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January 26, 1990 - Image 68

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

BEST OF EVERYTHING

SUNDAY ONLY
JAN. 28

BUY ANY 1
POUND OF OUR
DELI MEATS

AT ITS REGULAR LOW PRICE
AND RECEIVE THE SECOND POUND

FREE

With This Coupon

• 1 Coupon Per Order • Good Only 1/28/90
• Quantities Limited
• No Other Discounts

We Use
Sy Ginsburg Corned Beef
Processed Locally
and Distributed By
United Meat & Deli

Let Us Cater Your
Super Bowl Party

LINCOLN CENTER

Greenfield at Lincoln

968-0022

Oak Park

#

Cafe

29566 ORCHARD LAKE RD. Just N. of 13 Mile • Farm. Hills • 626-0804
Home - Style Family Dining • High Quality • Reasonable Prices
I OUR NEW WINTER HOURS: MON.-SAT 6:30.4 p.m., SUN. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.1

I

F
20%
OF
S- ANY BREAKFAST OR LUNCH

t o MONDAY THRU FRIDAY ONLY,

of

-oi

($2.50 Min.)
6:30 a.m. - 4 p.m._i

Expires Jan. 31, 1990

I

E E

68

0I

CUP OF HOMEMADE SOUP
WITH ANY SANDWICH!

FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 1990

f"---

A Little Place In The Country
Has Become A Major Eatery

DANNY RASKIN

Local Columnist

A

number of years ago,
in the 1930s, along
the quiet, dirt Plank
Road between Detroit and
Ann Arbor, a farmhouse had
been renovated by its owners
into a small roadside eatery.
Following the 1934 depres-
sion, it became a 38-seat
restaurant serving bar-b-q
ribs and chicken . . . called the
Hillside, sitting above the
small town of Plymouth.
By 1945, when World War II
ended, it had grown to a
seating capacity of 100 .. .
The original owner, Jake
Stremich, passed on and his
wife, the former Margaret
Strang, who had been born in
that farmhouse, continued to
maintain the restaurant,
bringing in Jake's nephew,
Bob Stremich, to help
manage.
When Bob became a full
partner in 1952, a lounge and
large kitchen were added .. .
Then came the Beacon Room
and Country Room . . . Betty
Stremich joined the team in
1966 and then more additions
. . . the Walden Room, Jacob
Room, Franklin Room and
Tack and Library.
By 1976, the Hillside had
become one of the largest
eating places in the Detroit
area, seating 550 people.
Salvatore "Sam" and
brother Steve Messina bought
the family-owned restaurant
from Betty Stremich in 1983
. . . and in July of that year, its
own outside dining deck was
opened.
The old farmhouse had been
built in 1908 and the popula-
tion at that time of the entire
area was 8,000 with Plymouth
Road then known as Plank
Road . . . and many people
from Detroit going to the
country (Plymouth) to get
away from it all, so to speak.
Much of it still remains
upstairs as an historic living
memento of yesteryears and
the horses and buggies that
swirled Plank Road's dirt and
gravel.
Chef Ernie DeMichele was
brought into the picture about
seven months ago . . . and the
historic Hillside oozing of so
much character and charm .. .
became known as Ernesto's
. . . with its authentic Italian
cuisine for which Ernie has
been highly prominent
throughout the years.
Ernesto's sits in all its ma-
jesty on Plymouth Road about
a block west of Haggerty.

It is a seven-day-a-week
operation . . . The upstairs
Margaret Strang Room is
open Monday through Friday
for lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.,
and dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
. . . Saturday is dinner only
from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. . . .
Sunday has brunch 11 a.m. to
2 p.m. . . . reopening 3 p.m. to
8 p.m. for dinner.
Downstairs in the casual Er-
nie's Trattoria, it's Monday
through Thursday 11:30 a.m.
to 10 p.m. . . . Friday and
Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
. . . Sunday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Margaret Strang Room
in which we sat, is
characteristic of this beautiful
old rustic-type eating land-
mark of comfortable and
relaxing elegance to go with
Ernie's authentic Italian kit-
chen mastery.
Everyone in our party was
awed by the soft, elegant,
country beauty of Ernesto's
. . . The Margaret Strang
Room with its fireplace sur-
rounded by fieldstone, high ac-
coustical red ceiling, heavy
wooden beams, dark wood
paneled walls, flocked
wallpaper, items of
memorabilia, antique-style
light fixtures, • white
tablecoths and white napkins,
paintings . . . and the total
look of dining at a beautiful
rustic Alpine lodge . . . In a far
corner of the room is an old
gramaphone with large stick-
out speaker.
Our waiter, Tony Arella,
made an impression by handl-
ing empty plates with a
napkin . . . The minestrone
soup he brought us was chock
full of vegetables within a full-
bodied yet light and shimmer-
ing hot bowl of much tastiness
. . . Pieces of tomatoes, round
noodles, etc.
Barry Solomon had a
beautiful veal parmigiana fill-
ed with much goodness in his
exaltation of the veal's milk-
white coloring for essential
Provimi reality.

Linda Solomon thoroughly
enjoyed her angel hair pasta
with vegetables and eggplant
in a tomato sauce . . . Dee
Shapiro had the same dish as
I . . . an Ernie DeMichele
specialty . . . he cooks
everything to order . . . It was
a very luscious-looking
presentation . . . and even
more tastefully enjoyed . . .
angel hair pasta with shrimp,
scallops and clams . . . Hubby
Marshall's choice was osso
buco, shank of beef with its
own gravy, an authentic
Italian delight.

Just about everything at
Ernesto's is homemade . . .
even the rolls . . . Its cannolis
are not bought and filled as at
most Italian establishments
. . . They're the real thing at
Ernesto's . . . with even the
shell made on premises.
General manager Cindy
Holinski will be a 10-year
veteran at the location come
September . . . She used to
wait on tables when it was
Hillside . . . and made
manager when Sam took over
. . . Now Cindy is Ernesto's
general manager . . . Other
managers are Cindy Virga,
formerly at Rhinoceros, and
Mark Pellegrino.
Off the Margaret Strang
dining room at Ernesto's is

From a farmhouse
to a 550-seat
restaurant and a
wonderful
reputation.

a comfy-looking lounge with
bar, while tables sit on the
little sunken terrace.
Seating for open dining is
about 200 among the various
rooms . . . the Margaret
Strang Room being the largest
. . . Ernesto's is made up of
four very interesting dining
rooms . . . each with its very
own identity . . . and six
private banquet rooms.
All rooms at Ernesto's have
fireplaces . . . and grandfather
clocks are everywhere . . . in-
cluding one from the 1750s
that is still telling time.
Upstairs, a part of the old
farmhouse is intact . . . and
most interesting for visitors to
see . . . with the heavy doors,
heavy wood, old paintings,
farm tools hanging on a wall,
horseshoes, etc.
The huge kitchen at
Ernesto's is a glimmering sea
of stainless steel . . . with
various areas for prep work,
cooking and baking . . . It's
the type of kitchen you don't
find at too many dining
establishments . . . so large
and yet so very compact .. .
capable of doing all the
necessary things for successful
dining readiness.
About Ernie DeMichele .. .
He is a true, authentic Italian
chef whose capabilities in-
clude the preparation of
whatver dishes people may
desire . . . even if they toured
Italy and brought back
favorite recipes of fingers to
lips in kissing goodness.
Back of the menu at

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