Dining: Southfield Fishbone’s gets an update
The popular spot (formerly Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Cafe) is back as Fishbone’s West with a new name and a refreshed setting after an overhaul that updated it from floor to ceiling, with most of the upgrade in the infrastructure. Such touches as new carpeting and a much more visible sign marking its spot on Northwestern Highway and 12 Mile are also new.
Seating options vary from the spacious bar with high-top tables and nearly 30 seats at the bar itself tucked discreetly away from the dining areas to keep down the noise, to tables and booths on a couple of levels. One of the most striking decor elements is the outsized aquarium with its mesmerizing population of colorful tropical fish.
And, of course, the menu is very much attuned to fish and seafood, much with a New Orleans spin, typified by such dishes as seafood gumbo, crawfish boil and barbecued shrimp. The sushi bar also offers an extensive choice of maki and hand rolls, as well as sashimi in the hands of sushi chef Dan Wei. But that’s not all.
It’s an extensive menu that takes very good care of the non-fish lovers too, with a selection of steaks, ribs, chicken and burgers, with filet Oscar at the top of the price scale at $40. That’s not typical, though, of a price structure that offers a wide range.
On one recent visit, I stuck to the New Orleans section of the menu, in a when-in-Rome reaction. First, Gumbo Ya-Ya, packed with chicken, andouille sausage and rice, immensely satisfying and accompanied by good bread. Jambalaya struck some of the same notes. Shrimp Creole lived up to its name with a generous number of whole shrimp in its herby tomato depths and plenty of rice.
The service staff is new, but doing a nice job after just over a month learning the ropes.
When the pastry tray comes by in any restaurant, I always ask: Are they made here? And at Fishbone’s, the answer is yes.
They are made in the kitchen at the downtown Detroit Fishbone’s. And the tray includes a very good bread pudding, in keeping with the theme.
Fishbone’s West occupies a comfortable slot between fine and casual dining.
29244 Northwestern Hwy., at 12 Mile, Southfield
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily
Prices: Lunch soups and salads $3.25-$13.50, sandwiches $9.25-$16.25, entrees $9.9-$16.25; dinner soups and salads $6-$20, entrees $16-$40, desserts $7.25.
Credit cards: All major
Liquor: Full bar
Noise level: Moderate to high
Parking: Attached lot.
Wheelchair access: No barriers
What the ratings mean
★ — routine ★★ — good ★★ 1/2 — very good
★★★ — excellent ★★★★ — outstanding