There is no denying the big energy that Corktown emits! It has evolved into one of the coolest neighborhoods in Detroit for living, shopping and — especially — for restaurants.
One of the newest additions to Corktown is a restaurant adjacent to the Trumbull and Porter Hotel called Red Dunn Kitchen. Executive Chef Jay Gundy — formerly of Forte, Tribute, The Whitney, Cafe Via and Townhouse Birmingham — spoke to me about his new restaurant home. Chef Jay is not just a pedigreed chef, but also a native Detroiter.
While in college working toward a degree in automotive engineering, Gundy took on a job as a chef for a restaurant; the work ignited a passion in him, and he never looked back. Now armed with experience and an impressive resume, Chef Jay leads a back-to-basics approach for Red Dunn Kitchen. He has constructed a seasonal menu that shows off American fare and incorporates classic French techniques.
Red Dunn Kitchen officially opened at the end of June and is now officially part of the Detroit vibe and resurgence.
The 150-seat restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and features indoor and outdoor seating, a full-service bar and can accommodate private events for parties from 10 to 500.
Red Dunn Kitchen is connected to the newly renovated Trumbull and Porter boutique hotel. This proximity is a beneficial relationship for both businesses. Red Dunn Kitchen will welcome the Downtown business crowd, hotel guests and the general public.
A private Steak Room at Red Dunn Kitchen features limited seating at the Chef’s Table, which seats up to 12 diners, who enjoy a specialty menu is designed by Chef Jay.
“Everything is done here at the restaurant,” Chef Jay explains. “Even the pastries at the coffee shop in the hotel are made here at our restaurant.”
The dinner menu includes some fancier dishes, and the lunch menu has great soups and sandwiches. Chef Jay has won awards for his burgers, and the Red Dunn Burger is a show-stopper, too. With a blend of five peppercorns, topped with brandied onions, melted raclette cheese, tomato jam and served on an artisanal sesame bun, this burger is sure to become one of their signature dishes.
In agriculture, “red dunn” refers to a type of rooster, so it’s not surprising that poultry is the main focus of the menu. You can try the Fois Gras Stuffed Quail appetizer, the Fried Chicken Roulade or the Bacon Wrapped Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast. Other items, favorites and anomalies abound at Red Dunn as well, like their Parmesan Dill Popovers, which are served at each table in lieu of a bread basket. You can finish off your meal with a sweet Detroit Whiskey Crème Anglaise or Warm Spiced Almond Cake with Maple finish.
The restaurant has plenty of parking and easy access to Downtown and Corktown events. It also features a full banquet facility and is already booking weddings.
Referring to the 400-seat outdoor venue at Red Dunn Kitchen, “There is plenty of seating at the outdoor bar; we have a live stage for bands, and we are going to show movies down here in our courtyard, and we have a big fire pit that people can gather around,” Chef Jay says.
Red Dunn Kitchen
1331 Trumbull St., Detroit
Reservations at (313) 887-9477