Every now and then, you think that you know all of the places to have dinner in a city and then you are surprised. This happened the other night. I spent years living and working in Dearborn, Michigan and I was introduced to this new restaurant that I had not even heard about, albeit that it is a venue that has been taken over by new owners. My Bride meets once a month with some of the ladies that she used to work with and they try to meet somewhere that is centrally located and for years they were happy with one location until it was sold. They have made a few different forays and finally found a place that has pleased them, and we were out for dinner before attending an event, so she suggested that we try Echo’s Place.
This is a restaurant that has the feel of the Fifties or the Sixties in the ambience of the room, and I mean this in a nice way, as it is a very comfortable place. The emphasis is on the food and service, and not to be a place to be seen or to people watch per se. My Bride has only been there a couple of times, but she was already a recognized regular by the owners and the staff, which made her feel good; and I know that she wanted me to enjoy this new location. Not only do they offer some classic bar style food, but beyond salads and sandwiches they have a very nice menu, starting from appetizers on up, though I have to admit that we did not have room for a dessert afterwards, so we will have to venture there again for a follow-up. It was a Friday night, so the soup of the day was a Lobster Bisque, which we both tried, and I was very pleased with it; there are times when one has this soup and it is overly salty and lacking quality and I am glad to say that we both thoroughly enjoyed it. My Bride was telling me that the ladies, usually order Prime Rib with Sherry-flamed mushrooms, but I was looking for something different that evening. While she ordered broiled salmon with a Bourbon-Maple sauce, I chose the Seafood Pasta, which had scallops, shrimp and crabmeat in a Béchamel sauce, and we were both pleased again with our selections. I will also add that I am not a bread eater, but the freshly baked bread that arrived before our entrée was a nice touch.
The bar was fully stocked, as it should be, though I think the wine list could use a bit of massaging and tweaking, since the food was so enjoyable, they should up the selection to compliment the food. I was intrigued that they offer the wines by the glass, by the carafe (about half a bottle to share) or by the bottle; while this may not be necessary since Michigan allows opened bottles of wine to be carried out after dinner. Since we had some place else to go afterwards, and we didn’t want to transport a bottle of wine, we selected a carafe of Jekel Vineyards Gravelstone Chardonnay 2011. Gravelstone is one of the areas in the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey, and an area that I will choose if I have a chance. Arroyo Seco means “Dry Creek” and I would presume that it refers to the gravely soil that is in the area. The Chardonnay that we had paired well with our choices of entrée and had enough crispness to make us both happy. All in all, I am sure that we will be going back to Echo’s Place, as the food was delicious and it also did not break the budget.