In the National Registry the Dearborn Inn is listed as the first Airport Hotel. The airport has long been gone, and converted into a test track for the Ford Motor Company, but the hotel is still there. Not only are there hotel rooms, but extended stay apartments for visiting businessmen. Henry Ford was a visionary about certain aspects concerning all phases of business. The hotel is managed by the Marriott system.
There is the Ten Eyck Tavern at the hotel that has been serving meals to guests at the hotel since the inception. It is named after a tavern that was a coach stop in the early days of travel to and from Detroit. This entire complex is almost adjacent to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, two of the largest tourist destinations in the state, as well as in the country. The amount of history that is situated there is staggering and to think that one man created this whole area.
I think that the first time I dined at the Ten Eyck Tavern; I may have still been a teenager. It was a very popular restaurant with early American décor. The restaurant does a huge business for all of the holidays as well. The first time that I was there, I remember having a classic steak dinner, nothing fancy by today’s standards, but fancy enough at that young age on a date. I have had lunches and dinners there since that first time, but the first time had the impact for me, because this type of dining on a date was still novel to me.
It was also one of the first times that I ever had a California wine, and the winery is still in existence. It was a Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon 1970 from Napa Valley. The winery has since sold the property in Napa Valley, including land on Howell Mountain and moved to the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. At this point in time, I had basically been trying Bordeaux wines from France, but when they were not available at a venue, I would venture into some domestic wines, I was a faux wine snob, still learning, and I laugh now, because I am still learning to this day.