Review: Assaggi Bistro



At the Solanus wine event last Friday I met a ton of interesting people, but I must say there was one who really stood out. That man was George Gize. It was immediately apparent as George walked up to the French wines table I was tasting at, that not only was he the sort of person who knew everyone, he was the sort of person you wanted to know. He did not feel the need to dress to impress or wear a suit. Instead he was perfectly comfortable in his red sweater and khakis and looked right at home among the other few hundred people, who, myself included, clearly weren’t nearly as secure in their standing within the local wine community. I immediately felt drawn to the charisma this man brought to the conversations around him. After a few moments of discussion he told me about his restaurant, Assaggi, that he and his partner, Josie Knapp, have been successfully running for twelve years in downtown Ferndale. Immediately I planned a trip to his establishment to partake in what I believed would be a unique and inspiring experience. Not suprisingly, I was blown away by what I found.
The menu features an elegant array of Mediterranean fusion entrees, and one of the most extensive, far reaching, and well thought out wine lists I’ve seen yet. The appetizers and salads alone were tempting enough to make a full meal of, and I must take a moment to rave about the grilled eggplant. One of their signature dishes, it consists of eggplant, roasted red pepper, chèvre, mozzarella, wilted spinach, and a balsamic reduction in an artful display that melts in your mouth. I couldn’t help myself from digging in immediately, only to be disappointed with myself moments later for not capturing the beautiful presentation in a picture to share with all of you. Already completely impressed, next comes the heirloom beat salad with an amazing pairing of flavors and a pistachio vinaigrette that raised this dish to the next level. Not thinking I could be any more satisfied, I tasted the main courses. In one word: phenomenal. The most tender lamb chops served with a perfect bordelaise sauce, a maple and mustard glazed salmon cooked to perfection atop the most moist lentils I’ve ever tasted, and of course, the Moroccan duck legs. One of George and Josie’s signature dishes, they are accompanied by a pistachio couscous and finsihed with a pomegranate barbecue sauce. As for dessert, I think that merely mentioning the banana bread pudding and bananas foster is enough.
The place has an excellent vibe with modern art adorning the walls, a well seasoned wait staff, and ringleaders completely attentive to all of their guests’ needs. There was never a time when either Josie or George were not out among their guests, making sure they were being well taken care of during every course. All in all, one of the best meals I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of and in one of the most enjoyable atmospheres, making the experience that much more memorable. I plan on becoming a permanent fixture of this restaurant, and I would highly recommend you do the same.




This entry was posted in drink, food and tagged , by the Renegade Chef. Bookmark the permalink.

About the Renegade Chef

We started this company a few years back because we love food. More importantly we love great food. Myself, i love weird food. We started off doing tapas paired wine tastings, and the occasional private dinner or event, and have enjoyed working all over metro detroit putting on pop up restaurants or brunches. We aim to build a network of like minded and passioned people. We hope you'll enjoy following our journey, and seeing what cranks out of the renegade kitchen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s