The obvious hyphen that comes to mind when trying the Sylvan table is “farm to table”.
Literally there is a 3 acre farm outside the restaurant which is beautiful. Clean rows of plants, flowers, greenery, a spherical water fountain, and a spacious all-weather patio outside the 300-year-old barn are the main attraction.
Inside the country building is an open kitchen where Executive Chef Chris Gadulka and his staff can be seen amid open flames. They are busy roasting seasonal vegetable dishes, decorating “campagnolo” plates, arranging fish, pasta and beef entrees or putting the finishing touches to a sweet panna cotta. The dining room is divided into four sections: a bar area overlooking the kitchen, a sundeck with a fireplace sometimes used for cooking, a basement near the gift shop and a loft area.
The often-changing dinner menu at Sylvan Table—which offers a decent amount of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes—highlights ingredients that haven’t been tampered with for the moon and back. Portions are not huge, which helps reduce food waste and also gives diners a chance to try a few different things.
Definitely get the bread (not free, the norm these days) which is a soft brown ball of heaven with a crusty brown exterior and served with three types of homemade butter, each with a different flavour: salt, honey, and mushroom.
The best part of the campagnolo (their version of the meat and cheese board) was the pork rillette, a small bowl of slow-cooked meat, shredded and sealed with a layer of butterfat on top. It fueled my enthusiasm for the rest of the meal, as did the 50 Shades of Earl cocktail, made with Liberator Gin infused with tea from Ferndale’s Valentine Distilling, plus lemon, simple syrup, and egg whites.
The fried perch was a shimmering pile of well-marinated fish on top of hard potatoes and an abundance of mayonnaise with milk, a thick garlic sauce similar to what you might get at a Middle Eastern restaurant. It was an unexpected and very welcome change from the regular tartar sauce. Together, with lemon and herbs, the whole dish was like a fresh, magical version of fish and chips.
Another standout is the gorgeous spring turnip salad with carrot shavings, red onions, golden raisins, and sunflower seeds, simply garnished with a tangy lemon dressing. Violin ferns with a bit of spice were fun because of their unique texture. A great example of seasonal bonuses that aren’t overly complex.
The servers and food rider helped the experience stay on track and out appropriately, suggesting drink pairings and keeping the water filling. The style of service is casual and relaxed.
Restaurant Rating:This neighborhood is lucky to have the eclectic and cozy Alma Kitchen
Restaurant Rating:What makes Freya one of the best new restaurants in Detroit
While, yes, there is a farm just outside the doors, a lot of the products on the plates come from other producers and suppliers in the area. The honey comes from the beehives and the herbs and edible flowers of the Sylvan Table Farm, but with only a few small acres it’s hard to produce enough to provide a full-service restaurant.
The least obvious hyphen that could describe Sylvan’s table and the people around it, is “salt of the earth,” which means there’s honesty and effort to do good on the plate and behind the scenes.
Composting and recycling are taken very seriously here, and Gadulka and owners Tim and Nicole Ryan went through trial and error to find the best way to minimize waste.
They were using pigs and chickens on the farm to consume food waste until the zoning committee said there were no more animals left, but they bounced back after trying some other fertilization methods. Today they use Midtown Composting to recycle glass, cardboard and plastic and a company called Spurt Composting, as well as do some small-scale composting on the farm.
It takes barely a week to fill the restaurant’s standard-sized trash, Gadulka said.
Judging from the reservation books, it’s clear that the area’s dining crowd has walked well to the Sylvan Table, which opened around this time last June. If you are planning to go on the weekend and want an indoor table before 9pm, you may have to make a reservation for a few weeks. Visits are welcome on the patio and bar, with no reservations or reservations required.
Opening hours were recently extended to include brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, which Gadulca says is gaining steam. The menu for breakfast and lunch standards – toast, jam, fries, frittata, house smoked bacon, etc. – gives Sylvan Table another opportunity to showcase the freshest local ingredients.
1819 Inverness, Lake Sylvan
(248) 369-3360 sylvantable.com
hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m. on Saturday. and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Sunday.
the prices: Appetizers, $6-18; appetizers, $20-$29; Shareable sides, $8-16; dessert, $8 to $9; cocktails, $12 to $14; mocktail, $10; Cider and beer, $5 and $8; Wine, $10 and up. (Note: Sylvan Table no longer accepts American Express cards.)
Reservations: Highly recommended for dinner. Book online at Tock.com or call. Patio walks, bar seating, and weekend brunch only.
to implement: number
Outdoor dining: 60-80 yard capacity covered with hot concrete
noise level: low to medium
Accessibility: There are no barriers on most of the dining area
parking: Free parking
What do the stars mean:
★ – good
★★ – very good
★★★ – Excellent
★★★★ – Unusual
more:Thyme & Honey Café & Market comes to New Center with Charcuterie, Catering and more
more:Everything we saw and tasted at the Thai market in Warren