DETROIT: Dinner & A Show

2 Apr

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Detroit is home to a fantastic array of wonderful restaurants, how lucky are we? Every once in a while it’s nice to splurge and visit one of the high-end places, which is exactly what we did on a balmy March evening.  Opus One resides on Larned Street, in what was once an old Taxi garage, you’d never know it by looking at the place! Opened in 1986 by third generation restaurateur Jim Kokas, the quality of the food and service is definitely upscale. We arrived just in time for our 6pm reservation, the Bistro Bar was busy with the after work crowd. Here you can enjoy a delicious meal in an informal setting, or simply have a drink while watching the game. We sat in the swanky dining room; cloth tablecloths, white napkins and candles dress each table, soft lighting and warm tones set the relaxing mood. Our servers were friendly and attentive, rattling off a list of mouth-watering specials. We started with the Chilled Quinoa and Avocado Salad, absolutely scrumptious. I chose the Baked Pinwheel of Norwegian Salmon with spinach and Brie, served with haricot verts and rice with a Buerre Blanc sauce, it was amazing!  Kris ordered the Opus One “All Day” Blueberry Braised Beef; served with cheddar mashed potatoes and haricot verts with roasted corn, it looked delectable. The beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender and a nice portion too. Opus One is also known for their dessert cart, yes, cart not tray. I saw it go by several times and could barely tear my eyes away from it, but after that incredible meal, we just couldn’t do it. There’s always next time! 

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If you like theatre, there is an endless variety of choices in Detroit; from professional and touring companies to local talent, a show is just a ticket away. Since 1963 Wayne State University’s Hillberry Theatre has been the home of the first and only graduate repertory theatre company in the country. From October to mid-May the company performs six classic and modern plays in rotating repertory. They do everything from acting and costume design to lighting, set design and theatre management. All of this takes place in the former First Church Of Christ Scientist, located on Cass Ave in the heart of the WSU campus.Tonight’s show was  Summer and Smoke, I am a big Tennessee Williams fan, so I was looking forward to the production.We entered the theatre itself to locate our seats, pausing at the back to look at the set. The scenery captures the setting of 1916 Mississippi; for this production all activity takes place in two rooms, side by side sections of Alma’s home and Johnny’s office.The story of Summer and Smoke captures all of the Tennessee Williams nuances that I love, his work is timeless. The actors vividly bring the characters to life, we are able to feel their joy and frustration, their pain and finally their resolution. 

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It was late, but we thought we’d make one more stop before calling it a night. Still full from dinner, a nightcap seemed like a good idea. There is always a bar open somewhere in Hamtramck, the only hard part is choosing one. As we drove down Joseph Campau we noticed an open parking space right in front of 7 Brothers, decision made. We have been here before and love the vintage bar, so it’s always fun to come back. 7 Brothers is in a shotgun style building; long and narrow, with Bar only seating. It’s everything you could want in a “dive bar” without the Dive Bar prices….. Entertainment consists of a Jukebox, pool table and dart machine, and they only accept CASH. Owned since 1977 by a man named George, it is not unusual to find him sitting at the bar as he was on this night.  Curious, we asked the age of the Bar (not the building) and were told it went back to pre-prohibition days. Behind the bar is one of those gorgeous wood bar cabinets, the kind with the mirrors and shelves to hold all of the liquor, it looks to be from the 30’s or 40’s. The opposing wall is plastered with headshots of actors both local and famous, this is a popular hang-out for thespians from Planet Ant and beyond. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, fellow patrons were friendly and talkative, a nice way to end the evening. 

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The city is always full of things to see and do, all you have to do is look!

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