Sunday, July 14, 2013

Restaurant Review: Local Kitchen and Bar

I should start with apologizing to myself for not trying this place sooner. . . 

I had heard about Local on many occasions and Hour Detroit Magazine gave them a wonderful review but somehow I never found time. Until last night. Apparently the stars were aligned. . . First we went to Eastern Market yesterday morning and I heard a group of people raving about it. Secondly, I had plans for a girl's night out with my friend and we knew that a drink should be involved. Third, there wasn't a long wait when we got there and we were seated about a half hour after we arrived, without reservations.

So the main objective was a drink. I got a wonderful cocktail that the hostess recommended called "Too Many Cukes" that is a signature drink at Local. It came with a cucumber ice cube and muddles cucumbers with a little simple syrup that was a refreshing balance of flavors. Their beer offerings were varied and included some different off the beaten path choices along with some real retro options (think Stroh's! - I don't want it but someone must!).

Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup with Horseradish Puree and Too Many Cukes Cocktail (half gone!)
We started off with a soup off the specials menu. It was a thick roasted garlic and cauliflower concoction with a bit of horseradish puree and some flavored oil. Really smooth, but not quite a bisque, it was hearty but not overdone.

Baby Kale Salad
It was a light meal - we didn't want to eat too much as we anticipated dessert so we also split a baby kale salad. That name does not do it justice. While the photo is out of focus I thought it was worthy to mention. Crispy chickpeas, grilled fruit (nectarine on this day), and pistachios really round this out with a shallot vinaigrette.

Jar of the Day
While I was committed to a light meal, I decided I could not pass up the Daily Jar, which is an appetizer that apparently changes daily. The offering was a chilled seafood salad made up of calamari, shrimp, scallops and salmon with some peppers and other yummy items. I was a little worried about the salmon but everything was minced together and the flavors married well. It was a light but flavorful dish, served with warmed pita triangles.

Desserts. We had heard a lot about them and couldn't decide on just one so we settled for two. Blueberry Pie with a good whipped cream and a Banana Pudding. The blueberry pie had a dense pie crust that tasted homemade. The filling was balanced with a bit of tartness from lemon and cinnamon undertones. The banana pudding was some of the best I have had. . . thickly sliced bananas melded with a good creamy pudding and lots of wafers that seemed to be made of some sort of shortbread? Mmmm good stuff.

So I plan on going back to sample some more dishes here. I loved the atmosphere and the menu has lots of promise.

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