Marc and I had an afternoon off together, so I talked him into going to Detroit and trying a new restaurant. He really is so patient with my food obsession. It was between 2 new places, but one was closed on Mondays, so Selden Standard was the place. We pulled into the parking lot and saw that it was busy, but not crazy busy. We arrived around 1:30 for lunch. It’s important to note that they are open 11-2:30 for lunch and then 5-10 for dinner.
We were greeted by the friendly and beautiful Natasha, fiancée of executive chef Andy Hollyday. She was so welcoming and instantly made us feel comfortable. Most tables were full, but a few were open and the bar had several seats available. The restaurant was buzzing with happy chit chat and we even spied some young couples with babies and kids fitting in quite comfortably.
The restaurant itself is beautiful with wooden accents, slate blue paint and long subway tile with dark grout. We’ve been thinking (well dreaming, because we just completed the bathroom) about finishing our basement and we both agreed we’d like to wake up and magically have our basement look like Selden Standard with its beautiful wooden details.
They offer a nice selection of beers, wines and cocktails and as an iced tea lover, I was really pleased to have delicious fresh-brewed iced tea that was light and refreshing.
The menu items are small plates that beg to be shared. Marc was a bit concerned that the lunch menu was limited, giving equal weight to vegetable, salad and meat options. Though small, the entire menu sounded delicious to me and there wasn’t anything I didn’t want to try.
We started with the kale caesar tossed in a punchy lemon caesar dressing with sour dough croutons, sliced parmesan and crispy chicken skin. It was excellent. The salad came out quickly and we dug right in. The flavors were right on the money and a nice twist on the typical caesar salad.
The rest of the meal took some time, but our excellent waitress kept us in the loop and apologized twice. The restaurant had filled up and once our dishes were up, our waitress said she wasn’t happy with the result and had them all redone (!!) We weren’t in any hurry and appreciated her insistence on a wonderful experience.
We ordered the roasted cauliflower with tahini, lemon, cilantro and pickled peppers. Marc raved about this dish and I loved it, too. The mix of bold flavors worked incredibly well together. The earthiness of the tahini mixed well with the bite and tang of the lemon and peppers against the roasted cauliflower.
The shrimp was grilled perfectly with spices that tasted familiar, but I was enjoying it too much to stop and decipher the elements. It was served over grits with a smoky sauce and chow chow on top. Beautiful.
I ordered the pastrami sandwich to hedge my bets and have something Marc would enjoy unless all of the other dishes weren’t his thing. All of the food blew us away, though, including this pastrami sandwich. We’ve had many, but the fresh focaccia, the perfectly cooked and almost crispy smoked pastrami with giardiniera, gruyere, grilled onions and punchy mustard aioli made it our favorite pastrami sandwich to date. It wasn’t messy and overstuffed, just the perfect hint of everything. The pickled vegetables on the plate were also delightful. We love pickles and this restaurant really delivers with lots of pickled elements.
I am a girl that appreciates whipped cream and I was overjoyed to see that the Banoffee Tart was floating on a generous bed of it. The tart itself was incredible with a hearty yet tender crust filled with dulce de leche and topped with brûléed bananas. Toffee dust was sprinkled all around the dessert. I loved using my fork to create the “perfect bite” of tart dipped in the vanilla whipped cream and then dipped again into the toffee dust. Marc ordered the Anthology coffee which is locally roasted.
We simply had the best time. The experience reminded us of our travels to Chicago or Nashville and it’s incredible to have a place like this close to home. On our way out, we chatted with Natasha and told her how much we enjoyed ourselves. Marc told her he was so impressed with the quality of the food, but still suggested more items on the lunch menu. She agreed and said that there were seasonal menu changes in the works and she was pushing for a fresh pasta dish from the dinner menu. We looked at the dinner menu while we chatted and vowed to be back as soon as possible.