Chartreuse Kitchen and Cocktails

Interior of Chartreuse restaurant with green plants all along the walls.
Photos by Kelly Pettit

Char-treuse/SHärˈtro͞oz: a pale green or yellow liqueur made from brandy and aromatic herbs. Never have I ever seen a room capture the definition of its own name so well until I walked through the doors of Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails, a restaurant located on E. Kirby Street in Detroit (across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts). Once I learned that the eatery was named Restaurant of the Year by the Detroit Free Press, I knew that it was going to be my next dinner destination.

As I entered the restaurant on a Thursday evening, I was instantly amazed by the view in front of me. The walls of the entire room were painted an eye-capturing, bright green. There were dark, smooth, wooden tables and chairs that occupied the room, a lengthy bar to the right, and vibrant green couches with fun cushions and mini tables that filled the lounging area in the front of the restaurant. An array of herbs and plants hung from the walls and ceiling in a delicate, modern fashion. Fantastic pieces of artwork were everywhere, including the Living Wall—a magnificent garden of real, live succulents of all different colors and shapes vertically hanging on the wall aside the bar. The restaurant managed to create a comfortable, homey atmosphere, while maintaining a classy, business-casual vibe.

After drooling over Chartreuse’s appearance for several minutes, my friend and I approached the host stand. The nice woman politely told us we could either wait for a table, grab a seat in the lounging area, or sit at the bar. Dying to find out if the food was as great as the style and decor of the eatery, we decided to sit at the bar stools. The waiter approached us in a timely fashion with menus and glasses of water. After briefly asking him about the menu, he explained that the restaurant uses ingredients from local farmers and foragers, and that the menu changes on a regular basis depending on the seasonality and availability of the foods.

My friend and I quickly decided that we were going to share the Twice Cooked Egg (8), a vegetable dish with frisee, brussels sprouts, pea tendrils, salty cheese, and warm shallot vinaigrette, in addition to the Cap Steak (23) with herbed potato, roast cabbage, cioppolini, cremini mushrooms, natual jus, and yuka root.

Both dishes arrived about ten minutes after we ordered them, and the meals were exquisite. The Twice Cooked Egg dish was the perfect medium, not too heavy nor too light. The sprouts and tendrils, covered with vinaigrette, were subtle yet sweet, and the fried egg that laid on top surprised me with a perfectly runny center. The Cap Steak dish was exceptional. The steak, which I ordered medium well, was some of the best I’ve ever eaten. The seasoning that covered the steak and potatoes was to die for. The portions were perfect, and the dishes were great to split. We left Chartreuse feeling contently full and overwhelmingly happy.

Although the restaurant is not as cheap as a Coney Island or a $5 Hot-n-Ready, the food and experience was well worth the few extra bucks. Whether you’re trying to grab lunch with a friend or plan a special date night with your significant other, I highly recommend paying a visit to Chartreuse’s Kitchen and Cocktails. You won’t be disappointed!

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