Royale with Cheese, Delray and Cariera’s all in one day. I guess I was trying to make the most of seeing My Favorite Daughter while she was in town. I picked her up and we decided to have lunch first and we went to a popular place that is relatively new in the gentrified section of Midtown Detroit called Royale with Cheese, and I thought the name would slip by her, but she is a fan of Quentin Tarantino and she knew the reason behind the name of the restaurant that we went to and why it is called that. The area all around the restaurant was packed and we finally found a parking spot, thankfully I grew up in the city and could remember how to parallel park, which is kind of a lost art in the suburbs. In case you don’t know in France, McDonald’s calls their Big Mac, the Royal with Cheese. While my daughter was admiring the architecture of the old homes and apartments, I was remembering how this was not even a nice area during daylight, when I was in High School and College, and how things have changed. I rather stuck out like a sore thumb, as I did not have the required lumberjack beard and it was obvious that I was not a local. We shared a Southwest Royale Wrap that was marinated free-range grilled chicken, Arcadian Harvest Mix, Southwest Corn Relish, avocado, Cajon Aioli in a flour tortilla. We also split an order of Royal Fries that had a fresh herb and garlic-Parmesan pesto drizzle with Cajun, sea salt, cracked pepper and smoky barbecue spices. That with a couple of pops (sodas if you are not a Detroiter) was enough to hold us until dinner. One places the order for the food and pays at one counter and then they give you a numbered sign to take with you and they will bring the order out, and the curious thing was that they told us to ignore the “Reserved” table signs that were on every table. We also sat under a large mural that was painted, in case one did not relate to the name of the restaurant.
The reason we were in the Midtown section of Detroit, is that I wanted to take My Favorite Daughter to see a new exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum about Delray and Southwest Detroit, the borough that was absorbed into Detroit and where I was born and that my children heard countless stories about from all of their relatives and not just Dear Old Dad. Somewhere along the way, the museum stopped being funded by the City of Detroit and was now run by a charitable organization for the benefit of the museum. The museum really had not changed that much from the days when I would visit it on a more frequent schedule, as it is next to the Main Library and across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts. I was a little disappointed in the special exhibit, as I thought that they had expanded the geographical boundaries of Southwest Detroit from when I was a kid, and that they also neglected to mention some of the other nationalities that were found in the real “melting pot” known as Delray. It was fun and interesting, but I did mention my complaints to one of the workers at a desk, who seemed interested in my observations. We then left and took a scenic tour of Midtown to Downtown and then through Detroit as we were going to meet my Bride for dinner.
We all met up at Cariera’s just as they were opening up the doors. My Bride started off with soup, while we had the house salad. My Favorite Daughter had the Lobster Ravioli, the ravioli was stuffed with lobster and cheese with a Parmesan cream sauce. My Bride surprised me and wanted a Deep-Dish Pizza with several toppings. I went with the Vitello Aragosta, Veal Scaloppini sautéed with asparagus, roasted red pepper and lobster meat in a blush cream sauce. The birthday girl finished off with a dessert, that we just kind of nibbled off of. We had a bottle of Brancaia Tre Toscana IGT 2015, which usually on a wine carte will be called a Super Tuscany. In the Tuscany region of Italy, Brancaia is a new kid on the block as it was founded in 1981 and it has three vineyards, two in the Chianti Classico zone and one in the Maremma area, and they are known for their modern looking labels instead of the more traditional ones that is expected from the region and this wine carries the Toscana IGT designation, while the two vineyards in the Chianti Classico zone is devoted to Sangiovese, the vineyard in Maremma is planted with Bordeaux varietals and some Sangiovese as well. The Brancaia Tre is a blend, of which eighty percent is Sangiovese and ten percent is Merlot and ten percent is Cabernet Sauvignon. Two thirds of the wine are aged in oak, while the other third is aged in concrete for a period of twelve months and then an additional two months in the bottle before release. For a moderate priced wine, even in a restaurant, this wine really delivers a nice experience and pairs very well with food. The perfect way to end a nice day and all the activities.