With a spacious dining room overlooking the Detroit River, live jazz most weekend evenings, and a touch of southern comfort food on the menu, Seldom Blues has become one of Detroit’s hottest hangouts. It could have turned out differently: the silver columns of Detroit’s Renaissance Center skyscraper seem like the ideal spot for a swanky restaurant, but over the years it’s proven an intimidating location. After many other establishments came and went, Seldom Blues opened to success in 2004 under the ownership of a posse of local celebs, including a jazz musician and ex-football player; a couple years later it was named the Detroit Free Press Restaurant of the Year. Sit down to sides of creamed corn, creamed spinach, and grits—overlaid with high-end entrées that can be a bit fussy, like quail with cranberry stuffing. While the setting fits a romantic dinner date, the best time to go may be lunch, when boats parade serenely past window-side tables.
Tip: Sunday brunch is a hot ticket.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.