It was a bitter cold winter evening with snow continuing to come down in heavy spurts … But you wouldn’t know it from the 178 people who enjoyed the goodies from large menus that displayed a huge selection for complete family dining.

The former Jilly’s, taken over by George Lukaj in 2009, was feeding a crowd who evidently enjoyed the food so much they neglected to notice that all 25 wall television sets were each tuned to different programs … or wanted it that way for one reason or another.

Head to
Grand Tavern in Rochester Hills.

This is the popular Grand Tavern restaurant at MarketPlace Circle, Rochester Hills, which in nine years has vaulted itself into a large communal and destination favorite of many from numerous locations.

The menus themselves had enough dishes to feed a large army … 12 appetizers, 11 salads, 10 burgers, including build your own, 14 specialty sandwiches, three new flatbreads, 10 entree favorites, nine seafood selections, five homemade soups, five steaks, five stone cooking choices of steaks, scallops and shrimp, etc.

George Lukaj
George Lukaj

Also, a separate price choice menu on Mondays only … $6 for one of 23 picks … $8 for 15 selections … $11 for 13 picks … On Tuesdays, eight Mexican choices with free chips and salsa … On Wednesday, free appetizer with two entrees and beverages.

It is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week … Including a pasta buffet on Sundays, 4-8 p.m. … A Saturday and Sunday buffet from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. includes alcoholic beverages: wines, beer, margaritas, martinis and specialty cocktails.

Grand Tavern has wi-fi available … and has easily vaulted itself into a destination family dining location … Growing in much popularity.

UPON LEARNING THAT another restaurant would occupy the former Coach Insignia area in Detroit’s Renaissance Center, Joe Vicari says he was disappointed at not being contacted regarding the empty space … Since Joe has two highly regarded premier restaurants at Renaissance Center, Andiamo Riverfront and Joe Muer Seafood, he had considered taking the empty space for a high-end banquet area … Joe was also disappointed at not being contacted to make certain that both do not compete with each other … He pays over a $1 million a year in rent and says that he would have considered opening a top-notch eatery with an altogether different concept.

THERE IS JUST no stopping her when it comes to delicious authentic dishes from back home … Milake Bitar, chef/owner with general manager, co-partner daughter Melissa Bitar of Mandaloun, a truly authentic Lebanese restaurant, Telegraph Road, Bingham Farms, continues her surprises … Now added to her bevy of Old-World dishes are two more huge favorites … Miloukhlyeh, mallow leaves with chicken cooked in lemon garlic juice and served with white rice and crispy bread on top … And veggie-stuffed zucchini and eggplant filled with cracked wheat and tomatoes.

REARVIEW MIRROR … When someone from a local offshoot council of rabbis called Irving’s Deli and told Rose and Irving Guttman that they couldn’t use the term kosher when referring to Empire Kosher chicken … If it wasn’t an error, Manischewitz, Mother’s, Streit’s, Best’s, Sinai, Wilno, etc., couldn’t use the word kosher either … all, including Empire products, had the proper kashrut symbol.

MAIL DEPTFrom Joe Cornell in California … “How I miss Detroit and its great places to eat, like Larco’s on Six Mile, where the three Larco brothers always made sure that I had a different Italian meal every time I came there, and that was plenty of times. I still can’t find one here in California that compares with Larco’s. I don’t teach dancing anymore. Just concentrate on my real estate selling. Sure wish there was a Larco’s out here.”

OLDIE BUT GOODIE (repeated oldies are by numerous requests) … Many years ago, a Jewish lady was stranded at a fashionable resort that did not admit Jews. She asked for a room and the desk clerk looked down at his book and said, “Sorry, but the hotel is full.”

“But your sign says that you have vacancies,” said the lady.

The desk clerk stammered and then said curtly, “We do not admit Jews.”

“I’ll have you know I converted to your religion,” she said.

The clerk said, “Oh, yeah, let me give you a little test. How was Jesus born?”

“He was born to a virgin named Mary in a little town called Bethlehem. And he was born in a manger,” she said.

“That’s right,” said the hotel clerk. “And why was he born in a manger?”          

“Because,” the Jewish lady said, “a jerk like you in the hotel wouldn’t give a Jewish lady a room for the night!”

CONGRATS … To Luciano Del Signore on his birthday … To Joan Zager on her birthday … To Ruth Talmer on her birthday. 

Danny’s email address is

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