Another restaurant with Birmingham roots opens in Detroit's Capitol Park

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

The owners of modern, upscale Phoenicia Restaurant in Birmingham opened their new Detroit restaurant, Leila, last week. 

Billed as a "cosmopolitan Lebanese" restaurant, Leila is now accepting dinner reservations through the Resy app through November. 

The muhammara at Leila in Detroit made with red peppers and walnuts and served with freshly baked pita bread.

The spacious dining room has a large, rectangle-shaped bar in the middle, with metal touches and contemporary chandeliers. Semi-circle booths sit along an exposed brick wall on one side of the restaurant. The focal point is the open kitchen where employees can been seen prepping, cooking and baking pita bread in a wood-fired oven. 

The menu is polished Middle Eastern cuisine similar to what is offered at Phoenicia. Starters ($9-$18) include baba ghanouj, labneh, kibbeh, haloumi cheese and falafel. Dry-aged ribeye, chicken tawook, lamb shoulder, quail, baby back ribs and shish kebab are among the main courses offered ($19-$48). 

The bar serves more than a dozen wines by the glass, a good selection of beer including Lebanese pilsner Almaza and a well-explained menu of craft cocktails. A lower-level dining area will be available for private events. 

Leila opened last week in Detroit's Capitol Park. The haloumi is one of many warm and cold mezze dishes on the menu.

Expectations are high for the new spot, which is in the tony Detroit circle Capitol Park. With a dog park, barre studio, luxury apartments and at least three coffee shops, this restored area is somewhat of a mini B-ham in downtown Detroit. 

Leila, which is on the ground floor of the Farwell Building (luxury apartments that rent for $900-$2500 a month), isn't the only business here that has a connection to the wealthy Oakland County suburb. Prime + Proper owner Jeremy Sasson also owns Townhouse in Birmingham and and pastry chef Matt Knio of French cafe Cannelle Detroit has a location there, too. 

Leila is at 1245 Griswold in Detroit. Call (313) 816-8100 or visit

Twitter: @melodybaetens