my wife and I have been to 2 of the finest restaurants in Detroit over the past few weeks. Here’s what I wrote to a foodie friend about one of them after a January 2 outing. I’ll post the other if Tim can find it on his server.
Hey Tim. Happy New Year to you and Kathy. Have you been to Republic Tavern in Detroit? Kathy and I enjoyed another delightful 6-course tasting dinner with pairings there yesterday, a treat before Cirque de Soleil. The restaurant – they’ve mostly dropped the “Tavern” part – is located on Grand River just off 75 41 minutes from our house in the imposing stone 1897 Grand Army of the Republic castle, taking up the first floor with a large open space featuring wood, brick, an old tin ceiling repurposed as a wall, exposed ductwork, big windows showing the Christmas lights of Beacon Park to the front and Cass & Adams with the backsides of Woodward’s Foxtown buildings to the back, with unisex bathrooms decorated with postcards of old Detroit. The food surpasses the architecture. The chef follows the farm-to-table ethos, and the ingredients are cooked and sauced to unique exquisitiveness. I’ve attached last night’s menu so you can see what we were sampling. We started going there at Julia Welch’s recommendation, whose niece Sarah was executive chef when the restaurant won Eater Detroit’s 2015 Restaurant of the Year. Sarah was fired 2 years later, went independent for a while, then opened up Marrow, a fun meaty place on Kercheval (also worth a trip) that the Freep called 2nd best new restaurant in Detroit last year. Frankly, Republic hasn’t missed a beat in her absence. Compared to Albena, this place is more traditional, warm and fulsome. But you and Kathy would enjoy either place, just emerging a little more full from Republic.
Trying to load in the pdf of the menu I scanned in from this particular night failed, but you can look at a typical Republic menu at https://www.republictaverndetroit.com/menu/. The carrots never change. The link no longer works as the restaurant is tragically defunct, victim of COVID. Here’s a representative menu from its heyday.