About six months after our first trip to the Courthouse Brasserie, we went back there for another dinner, this time with a different couple. They were a bit more taken aback by the area and the appearance of the restaurant and were silently questioning my sanity in this choice of venue.
After going through the ringing of the bell and being brought into the restaurant we were escorted to our table for the evening. The waiter brought us our water, the menu and the wine list as before. My Bride was feeling a bit more adventurous and was going to try a Monkfish preparation, and I was going to order a filet and scampi dish. When the Chef came from the kitchen to take our orders, he started with the women and after taking my Bride’s choice he looked at me for my order. All of a sudden he readjusted his glasses, took a second look at me and informed my Bride that he would prefer that she change her order. He looked at me and said that since we were into food so much, as he recounted from our conversation after dinner from our last time that he would not serve us the Monkfish. He said that he was getting ready to close for a month to take his family to Europe where his family would do a tour, and he would spend a month at one of his friend’s restaurant learning some new dishes. As he only bought a few pieces of the Monkfish, because it had become a staple for the brasserie, he was not happy with what he had on hand, and didn’t want to spoil our dinner. I found that very impressive that he would not serve a dish, because he had decided that it was not up to his requirements. So she made a different dish selection of a chicken and shrimp dish with a demi-glace.
For the wine, I was ready to order another Cotes du Rhone, when I saw that there was a wine from the village of Gigondas (one of the five notable villages from the Rhone Valley). This bottle was a Domaine Raspail-Ay 1997 and it was a much more satisfying bottle, then just a Cotes du Rhone wine. If you get a chance to try a bottle from Gigondas, I whole heartedly recommend that you try it; to get more of a taste of the Rhone Valley has to offer.
After dinner and dessert, the Chef came and sat at our table to regale us with more tales and about his itinerary for his vacation and the vacation for his family. I am sorry to say, that not long after that dinner I saw an article in the paper that the restaurant had closed. I would venture to say that the malaise of downtown Detroit was the cause of the closing; it certainly was not the quality of the food or service. It was an oasis of pleasure that was too difficult for most people to find.