A Bite On The Town

| HOUR Detroit Magazine

In Ferndale, between L.A.-style tacos, Lebanese,
and fine dining, food lovers aren’t lacking in options.
Seemingly under the radar — but worth a try — is
John D Bistro, which has been open for two years since
taking over the former Club Bart. It dishes up new
American fare in a modern, posh space that features a
plush banquette decked out with a mirror trim as well
as more traditional tables and ample stools at the bar
where craft beers and craft cocktails are both available.
The lounge decor sets the scene for a diverse crowd;
it’s a spot where you can take mom for brunch or your
friends for bottle service.
Helmed by executive chef Scott Breazeale, John D’s
kitchen recently rolled out seasonal menus — and with
the creativity and use of local ingredients, these rotating
offerings are definitely a draw.
On the evening we went, the menu had a wintry
spin — comforting during the seemingly endless season.
With summer approaching, Breazeale plans to change
the menu to take advantage of Michigan’s cherries, asparagus,
and corn, to name a few ingredients.
While Breazeale is dedicated to using local products,
his food spans the globe.
“You may see a dish with strong Korean flavors next
to a dish with northern Italian flavors next to a classic
French dish,” says Breazeale, who can usually be found
working the room chatting up the patrons. “For me
this is the best part of the job — taking the guest on a
culinary journey.”
For starters, there are plenty of shareable options,
including tender calamari in a sweet and spicy sauce
and duck sliders topped with a bright orange cranberry
compote that balances the unctuous fowl. Want to go
all out? There’s a foie gras burger with truffle fries.
We chose the rabbit ragu and scallops as entrees. In
keeping with the seasonal theme, the ragu was a huge
bowl of comfort: a well-balanced tomato sauce enveloped
pieces of tender rabbit meat on top of pasta. The
scallops were cooked with a nicely crusted, goldenbrown
sear; however, the best parts of the dish were
the accompaniments of pate choux gnocchi, butternut
squash, Brussels sprout leaves, bacon, and chevre.
Other entrees include an 18-ounce rib-eye steak that
would satisfy Fred Flintstone; lamb chops; and several
seafood options, including salmon, lobster ravioli, and
lobster risotto.
As one who normally makes a cocktail her dessert,
I made sure to save room because Breazeale has serious
chops as a pastry chef.
We chose the panna cotta — and what a pleasant
surprise it was. This classic, simple Italian dessert was
elevated by extra packed-in flavor: a silky grahamcracker
infused cream and a “milk jam,” which mimicked
toasted marshmallow. A bittersweet chocolate
sauce and graham cracker crumbs topped it off — and
there you have the world’s most refined S’more.
We can’t wait to see the surprises the next seasonal
menu will bring.

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