Dining Review: Detroit Fish House in Shelby Township puts seafood on a pedestal
It may be a little outside of the city limits – a lot, actually – but this is an urban restaurant in every respect.
Proprietors Cheryl and Jeff Steinhurst have brought an extensive menu of fresh fish and seafood to the corner of 23 Mile Road and Schoenherr. It is served in a well-designed two-room setting with tables and banquettes nicely set off in corners in a subdued brown, black and gray bathed in light from windows all around.
They were able to snag a chef with extensive experience in the Chuck Muer and Joe Muer restaurants, most recently at the Muer’s in the Renaissance Center. Jon Hargraves presides over the list that starts with a selection of fresh oysters on the half shell and includes a wide range of fish and seafood.
Interestingly, it is virtually as extensive at lunch as it is at dinner – and nearly as many lunchers order oysters as do dinner guests.
Three daily soups include the obligatory clam chowder, here made with fresh clams, and an elegant lobster bisque, the rich, satiny broth including tidbits of lobster meat. A lovely rendition of this classic.
Classics abound on Hargraves’ menu, from Scottish salmon with a ginger glaze to a simple Lake Superior whitefish with beurre blanc and Maryland crab cakes. All entrees are served with the house cole slaw but many other salads are available on an a la carte basis, including Caesar with housemade croutons.
An especially colorful dish is Asian glazed shrimp in a sweet/spicy sauce teamed with jasmine rice and a scattering of sauteed vegetables.
At dinner, the seafood makes room for a couple of steaks and a tomahawk pork chop that weighs in at 12 ounces.
House-made desserts include Key lime pie, bread pudding and crème brulee, with cakes provided by a nearby bakery.
This is a labor-intensive kitchen that takes few shortcuts, and it definitely shows.
Until deciding to scale upward, the Steinhursts were proprietors of Steiny’s, a friendly neighborhood tavern and banquet hall. That location, 55161 Shelby Road, was recently turned into Detroit Grille House, where the emphasis is on steaks and chops, and is a partnership with chef Dion Altadonna.
Detroit Fish House
51195 Schoenherr Road at 23 Mile Road, Shelby Township
Rating: 3 stars
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 4-9 p.m. Sun.
Prices: Lunch appetizers and raw bar $8-$30, soups and salads $5-$8, sandwiches and burgers $10-$14, entrees $12-$26, dinner appetizers and raw bar $8-$30, soups and salads $7-$15, entrees $21-$68, sides $7-35, desserts $8
Liquor: Full bar and good wine list
Noise level: Moderate
Wheelchair access: No barriers
Parking: Attached lot
What the ratings mean
★ — routine ★★ — good ★★ 1/2 — very good
★★★ — excellent ★★★★ — outstanding