- 4421 Woodward, Detroit, MI, 48201
- Overall User Rating:
- (8 ratings)
- Lunch 11:30 a.m. -2 p.m. Tue.-Fri., Dinner 5-9 p.m. Tue.-Sat., and 5-10p.m Fri. & Sat., Brunch 11a.m.-2 p.m. Sun.
- Official Web Site:
The Whitney, built in the 1890’s out of pink jasper, aesthetically fulfills all of the excesses of the “Gilded Age." The three-story structure built by Lumber Baron David Whitney Jr. features Tiffany-stained glass windows that put old cathedrals to shame, ornate carvings wherever possible and silk tapestries lining the walls and ceilings. The place is immaculate. It’s estimated that if the structure were to be rebuilt today in Bloomfield Hills, it would cost around $25 million.
The place can be a little intimidating -- the common thought is that if the place looks like that, it’s going to be very expensive and you have to be wearing a tuxedo or evening gown to enter. Far from the truth, the new owner Bud Liebler and his son Pat have, since they took control about a year and half ago, opened the place up and are trying to break the stereotypes.
They see the Whitney as a Detroit landmark, which it is. In a way it’s like eating in a museum.
They have a campaign called “unstuffing the Whitney” to, well, try and relieve some of the perceived stuffy atmosphere. Let's put it this way, you can wear jeans and the food is practical and affordable (for an upscale restaurant). One thing they did was to open the beautiful garden up outside for summer parties to invite people in. They trimmed all of the bushes, opening up the building to the outside world and opened the Woodward street entrance.
The food is equally as practical. Chef Michael Lutes has taken the reigns of the operation, creating what he calls French-Midwestern cuisine. He started a commitment at the restaurant to only buy produce from local farmers, making the menu very seasonal and regional. Lutes also insists on only buying hand-line caught fish -- no netted or farm raised allowed.
Most of the dishes below come from the fairly priced lunch menu, which price wise, competes with some of the neighboring bar/restaurants in Midtown.