While Ms. Yoga was in town, we were going to go try a new restaurant in Downtown Detroit. Ms. Yoga and my Bride were going to watch football at the stadium. Now you have to understand that at some unknown and identified part of the brain, people, especially those that were born in Detroit have this compulsion to root for the home teams, good years or bad. It is just expected somehow, just like when you are driving on a six-lane surface road in the City of Detroit, and you are at a red light, you just know that the odds are that some joker in the extreme left lane is going to make a right-hand turn in front of two other lanes of traffic. To explain this compulsion is impossible, but we share season tickets on the Fifty-yard Line on the Visitor’s side about Row J, I mean these are probably some of the finest tickets out there and the lineage of these seats go back to when the Detroit Lions actually won games and two stadiums prior, when the Tigers and the Lions actually used the same stadium, which is probably not allowed except in High Schools and Universities. Originally, I was going to drive them down, and then meet them later after the game at this new restaurant and they were going to use one of the questionable but grandiose trams or trolley-cars that both have very limited scopes of travel, but cause for excitement in the Fiefdom of Detroit.
The women drove together downtown and were going to drive back to meet me at another new restaurant, basically in my backdoor and I had no idea it was there, until we were driving about three miles from Casa Raconteur and there in a strip center where a mundane “Italian” restaurant chain used to be, had been converted to a steakhouse. The restaurant that had been there, I had never eaten at, because it is what I call when I am being snobby about food “an Italian restaurant for Americans,” meaning that it was for the masses, so there would be no nuance or culinary craftmanship; and I love Italian cuisine. To give you an idea how new the restaurant was, they had only been open five days and the training manager who assists in opening new locations was still there working with the management and the staff. Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse is a steakhouse chain from the Cleveland area and it was totally upscale from the menus and to the wine list. You know that I would have to study all of the pertinent paperwork, and I still feel sorry for our poor waitress who never anticipated a night with Ms. Yoga, the Bride and a Raconteur. We were sitting in the bar section of the restaurant, because the ladies were still dressed in stadium attire, but it was fine, as we usually always sit the bar or tavern area of a restaurant anyways. Hyde Park had three menus that we were ordering from, and that is why I have compassion for our waitress, because there was a bar menu, a restaurant menu and a special menu; and all three were used that evening and that is with out looking at the dessert menu, because we were stuffed by then.
As best as I can tell they currently have fourteen restaurants in three states, but the two in Michigan were not in place for the current issue of the Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards list, but the other twelve have all attained the Award of Excellence, and I am sure that the two new restaurants will join their brethren next year. They have an excellent wine list, and I would say that it favors California and Italy the most, and to be truthful, if I were setting up a wine carte for a steakhouse, I would probably do the same thing. The restaurant also takes full advantage of the Coravin System, so for a mere eighty dollars one can have a glass of Opus One with dinner. We were not that extravagant that evening, but we started off quite well, because the wines were evaporating right in front of us. We had Cave de Lugny La Cote Blanche Chardonnay Macon-Villages 2016. Macon-Villages is an appellation for dry white wines made from Chardonnay and is a step up from the basic Macon. This is a mechanically harvested and Stainless-Steel aged wine and it was just easy drinking, especially for the sports fans. There was also Chateau Minuty “M de Minuty” Cote de Provence 2017. Cote de Provence is actually the largest appellation of the Provence, though it sounds like it should be a smaller appellation. Chateau Minuty is one of the Cru Classés of Provence in 1955, but the classification never received the esteem as some of the other classifications. The wine is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah and when Chateau Minuty updated the grounds and facilities, each individual vineyard block has its own designated tank, so I would surmise that none of the wines are aged that long. This was also an easy drinking and enjoyable wine and I will discuss more wines of the evening and the menu the next time we meet.