[First Impression] Chartreuse Kitchen + Cocktails

Through the hanging flowers

To call Chartreuse Kitchen + Cocktails a welcome addition to the Detroit dining scene is an understatement. From its vibrant colorful interior to its pared down but wholly imaginative food and drink menu, every part of Chartreuse seems well thought out. We were lucky enough to experience one of the pre-opening dinner services where the restaurant is attempting to work out all of the kinks before opening up to the general public.

If you have read about Chartreuse, then you are aware of the two men leading the the charge – Sandy Levine and Doug Hewitt, but that’s not to discount the impressive team moving forward with them. On the evening we dined, there wasn’t a moment that passed where we didn’t feel attended to. This isn’t to say there was someone breathing down our necks, but rather the service was there when we wanted it to be. In addition, recommendations were given that took our preferences into account and not focused on the agenda of the server or manager. These may seem like obvious items to point out, but it’s quite disappointing how often such things are missed.

All of Hewitt’s dishes are executed meticulously with love and precision. The small kitchen is able to crank out food at a surprisingly efficient pace and Hewitt is on the other side of pass sending dishes out or artfully plating, like a multitasking conductor. Timing between dishes was comfortable, especially if you’re indulging in cocktails, wine, beer, or Chartreuse.

It will be interesting to see how Chartreuse functions when moving at full speed. I expect them to excel, of course, with Levine’s on point hospitality and Hewitt becoming even more comfortable once he figures out his regular clientele. Hewitt told me that the menu will always be changing. For example, the Recovery Park menu item will always feature whatever is available from Recovery Park Farms in Detroit that morning. Little things like that will allow for Hewitt’s concise menu to always seems just a little different.

Chartreuse Kitchen + Cocktails opens on May 19 for dinner. There are plans to open for lunch, but stay tuned to their Facebook page for an precise announcement of date & time.

Take a look at some of the food we sampled during our visit in the gallery below:

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