Chefs (supposedly) have lots of secrets.
Among them are unique ingredients, special techniques, exclusive sources, and of course, their recipes.
Me? I’m a teacher by nature. It’s not only the best way to build a great professional kitchen staff, but it’s now an essential part of my mission at Nino’s.
If you think of food as the building materials of great dishes, when you’re not sure what it is, where it is, or how to use it, think of me as your handyman.
And for the times you’re hungry and you just don’t feel like cooking, I have some sage advice.
Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity to read some of my recent restaurant reviews that give you a good idea of what the places I visit are like, from their locations to their décor, atmosphere, food, beverages and pricing.
Since January, I’ve reviewed Gold Cash Gold, Antietam, Republic, Top of the Ponch, Steve & Rocky’s, Triple Nickel, Chartreuse, Townhouse, and most recently, Central Kitchen + Bar.
With an enormous amount of restaurants recently opened, both in Detroit and in the suburbs (with more yet to come), it’s nearly impossible to keep up with just where, when and with whom (chef) each will debut.
Now, you can wait for the reviews (including mine), but if you want to stay ahead of the curve, the best place to start is a rather new source. It’s a website called Eater.
Eater is ALL about our national restaurant and food scene, though it goes international occasionally. It currently focuses on the 24 most-happening food cities in America, including progress on yet-to-be-opened restaurants, newly debuted restaurants, the “38 Essential” in each city, a “Heat Map” of the hottest places to eat (and be seen), and lots and lots of insider tidbits for all the foodies.
Detroit (including its neighboring suburbs) IS one of those 24 cities.
Eater Detroit is one of my go-to essential sources for information that heretofore was only available if you knew someone on the inside. People like chefs, architects, builders, city developers or restaurant outfitters.
Folks you don’t just run into every day.
Besides sharing the skinny on all of the fat cats opening restaurants, Eater also features up-to-date information on new bars, reader forums you can participate in, videos to watch, and in their Longform section, articles about cookbooks, kitchens, and food-related travel.
It’s pretty much a one-stop food media experience.
If you can’t find that perfect restaurant on Eater, you might try another of my favorite online sites, Zagat.Com, which not only covers much of the U.S. but many International cities as well.
Zagat has (like the Michelin Guide) been around for much longer. It focuses primarily on restaurant reviews and is not as current on what’s going on in our town as Eater, but again, it’s a good additional source of information.
Once you’ve decided where and when, most new restaurants offer reservations online via a number of popular reservation sites, including: Open Table, Urban Spoon app and Yelp.
Check out all of these new culinary tools and let me know which ones you found most helpful.