Renovated Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille stands the test of time

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A flooded basement caused major damage to Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille, the restaurant that anchors a main floor corner of the Fox Theatre Building in downtown Detroit. When it closed its doors for repairs in August, the proprietors decided to do more than just patch and paint. They did a complete renovation of the attractive restaurant, from the floors in the dining room to the furniture.

Now handsome cowhide-covered chairs are pulled up to the L-shaped bar, wooden tabletops are covered in crisp paper at lunch, and left bare in the evening. No more white tablecloths, and the napkins wrapped around the silverware are soft dishtowels for a feeling that is much more casual and contemporary. Walls painted a deep charcoal gray are the backdrop for black-and-white photographs of Italian movie stars that brighten the room, along with light from uncovered floor-to-ceiling windows that allow the street scene and Comerica Park to be part of the action.

In keeping with all of this, the menu has been edited to single-page length and pasta dishes lightened and refreshed. At lunch, there's an interesting new take on the BLT. It's the PLT, prosciutto, lettuce and tomato on very good ciabatta bread, which is also in the breadbaskets brought with entrees such as Scottish salmon. The salmon is served with kalamata olives, tomatoes, onion and cannellini beans, and it is available at lunch and dinner. An appetizer of warm marinated olives and goat cheese is served with slices of baguette and it shares the appetizer list with the house meatballs in tomato basil sauce, an untouchable on the Da Edoardo bill of fare.

A new pasta is notable. It is fettuccine con rucola, the featherlight noodles in a subtle cream sauce with arugala and lemon zest, a springlike combination. Happily, they didn't mess with the excellent minestrone that has just the right heft in its tomato base, brightened with spinach and pasta; it is served with sandwiches at lunch or a la carte at any time.

There are more substantial dishes as well, including such specialties as veal saltimbocca, the tender little medallions sauteed with wine and presented with prosciutto, sage, fontina cheese and fresh mushrooms, and a small but oh-my filet from Davis Creek Farms grass-fed cattle.

Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille is run by the third generation of founder Edoardo Barbieri Sr.'s family, granddaughter Ann Barbieri-Kolinski, and she carries on the family history that started when Barbieri established La Lanterna in 1956, then moved on to open Da Edoardo in Grosse Pointe Woods in 1978, which is still going strong, as is the Da Edoardo North in Grand Blanc, all serving the sturdy Italian fare from the family repertoire.

abraham67@comcast.net

Da Edoardo

Foxtown Grille

2203 Woodward, Detroit

Call: (313) 471-3500

Rating:โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Web:daedoardo.com

Hours: Lunch 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Tues.-Fri., dinner 5-9 p.m.

Tues.-Thurs., 5-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

(Open on Sundays and

Mondays whenever there are Tiger home games.)

Prices: Appetizers $8-$16, pizzas $13-$16, lunchtime sandwiches $12, entrees

$18-$20, dinner entrees

$22-$42, desserts $7-$9

Credit cards: All major

Liquor: Full bar and a mostly American and Italian wine list, including five modestly priced house wines

Noise level: Moderate

Parking: Nearby garage or surface lot

Wheelchair access: No barriers

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