Dining: New Eatori has found the right mix

Molly Abraham
The Detroit News

For a growing number of urban dwellers, the center of the city is now just another neighborhood. They don’t simply work there, they live there. So Zak Yatim is correct in calling his trendy new downtown establishment “a neighborhood restaurant.”

He sees many of the same faces picking up a morning coffee and then later in the day, ending their 9 to 5 by winding down with a cocktail at the bar or choosing one of the prepared foods from the market to take home for dinner.

Eatori is that kind of place, and after just about a month in business, it is a budding hit. And it’s not only downtown apartment dwellers who have discovered it. People from other parts of town are attracted to its stylish setting, with the white marble-topped bar at the entrance and the well-stocked market in the rear of the completely reborn Malcomson Building overlooking Capitol Park.

Yatim and his business partner and longtime friend, Samer Ghafari, saw this trend coming, and snapped up the space when it became available.

For those who prefer to dine in, the menu is presented on a small clipboard. There are just 30-plus seats, most of them at the bar, but two tables in the window, and some stand-up perches along the wall add to the capacity.

The menu is just the right length, with such offerings as charcuterie and cheese, three of each in a changing array, and steamed mussels with leeks, garlic and Chardonnay cream accompanied by the house bread, Yatim’s favorite from New York’s Tribeca Oven. It’s a lovely dish and one that might have mussels’ avoiders giving them a try.

Of course there’s a burger, made of a blend of short ribs and ribeye, and a Wagyu strip steak served with pave potatoes, similar to but much more delicate than scalloped potatoes and something that should be on more menus.

For the non-meat eater, burrata is another, the luxuriously creamy mozzarella sparked with basil, and what Yakim and Ghafari call Moroccan bowl, eggplant, tomato, peppers with couscous, chickpeas and herbs.

International flourishes throughout, with such touches as Thai dipping sauce for the steak, truffle aioli for the elegant burger and habenero umami paste for the oysters. It’s a menu that’s not easily categorized.

The proprietors may not have realized it at first, but their restaurant/market is so appealing, with its crisp, contemporary style by Corktown designer Kyle Evans, that it’s becoming something of a hangout. And they are enjoying every minute of it.


Eatori Market & Bar

1215 Griswold, Detroit

Call: (313) 395-3030


Rating:★★ 1/2

Hours: Bar 11 a.m.-midnight Mon.-Thurs., and Sun., 11 a.m-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat., market 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Prices: Appetizers $9-$23, entrees $18-$48, desserts $7-$9

Credit cards: All major

Liquor: Full bar

Noise level: Moderate

Wheelchair access: No barriers

Parking: Street or nearby structure and lots

What the ratings mean

★ — routine ★★ — good ★★ 1/2 — very good

★★★ — excellent ★★★★ — outstanding