Many of us have some preconceived notions about The Whitney. Whether we believe it's for stuffed shirts, the super rich or only those who appreciate history, most of us are under the impression that the swanky pre-Civil War home-turned-restaurant is not for us. Well, we're here to tell you otherwise.
Don't get us wrong, this isn't your every day family dining restaurant, in fact it's quite the opposite, which is why the restaurant's new owner was a bit confused when The Whitney's previous management team tried to turn the historic dining establishment into a casual place to grab a burger. And while there may still be some lingering stigma attached to the old ways of The Whitney, the place is most certainly returning to better days as one of the best restaurants in Michigan.
They've certainly been earning this new reputation as of late. Having been taken over six months ago by David Duey, the restaurant's gotten something of a facelift and in more than just in terms of it's décor.
While many a light fixture has been spruced by and their elevator is finally up and running once more, there's been more than just cosmetic changes within the historic walls of The Whitney. In fact, when Duey spearheaded the undertaking of the new Whitney, he changed the menu, the service and the style of The Whitney and all for the better.
What Duey calls a "special occasion restaurant," this isn't the kind of place you'll just pop into because you happen to find yourself in Midtown. Instead, this is the kind of place in which to celebrate.
"On some nights we'll have one couple in this corner getting engaged, another over there will be celebrating their fifth anniversary and another over there will be celebrating their 50th," says Duey. "It's really across the board and we're trying to build our reputation as the most romantic restaurant in Michigan."
And they certainly don't need to try very hard. With real, working fireplaces, plenty of original fixtures and downright gorgeous architecture, those who've ever stepped foot inside The Whitney know it's one of the most intriguing buildings in the city. Oh, and they serve some pretty good food as well.
Of course by pretty good, we mean amazing. By keeping things traditional while adding some upscale twists, The Whitney's managed to create a menu that's as accessible as it is delicious.
From pear and bleu cheese salads to those made with chunky beets and goat cheese, the appetizer offerings might be light enough to whet your appetite, but they don't skimp on flavor. Entrée offerings on the other hand aren't the typical frou-frou fare you'll find at most upscale eateries that have you leaving the premise with a still-growling stomach. Instead options like Beef Wellington will have you packing up at least half of your dinner plate to finish later. Lobster mac (the most delicious we've ever tried, by the way) is just as hearty, delicious and filling. We suggest you save some room for the final course if you find yourself within this beautiful Midtown restaurant, however.
With an in-house pastry chef on staff, the sweet after-dinner offering found at The Whitney are truly something to look forward to. We personally sampled a cheesecake made with eggnog that was perfectly paired with Irish coffee. If you're more into dessert than dinner, we suggest you skip the main courses and dig into this delicious amalgamation of all things sweet. It was perfection, to say the least. As was everything The Whitney had to offer. | RDW