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May 30, 2013 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-05-30

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

FOOD

FOODIE

HOME APPLIANCE MA

LVP

Maccabees at Midtown

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By Esther Allweiss Ingber

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28 June 2013 I

RFD TI MM

ans of Gateway Deli, the 17-year

mainstay of the Harvard Row
Shopping Center in Southfield,
might want to take a look at restaura-
teur Peter Berishaj's newest and most
impressive venture: Maccabees at
Midtown.
Berishaj officially opened his res-
taurant-bar just after New Year's Day
inside an Albert Kahn-designed, 1927
building on Woodward Avenue at
Warren in Detroit. The Gothic Revival-
style skyscraper is on the National
Register of Historic Places and close to
the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Originally the headquarters of Royal
Maccabees Insurance Co., notable
tenants in the Maccabees Building
were Detroit Public Schools, Detroit
Public Television (WDET) and WXYZ's
radio and television stations. Wayne
State University, the building's current
owner, has administrative offices here.
The decor at Maccabees at Mid-
town takes its cues from the building's
glorious heyday. Berishaj and his team
completely remade the space into a
thing of beauty, projecting the inti-
mate, moody atmosphere of a 1920s
speakeasy. The room has a bronzed
coffered ceiling and Merlot-colored
seating at mahogany wood booths
and tables.
Walls are dark, too, and the back
one shows a stylistic skyscraper
with golden rays shooting out like
fireworks. Contrasting white marble
is used for a liquor bar at the Wood-
ward-side window and also a break-
fast bar.
The most striking visual element is
the lighting. Handcrafted sconces and
lamps in horizontal or vertical shapes
feature cutout figures of warriors and
maidens, imagined from the biblical
Maccabees'era. A metal-cut chande-
lier echoes the grand original in the
building's lobby.
"If you didn't know the place had
just opened, you'd think we've been
around forever" is the impression
Berishaj and his partners managed to
achieve with their casual yet upscale
restaurant-bar.
Maccabees at Midtown offers
"newer American bistro fare, and I
think we're fresh and healthy' Berishaj
said.
Only natural chicken breast is
served, and olive oil is used for
cooking. Salads feature arugula and
similar greens, never ordinary iceberg
lettuce.
"We're trying to be a quality/
healthy/affordable restaurant, giving
people what they want and what they
can afford" he said.
In the short time Maccabees has

been open,"our
signature items are
really moving; it's un-
believable; Berishaj
said.
The favorites are
certified Angus
prime beef burgers,
chopped kale salad
with aged Gouda and hazelnuts in a
spicy anchovy dressing, and potato
pancake sandwiches holding corned
beef, brisket and other meat, plus
fixings. Berishaj claims his is"the only
restaurant in the world making sand-
wiches on potato pancakes. I would
love to patent it'
I took a suggestion to try the
Peeque sandwich, a delicious concoc-
tion with grilled chicken, cheeses,
bacon, pico de gallo, avocado and
chipotle aioli on an onion roll. A big
knife held down this overstuffed
sandwich; no mere toothpick would
do. The sweet potato fries had
excellent flavor and weren't greasy.
Neither were the potato pancakes for
sandwiches — my Lone Ranger had
brisket, Provolone cheese and delec-
table horseradish sauce. I'd actually
prefer less meat and more sauce. The
toasted goat cheese balls are great on
certain salads.
Besides chicken noodle, a daily
soup is offered. I hope my fantastic
soup with large slices of grilled salm-
on becomes a regular. Specials might
include Mexicali grilled shrimp salad
with avocado, tomato, mixed greens
and salsa vinaigrette. A praise-worthy
entree is salmon topped with shrimp,
including potatoes and vegetables.
Start off with Cafe Style Calamari,
including capers, onions, tomatoes
and feta. Creative choices at breakfast
include cream cheese-stuffed French
toast. There's also an eclectic brunch
on weekends.
Maccabees at Midtown offers its
customers valet parking Thursday
through Saturday nights and is start-
ing shuttle service to Downtown
entertainment venues.
Meanwhile, the Gateway Deli name
continues at two family-owned res-
taurants in Downtown Detroit (Ford
Field and on Fort Street) and another
on Big Beaver in Troy.

MACCABEES AT MIDTOWN
5057 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 831-9311
coming soon:
www.MaccabeesDetroit.com or
visit Facebook page
$$1/2 out of $$$$$

www.redthreadmagazine.com

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