Cheers: Restaurant week kicks off fall season of events

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Detroit Restaurant Week begins Friday, kicking off a fall season packed with dining events that will make local foodies reach for their smart phone to make coveted reservations.

This season of DRW has some new downtown restaurants joining the line-up, offering a build-your-own three course meal for $35. Make reservations now to dine at Gold Cash Gold, the Block (formerly Grille Midtown), Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails and Townhouse Detroit. Some established spots like El Barzon and Sindbad’s are new to the promotion this fall, too.

For example, El Barzon is offering four choices for their first course: an eggplant and cheese souffle, arugula salad, calamari or Italian sausage. Second course options are chile relleno de queso, chile en nogada, bis de pasta, lobster ravioli, skirt steak with jalapeno, linguine, roasted goat or pollo limone. Choose between flan or tiramisu for dessert.

Also new this year, some casual businesses are on board, serving up a multi-course meal for $25. These include Traffic Jam & Snug, Jolly Pumpkin and Centaur.

Jolly Pumpkin is keeping it simple. Guests can choose two entrees for $25 and get an order of truffle fries to share. Entrees include 12-inch pizzas, the JP Burger, zucchini parmasean or a warm artichoke sandwich.

Advanced reservations are highly recommended during Detroit Restaurant Week, which runs through Sept. 27. For a full list of participating businesses and their DRW menus, visit Reservations can be made there or by calling any restaurant directly.

Here are some more dining events coming up this fall in Metro Detroit.

Plymouth Restaurant Week: Eleven downtown businesses offer three-course lunch and dinners for $15, $25 or $35. Compari’s on the Park, E.G. Nick’s, Fiamma Grille, Ironwood Grill, Nico & Vali, The Post Local Bistro, Penn Grill and Bar, The Sardine Room, Sean O’Callaghan’s Irish Pub and Barrio are all participating. Sept. 25-Oct. 3. $15-$35.

Candlelight Dinners at Lone Oak Vineyard Estate: A bit off the map, these intimate “dinner and a show” events at this Grass Lake vineyard often sell out in advance. The series kicks off Saturday with music by keyboardist Doug Decker and singer Tony Fields and your choice of salmon with red chili glaze or herb roasted chicken. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Sat. $30. 8400 Ann Arbor, Grass Lake. Call (517) 522-8167 to reserve or for info on future events.

Detroit Tequila Fest at El Zocalo: Spirit experts will be on hand to talk about different types of tequila. Stay stable with food samples from El Zocalo Mexican Restaurant. 7-11 p.m. Sept. 25. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. 3400 Bagley, Detroit. (313) 841-3700.

Fall Flavor Weekends at Greenfield Village: Stoke your love of history and food as the old-timey homes at Greenfield Village host cooking demos using techniques of days gone by. There will be samples at the Village Store. The Oct. 3 event is also a food drive for Gleaners Community Food Bank. Donate five nonperishable items and get one free admission with one paid. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 26-27 and Oct. 3-4. Free with Village admission, which is $25, $22.50 seniors, $18.75 ages 5-12. 20900 Oakwood, Dearborn. (313) 982-6001.

Dine Drink Detroit: Participating restaurants will offer a food and drink combo for $15 and up from Oct. 1-10. Look for the promotion at Antietam, Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails, Johnny Noodle King, La Feria, Mercury Burger & Bar, Townhouse Detroit, PJ’s Lager House and many others.

Yemans Street: This permanent pop-up space has a stellar line up of visiting chefs this season. Dr. Sushi hosts brunch Sunday and Jay Gundy will make Yemans Street’s first all-vegetarian feast on Sept. 25. Next month Emju from the Detroit Zen Center will create an organic vegan meal served family-style on Oct. 2. Graham Schave is scheduled for Oct. 9, Mark Comaj on Oct. 16 and Rick Halberg on Oct. 28. 2995 Yemans, Hamtramck. Visit for pricing and to order tickets.

Savor Detroit at Great Lakes Culinary Center: An upscale to-do that is as much a social soiree as it is a dining event, Savor Detroit starts with cocktails and live entertainment and a silent art auction to benefit the Heidelberg Project. The five night event kicks off with a meal cooked by “Top Chef” winner and Dearborn native Mei Lin and James Rigato of the Root Restaurant & Bar and Mabel Gray. (That event is full but you can request to be on the wait list.) Oct. 6-9 enjoy plates designed by some of the area’s top chefs including Derik Watson of Bistro 82, Kate Williams of Lady of the House and more. 6-10 p.m. Oct. 5-9. $125. 24101 W. Nine Mile, Southfield.

Autunno nel Veneto wine dinner at Cafe Cortina: This long-standing Farmington Hills restaurant with gardens, fireplaces and other beautiful settings hosts a six-course dinner with wine pairings. 7 p.m. Oct. 6. $140 all inclusive. 30715 W. 10 Mile, Farmington Hills. (248) 474-3033.