthiest cities, Detroit built up numerous attractions, entertainment venues, and sports stadiums. Now it’s becoming know as a place for cheap — really cheap — property and the place most likely to experience a renaissance. Before you cross Detroit off of your list of travel destinations, consider these 10 reasons to go to Detroit now.
1. Motown 

Detroit has a musical legacy that literally changed America. It started in 1959 when Berry Gordy opened Motown, a recording studio that combined pop and soul to create a grooving music great for dancing. Both whites and blacks couldn’t get enough of Motown and, by uniting youth of all colors, the music is credited with helping to bring about racial integration. Over the years, Motown produced some of the top artists of all time, including Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Jackson 5, and Stevie Wonder. Today, the recording studio has been transformed into a museum. Helme-Day

2. The Resurgence 

If you want to see community spirit and passion, Detroit embodies them. Even though the city is blighted with vacant houses and debt, citizens are rallying to renovate neighborhoods. Rather than waiting for the government to take action, they are getting things done themselves through non-profit community groups. Using whatever tools they can get their hands on, community members are transforming vacant lots into community gardens and abandoned storefronts into murals.

3. The Inn on Ferry Street 

In case you forgot that Detroit used to be prosperous, a stay at the Inn on Ferry Street will remind you. The inn consists of four Victorian mansions and two carriage houses. In the early 1900s, the neighborhood was mostly Jewish and in the 1930s, became home to prominent black residents who had established some of the major facilities for the then-segregated black population of Detroit. The inn has been elaborately renovated true to its original style, with stunning carved-wood banisters, Victorian turrets, and grand fireplaces.

Click HERE for the full list! 

The NYT: The Post-Post-Apocalyptic Detroit

Saturday in Campus Martius Park, in front of Compuware headquarters.CreditAndrew Moore for The New York Times

In downtown Detroit, at the headquarters of the online-mortgage company Quicken Loans, there stands another downtown Detroit in miniature. The diorama, made of laser-cut acrylic and stretching out over 19 feet in length, is a riot of color and light: Every structure belonging to Quicken’s billionaire owner, Dan Gilbert, is topped in orange and illuminated from within, and Gilbert currently owns 60 of them, a lordly nine million square feet of real estate in all. He began picking up skyscrapers just three and a half years ago, one after another, paying as little as $8 a square foot. He bought five buildings surrounding Capitol Park, the seat of government when Michigan became a state in 1837. He snapped up the site of the old Hudson’s department store, where 12,000 employees catered to 100,000 customers daily in the 1950s. Many of Gilbert’s purchases are 20th-century architectural treasures, built when Detroit served as a hub of world industry. He bought a Daniel Burnham, a few Albert Kahns, a Minoru Yamasaki masterwork with a soaring glass atrium. “They’re like old-school sports cars,” said Dan Mullen, one of the executives who took over Quicken’s newly formed real estate arm. “These were buildings with so much character, so much history. They don’t exist anywhere else. And it was like, ‘Buy this parking garage, and we’ll throw in a skyscraper with it.’”

One of Gilbert’s new downtown properties is an iconic Kahn creation from 1959 called Chase Tower, previously the National Bank of Detroit Building, which spans a full city block. Now nicknamed the Qube, the building houses hundreds of Quicken loan officers who sit or stand at small desks, working their phones. Employees are encouraged to write on the walls, which also display the latest tallied results in competitions between internal sales teams. Stenciled on the walls as well are the Quicken credos, 19 bits of pithy wisdom the company calls its “Isms.” (“The inches we need are everywhere around us.” “Numbers and money follow; they do not lead.”) Above the workers hover decorative, spacecraft-like orbs, in peach and pink and aquamarine, matching the colors of the cabinetry and carpeting. The overall atmosphere resembles “The Wolf of Wall Street” as art-directed by Dr. Seuss. When a loan officer closes a deal, the resulting mortgage contract is printed out in the nearby basement of the old Federal Reserve, another Gilbert holding. In rooms where armored cars once deposited bags of money, rows of printers run hot, spitting out tens of thousands of contracts a month, a total of $80 billion in residential mortgages last year.

Click HERE for the full article! 

Detroit Makes Another List Thanks to Forbes

The Most Competitive Metros In America

No. 9 Detroit, Michigan

No. 9 Detroit, Michigan 

Industries driving the local economy: Motor vehicle manufacturing, engineering services and temporary help services.

Click HERE for the full article! 

The NYT: A Gleam of Renewal in Struggling Detroit

Corktown, once a desolate strip just west of downtown Detroit, is a serious hotbed of new restaurants, bars, hotels and more, all sitting in the shadow of one of the most glaring icons of Detroit’s demise, the skeleton of the old train depot, Michigan Central Station. In this ailing city, people look at Corktown as a bright example of what rebuilding can do. The resurgence of Corktown, originally an Irish enclave, began with the 2005 opening of Slows Bar B Q. These days, thanks to low rents and a consumer base hungry for things to do, the area is now a vibrant community of passionate restaurateurs, stylish shopkeepers, meticulous coffee connoisseurs and craft cocktailers.



Ottava Via.CreditImage by Anthony Lanzilote for The New York Times

The chefs at this rustic Italian trattoria visit the local farmers’ market daily to bolster a menu that includes house mozzarella, crispy stone-fired pizzas and a signature Berkshire pork porchetta topped with onion jam and pork cracklings. The high ceilings hint at the building’s origins as a bank, and a patio features a fireplace and a bocce court.
1400 Michigan Avenue; 313-962-5500;

Making a drink at Two James Distillery.CreditImage by Anthony Lanzilote for The New York Times

The first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition, Two James offers outstanding house-made vodka, gin and several types of whiskey. The tasting room is open six days a week doling out unique cocktails that feature ingredients like beet and carrot shrub (a drinking vinegar), plum bitters and orange peel liqueur.
2445 Michigan Avenue; 313-964-4800;

Click HERE for the full article!