Joe Muer was a landmark in downtown Detroit; it was where one went to get seafood. I have known people that ate there for years and always enjoyed the same dish for years, never wavering, because they felt it was perfection. When downtown Detroit was bustling, businessmen used to go straight to Joe Muer for dinner and wait for the rush hour traffic to abate before driving home, and why not, it was a delightful place to be.
It had that old time school approach to dinner, and sometimes you just wanted to make a meal of the plates that were brought out, while you were looking at the menu and the wine list and just enjoying your first cocktail of the evening. There was the white bean relish, the smoked fish spread and the matzo crackers to nibble on. A simple little thing, that has seemed to be gone from modern restaurants, it was so much more satisfying then the amuse that some of the Nouveau Cuisine eateries now offer. The Dover Sole and the White Fish were the dinners I remember most, and the ones that my Bride always would waver between the two.
I picked a wine to symbolize the wines that we enjoyed. A Silverado Vineyards Chardonnay from Napa Valley is the wine that I will feature here. I mean when you think of seafood, white wine is a natural choice, and I do enjoy a good bottle of Chardonnay. This wine is perfect to pair with fish as it has a buttery finish to the taste and does not overpower the subtleties of white fish or sole. It also did not fight with the classic creamed spinach that you had to enjoy while you there as well.
Alas, Joe Muer finally closed the doors in Detroit and a few years returned in a new format and setting in the suburb of Southfield with the name of Joe’s Bar & Grill. We went to it for the nostalgia, but it did not feel the same, and it eventually closed as well. There is a new Joe Muer that opened under the auspice of the Andiamo group of restaurants in downtown Detroit in the Renaissance Center, but so far we have not tried it. We will, and then I will record a new wine and my thoughts on the new venue.