A first look at Imaginate, a new restaurant from Table No. 2 owner

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Southfield's newest restaurant is a sleek-but-fun concept called Imaginate inside the atrium of a newly re-branded hotel. 

Chef Omar Mitchell of Detroit's Table No. 2 restaurant is at the helm, and he wants to create a fine dining experience that has a streak of cheerfulness from a variety of serving props. 

Chef Omar Mitchell's Imaginate restaurant is inside the Ramada by Wyndham in Southfield.

Order a steak, and it may come with a 3-foot silver fork. Kids' dinners will come in all kinds of distracting apparatuses, like a small toy bicycle with a basket perfect for chicken fingers and fries. A serving platter that looks like a mini charcoal grill will hold smoking chicken wings, ribs and cast iron baked beans. 

A fried chicken dish is accompanied by a large metal chicken sculpture, and the Caesar salad is served in the head of a replica statue bust, with a Roman-style warrior's helmet for the diner to ware. Popcorn shrimp is served in a miniature red popcorn maker. 

"It's interactive ... it's a fun, yet fine dining restaurant," said Mitchell, who opened Table No. 2 in April, offering white tablecloth dining to the Avenue of Fashion in Detroit. 

He's hoping Imaginate is ready for a soft opening Feb. 3.

Around 200 cloth and leather seats and banquettes surround the atrium making up the dining room of the restaurant, which will also take over room service operations. 

Imaginate restaurant is inside the Ramada by Wyndham in Southfield.

Imaginate will have what Mitchell calls "a mega grand buffet" on the weekends, with stations set up in an alcove off to the side of the dining area. 

"It'll be kind of like what the St. Regis used to do back in the day, or the Gandy Dancer," he said, speaking of longstanding Ann Arbor landmark restaurant that is known for its seafood-heavy Sunday brunch buffet. 

The indoor courtyard of the hotel, which recently changed to a Ramada by Wyndham from an Embassy Suites, will also be home to Mitchell's build-a-burger concept Great Lakes Burger, which has a takeout window inside the atrium. 

The hotel also has a Topgolf Swing Suite (a golf simulation game), banquet rooms and a chef's table. 

Imaginate is inside the Ramada by Wyndham Southfield, 28100 Franklin, Southfield. Call (248) 282-6110. Visit imaginaterestaurant.com for the full menu. 


Twitter: @melodybaetens

Chef Omar Mitchell is opening Imaginate restaurant is inside the Ramada by Wyndham in Southfield.