Last night, I had what was easily one of the best meals of my life. As a treat and to celebrate my new J-O-B, we got all fancied up and went to The Detroit Athletic Club.
My dad is a member of the DAC, and to say that it’s a fancy place is a bit of an understatement. If I could choose one word to describe it, I’d call it opulent. I mean, check out the bathrooms!
Upstairs near the ballroom
But before I take you on a little tour, let’s talk dinner, shall we?
The DAC has a few options for dining at their restaurant, The Grill. You can either eat on The Bricks, which is slightly less fancy
Or on The Carpet, which is your all-out fanciness factor.
We went all out, so it was The Carpet for our party!
Like any good meal should, we began with wine.
As a fan of really good Napa Valley Cabernet, I was incredibly happy with this 2007 Sequoia Grove. Rich and complex, it went well with everything from steak to chocolate to caprese salad.
While we perused the menu
the bread man brought out a tray of rolls. I selected a soft, pillowy breadstick topped with sea salt and fennel. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of fennel seeds, but this was delicious. I’m sure the real butter I slathered all over it didn’t hurt!
As we chatted and enjoyed our wine, our waiter, Daryl, also brought us an Amuse Bouche of hummus, tabbouleh, tomato, and a tiny pita chip.
Just a taste, but incredible just the same!
One of the things I really loved about the DAC is that we weren’t rushed at all. We wanted to relax and sip our wine while we lingered over the menu, and Daryl wasn’t back at the table every 2 seconds trying to move us along. He let us do our thang at a pace we liked. Such a pro!
Since I have the habit of looking up menus online before I go to a new place, I had searched for the DAC menu earlier in the day. While I didn’t have any luck on the menu front, I did find plenty of reviews on Yelp. Coincidentally, one of them featured Daryl, our server! I made sure to inform him that he was famous on Yelp. Then I had to explain what Yelp is. He was a total sweetie and seemed to really enjoy that he had gotten a great review online. Here’s your second great review, Daryl! You were outstanding!
At this point, we were ready for something a little more substantial, but hadn’t decided on dinner. We made the sensible decision—appetizers, of course!
Dad chose a shrimp cocktail, which we all enjoyed.
The star of the appetizers, however, was this lovely Caprese.
Marinated bocconcini mozzarella served with the freshest tomato I have ever tasted and a balsamic syrup drizzled over the top. I have no idea where they get those tomatoes or what they do to them, but they are like heaven in tomato form. I could have made a meal of them alone! Swoon!
You know how sometimes you get a salad and the greens are just really really fresh? And the dressing is so light and subtle it just compliments their flavor rather than making them taste like dressing? That was this salad. Topped with grapes, golden raisins, red onion, some of the creamiest feta on the planet, and cumin spiced almonds, I was absolutely smitten. The almonds were the perfect balance between spicy and smoky, and they were slightly soft, but still crunchy. Soft enough to spear with your fork, so you could easily get a bite of salad with a little of everything on the plate. Perfection.
I couldn’t decide which meal I wanted for dinner (big surprise), but the DAC offers a tasting portion of most of their entrees, so I didn’t have to choose!
First up, the Summer Risotto with squash, zucchini, fresh tomato sauce, mushrooms, asparagus (which I promptly removed from my plate because I am a child), and shaved peccorino over the top.
It was creamy, but not too heavy, with grilled veggies that still tasted like veggies. They weren’t lost in the risotto and all the flavors really stood out. I loved the tomato sauce as well. I never would have thought to put a little fresh sauce on the plate, but it was a fantastic addition.
And then, oh then, I just had to try the Boursin Stuffed Filet Mignon.
Wow. That’s really all I can say about this steak. I’m not much of a meat eater, but I’m a sucker for a good filet, and this did not disappoint. Boursin cheese tastes slightly sweet when paired with the steak. The creamy bearnaise sauce in that little spoon wasn’t necessary, but it did give it a little extra somethin’ somethin’—I dipped away! And behind the leafy garnish was a twice baked yukon gold potato covered in melty cheese. I got that icky asparagus out of there and went to town!
Dad went for the Veal Scaloppini. I tried a bite and it was good, but not as good as mine! I love when I’m happiest with my own order!
Mom enjoyed a full order of the filet, which she loved just about as much as I did.
Because the pace of the meal was so leisurely, I wasn’t feeling overly full. A lot of times when I go out to dinner, I feel like I could give the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man a run for his money by the time I finish my entrée, but that wasn’t the case here. I had plenty of room for a chocolate bar for dessert!
We’re not talking Hershey’s here, my friends. This was a chocolate mousse bar with a crispy hazelnut crust served alongside homemade Tahitian vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis.
Plus, it was decorated with chocolate art. I loved the combination of textures and flavors in this dish. Their chefs know what they’re doing, that’s for sure. And like I said before, the leisurely pace of the meal didn’t leave me feeling totally overstuffed when we left. I was just pleasantly satisfied.
Just when I thought it was over, though, Daryl brought us little raspberry macaroons!
Now, I had enjoyed my dessert and definitely didn’t need anything else at this point, but I am never one to pass up anything coconut. These were absolutely worth it. The perfect end to one of the best meals I have ever eaten. Loved everything about it! It was a celebration indeed!
After dinner, Dad offered to take us on a little tour of the club, which is incredibly gorgeous. Even though I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I could definitely get used to this!
Mom said I looked like I belonged on this couch.
I certainly look a lot happier to be there than the lady in that painting!
We made our way up the stairs to peek in the ballrooms, too.
They were dark, so I didn’t get any pictures, but I can see why someone would want to have an event there. Stunningly beautiful.
Mom and I tried to get a picture in front of the gorgeous glass doors, but when Dad’s the photographer, it can be a little challenging sometimes.
You can kinda see them. This was about the 3rd picture in, and we were tired, so we just moved on.
The Reading Room was seriously cool. I could curl up in one of those leather chairs with a book. No problem.
We made our way back down the stairs to explore some more. I was doing my debutante walk here.
Thank God I never had to actually do that. I don’t think I’m cut out to be a debutante. Especially since I proceeded to try to slide down the bannister next.
And then take a drink from this pretty fountain.
Super classy, no?
I tried to get my act together a tiny bit more when we went down to check out the bowling alley. Yep, they have a bowling alley in the basement!
We couldn’t go in because they were having a private event, so I settled for posing by the trophy case. Good enough.
I’m sure the guys monitoring their closed circuit cameras were sufficiently entertained by then, so Mom and I relaxed in this pretty room while Dad brought the car around.
As we drove out of the city, I tried to get a few photos of the surrounding area. Hard to do in a moving vehicle, so this was the only one that really turned out.
Detroit definitely still has some rough areas and needs a lot of TLC, but the nice areas are really nice, so don’t count it out just yet! I hope that someday it really does make a full comeback. My mom grew up there, and to hear her talk about it, you can see what it once was and what it could be again someday.
Anyway, last night was a total treat. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for celebrating with me! I loved every second of it!
What’s the last total treat you had?