It seems, making a restaurant hard to find is all the rage these days. Signage is so last year. So tucked away above a fancy tailor on the second floor of an 1891 Detroit Queen Anne style building at 1500 Woodward Avenue, Wright & Company is well on trend.
The only thing to distinguish this restaurant from the street, is the rather large chandelier hanging above the window table; a beacon guiding us to dinner heaven.
Even more intriguing, you get to it down the side of a quiet narrow street, where a discreet entrance hides a storage elevator. It is all deathly quiet until the doors open on the second floor and you are teleported into a world of banquettes, high stools, clinking glasses and a restaurant rammed with people.
Wright and Company is the brainchild of two Detroit entrepreneurs who were quick to recognise Detroit’s miraculous renaissance; cocktail king Dave Kwiatkowski from Sugar House and chef Marc Djozlija who spent a lifetime at Wolfgang Puck.
The concept is simple. Sharing plates of tasty food, craft cocktails, great beer and wine.
You could argue it’s a hipster hangout, but as chef Marc is adamant “we’re so close to both the Tigers and Lions stadiums (baseball and football) we’re just as happy to get the pre and post game crowd as well as the diners.”
Mind you, when I discuss the merits of the lack of signage, I can’t argue with his response; “Most of our custom is basically word of mouth.”
All I can say is, looking at the lack of empty tables and bar stool space, the strategy is bang on.
We start with some warm roasted cashews dusted with a sprinkling of Moroccan spices ($6) and a plate of delicious roasted red and yellow beets with ricotta, oranges, pistachios and a poppy seed vinaigrette ($11). A clutch of pork belly sliders with tomato jam, rocket and sriracha aioli ($9) are up next accompanied by a delightful plate of roasted cauliflower, onion hummus, preserved lemon and golden raisins ($12).
The thing is about sharing plates, you can enjoy grazing food without having to work through a whole dish. For me it’s a perfect way of sampling different flavours without throwing everything into one dish and perhaps getting disappointed.
As we eat and drink, the elevator is busy dispatching more customers, clearly much less bemused about the location than I was.
With our taste buds firmly warmed up it was time to delve deeper into the menu. A plate of braised short rib with roasted parsnips, pearl onions, red wine and puff pastry ($17) is eagerly devoured before an equally excellent roast pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes, braised cabbage, bacon and a cider glaze ($18) gets deposited on the table.
Sharing is an intriguing concept brought about in this case through necessity as Marc explains: “We had some unexpected remodelling to do which reduced my kitchen space so we felt this was the best way to maintain the high standards I wanted.”
Personally, I think some of life’s best things come from unexpected sources and this is a winner. Just as long as you can find it!
All images (c) Andy Mossack except chandelier window table image (c) Jason Leinart
Tell me more about Wright & Company Detroit
Wright & Company 1500 Woodward Avenue, Floor 2, Detroit, Michigan 48226
T: (313) 962-7711 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wright & Company is just a two minute walk from the Aloft Hotel
You can find more details about Detroit at Visit Detroit