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May 29, 2014 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-05-29

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Franklin Grill & Tavern


-.. ...

By Esther Allweiss Ingber

722 N.






Specializing in Cosmetic Surgery &
Aesthetic & Reconstructive Breast Surgery

Certified by The American Board of Surgery, The American Board of
Plastic Surgery & Fellowship Trained in Aesthetic & Reconstructive
Breast Surgery

(248) 865-6400
5807 W. Maple • Suite 177 • West Bloomfield

30 June 20141


ur dining companion Tom sighed
contentedly after his first bite of
a marble-rye grilled sandwich.
Melted Swiss cheese oozed over
Sy Ginsberg-brand corned beef,
sauerkraut and "bistro sauce" Tom
told our solicitous server,"This is the
best Reuben I ever had:' Kudos to the
Franklin Grill &Tavern!
The Franklin Grill is popular with
local residents and others looking
for cuisine that is traditional and yet
completely contemporary. The set-
ting is relaxing and unique — inside a
two-story, red wooden building dat-
ing to the 1840s. It formerly housed a
carriage shop and a blacksmith shop.
Just a short stroll south of the
famous Franklin Cider Mill at 14 Mile
Road, the Franklin Grill is located
within the historic village of Franklin.
The tumult of nearby Northwestern
Highway feels a world away when
walking or driving through this close-
knit community of specialty shops
and businesses.
Native Detroiter Ruth Lochesparge,
owner of the Franklin Grill, and her
husband, Jim, a Franklin native,
purchased the building in 2003. The
opportunity to take over the existing
restaurant presented itself six and a
half years ago while she was working
at her friend Laurie's Deja Vu, a ladies'
upscale/designer resale boutique
inside the Greek Revival-style home
next door.
Framed photographs of old-timey
Franklin remind visitors of their brush
with history. The downstairs space
has exposed ductwork and a wooden
slatted ceiling. Burlap is on some
walls. Plaster is etched and stained
on a back wall and at the cove ceil-
ing near the room's entrance, where
strings of beads and crystals drop
down. Some lamps are vertical, oth-
ers horizontal.
Lochesparge, who once owned a
bar in North Carolina, brings 35 years
of experience in the food industry
to her venture here. Although she
can cook, she prefers to oversee the
ordering at the Franklin Grill and
have Chef Francisco Jimenez and
sous chefs"Big E" and Mike Hamzey
handle the kitchen.The manager is
Tom Meyer.
Few shortcuts are taken at the
Franklin Grill.
"We make everything here except
the onion rings," Lochesparge said.
"That includes our own stocks, dress-
ings and balsamic reductions. We

treat our proteins well. We ice down
our fish and butcher everything here.
We roast the turkey for our salads:"
Entrees she especially recommends
include whitefish with toasted orzo,
zucchini, dill cream, mascarpone
cheese and basil pesto; dried cherry
lamb chops, including garlic-mashed
potatoes, baby spinach and Michigan
cherry essence; and a "great roasted
duck"when on special.
Fresh, local produce is preferred
— along with herbs grown in their
garden — and also Michigan-made
specialty items, such as Chazzano
roasted coffee and Treat Dreams ice
cream, both from Ferndale, and Mc-
Clure's Pickles of Detroit. The bar has
local beers, such as Griffinclaw, and
the spirits include Bleu Nectar Tequila
and Valentine Vodka.
Bourbon chicken sliders, new to
the menu, come three on a plate. The
sliders boast a bourbon Asian glaze
and layer of horseradish coleslaw. Our
companion Anne liked the textures
and blend of favors; I concurred when
given a taste.
I felt healthy eating the snow
crab salad. Beside lump crab, this
fresh-tasting and luscious salad
features avocado, scallion, carrots
and Romaine lettuce. It comes with
lemon aioli (garlic-based) dressing on
the side.
On another visit, I was impressed
with the classic French onion soup,
just the way it's supposed to be, and
vegetarian risotto, comprised of wild
mushrooms, creamy risotto, onion,
roasted asparagus, acorn squash and
wilted spinach. Really good.
Another recommendation is
shrimp Florentine. A light, creamy
sauce tops shrimp, julienned carrots
and tri-colored peppers, plus fresh
spinach-stuffed pasta. For appetizers,
you can't beat the artichoke hearts,
flash-fried and sprinkled with sprouts.
Tom, Anne and I also enjoyed Cap-
rese salad with its good-quality red
tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella cheese,
balsamic vinegar, olive oil and basil.
You can get it with sliced chicken
breast. RT


32760 Franklin Road
Franklin, MI 48025
(248) 865-6600
$$$ out of $$$$


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