The Best of Everything
kin seed oil, New England seafood
Different desserts, too ... Banana
and walnut-stuffed strudel with choco-
late sauce and vanilla ice cream in
rolled phyllo dough ... oatmeal spice
cake with toasted coconut and vanilla
ice cream, triple chocolate truffle torte
creme anglaise and chocolate
munchies menu and around 30 differ-
ent martinis to go with a wide array of
One would never know that, origi-
nally, downstairs Blue Martini might
Each serves its own special distinct
never have been the same ... Original
purpose ... And present what one might
idea was for it to be a comedy club.
call a "one-stop entertainment package."
However, now with striking red
If wanted, dining elegantly and
blue lights, stage for nightly live
comfortably upstairs without price
band, flanked on each side by two
gouging ... Then perhaps going down-
stairs to drink and dance ... or walking television screens, lighted alabaster
bar counter, VIP sector for everyone
next door to see a movie at the
in a private-like area with its own
Birmingham Palladium 12 theaters.
fireplace, and wide variety of choice
Large seems to be the thing upstairs
hors d'oeuvres and snacks, Blue
at City Cellar with its oversized
Martini could not possibly be much
booths, large tables, big-framed
more popular than it is.
murals, etc. ... Seating is for 200, plus
It took almost two years to build
a striking 20-stool wine bar with bot-
Cellar Grill and Blue Martini ...
tles in a huge rack on a mirrored glass
is two select places with
wall behind the serving area.
that have become
Upstairs hours are Monday-Sunday,
in their own
3-11 p.m. ... with the kitchen also
open from 11 p.m.-midnight for a
IT TOOK JUST 20 minutes for
600 people to have dinner from
Downstairs Blue Martini with its
food stations set up around
beautiful decor, seats 150 in 7,000
Shaarey Zedek social
square feet of opulent splendor ...
Music for listening and dancing is pro-
This was the second year in a row
vided nightly, Tuesday-Sunday.
that the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall
Blue Martini hours are Monday-
of Fame induction dinner had the
Friday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday 5-
dinner ... which went
p.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday 6- p.m.-2 a.m..
than last year.
City Cellar serves dinner only ... hit-
of the large social
ting over 1,000 a week seven nights ...
hall, an open bar cocktail session with
with excellent dishes like pan-seared
silent auction of sports memorabilia
sea scallops, with its own ricotta gnoc-
had a constant flow of hors d'oeuvres
chi ... a fine Chilean sea bass over
that opened a lot of mouths.
spinach ... lamb shank braised in two
Former MJSHF president Mickey
wines ... lo mein with shrimp ... pan-
is now a full-fledged resident
roasted rainbow trout, etc.
of Boynton Beach, Fla. ... He was here
People love the many fish entrees ...
for the affair, which inducted his
like salmon with mussels swimming in
nephew, Steve Fishman, son of
a mustard bath, sea bass on white
Mickey's brother Herman Fishman ...
beans in a red wine sauce, trout
three are in the Michigan Jewish
stuffed with lobster in a corn chowder
Hall of Fame.
Finegood is now a recording
Each evening the menu includes
artist ... However, his rap CD
specials of the day ... which might
Highway is not for sale.
include a crisp tempura whitefish, sea
"You should see the way the place
bass marinated in sake, prosciutto-
now," says Norm Pappas, who
wrapped yellowfin tuna pan-seared
the temporary offices of the
with homemade creamy Parmesan
at the JARC Building.
polenta, Macadamia-crusted Pacific
faces with so many
There is always a different soup
Into dinner of surf and turf, gob-
along with the house mushroom and
of salmon and prime rib ... and
onion soup with Pinot Grigio wine ...
200 soups that include the likes of
have been in the back
chestnut and parsnip, South Asian hot
side, but some of
and sour, pumpkin bisque with pump-
Birmingham's City Cellar and Blue Martini provide a one-two punch.
including Freedom Hill,
pening a restaurant
leaving as Joe's vice-president
is challenge in itself
of operations at all Andiamo
... Opening two dis-
restaurants, and general
manager of Larco's Italian
operations at the same time in
Chop House in Troy and its
the same location is almost
Italian Grill in West
unheard of these days.
The problems and
Put this combination
headaches that so often con-
together with a City Cellar
front today's owners of a sin-
chef like James Leonardo,
gle restaurant are many times
Local Columnist whose knowledge is gleaned
such that can turn what may
from restaurants in Holland,
begin as smooth waters into
Spain, France, Italy and England, and
you have the makings of a fine
And to double this, yet, sure takes
Mediterranean restaurant with
some mighty strong and determined
American influence and touches of
Managing partners-owners of the
Chef Leonardo's creative instincts
City Cellar Grill upstairs ... and the
and knowledge result in the prepara-
Blue Martini downstairs ... on
tion of world-wanted cuisine plus
Hamilton Row between Old Wood-
many dishes seldom, if at all, seen any-
ward and Woodward in Birmingham
... are undoubtedly
finding this out.
gents, Lee Tushman
and David Ward,
young men who
have discovered that
operations at the
same time can be.
like facing each
other on a hockey
Lee, as goalie on
Lee Tushman and David Ward
squad, faced many
upwards of 60-70 miles an hour ...
The City Cellar-Blue Martini loca-
And Dave took his decking lumps as
tion in Birmingham is at the location
center for Bloomfield Hills Lahser
of the former Crowley Department
High School's hockey team ... But
Store ... What was formerly complete-
from friendly enemies they became
ly torn down has been rebuilt to
buddies on the same team ... playing
become ... in less than a year ... the
for Lee's dad, Larry Tushman and his
heavy topic of approval conversation.
Sherwood Foods hockey squad.
Here's a place where the Cellar is
If there are any hard knocks to take
not the basement ... and the basement
in business, the two pucksters have the
is not the Cellar.
toughness needed ... And the smarts,
City Cellar on the first level is prob-
too, in getting a manager like Brendan
ably one of the more attractive restau-
Brown, whose restaurant-operating
rants in Michigan ... Downstairs, also
experience is filled with success ...
a very fine looking environment is
From Joe Vicari's Andiamo spots,
Blue Martini with its appetizers and