Danny Raskin: Historic Name, Modern Menu
The Caucus Club celebrates one year in business.
The revival of a Downtown Detroit legendary restaurant name marks its first anniversary with much applause.
Takeover of a coveted locale’s name and place is never easy … And the new Caucus Club at the same location in the Penobscot Building, Congress, Detroit, is not much different.
Gone are the many decorative keepsake treasures … along with the English Beefeater statue that greeted customers … and ceramic Toby coffee mugs and Tiffany lamps … However, the items that did much for atmosphere did little in the varied enhancement of its noted dishes of quality … Menus many times need changes in order to stay relevant … But favorite items like Caucus Club’s Braised Osso Buco, tableside Caesar salad, dry-aged Prime Tomahawk steak, filet mignon, Chicago-cut ribeye, yellow belly lake perch, etc., may never be altered and are still on the menu.
The new Caucus Club has also presented its fresh and own identity, which has been met with much satisfaction … Rather than being relegated to simply following a legend, it has presented its own version of dining goodness … And is well received in its own individuality by former and new culinary customers.
The new owners of Caucus Club, husband-and-wife team George and Alicia Sboukis, have already endeared themselves in the hearts of numerous people … They no doubt met many people who enjoyed the history of the former Caucus Club, which must give the Sboukis couple and their staff a proud feeling … “Alicia and I feel that it makes us better operators to know the history from people who actually lived it firsthand,” George says. “While some are nostalgic for the offerings of the past, most of them are happy to see that we have decided to take the restaurant into a modern and new direction while respecting its past history.”
George’s family are owners and operators of Louis’ Chop House in Chesterfield, Mich., where he was a partner for 20 years … George sold his share of the business to put money down on a loan for the Caucus Club rebuild … “I had no knowledge of its history when I first saw the space,” he says. “The more I learned, the more I fell in love with the thought of reopening the Caucus Club. I love the history of old Detroit in its heyday, the city that gave my immigrant father from Greece an opportunity to start a new life in the new world.”
George is his own chef and, on the weekends, is assisted by Chef Rick Hussey who had gone on to open his own restaurant … George’s wife, Alicia, is also a talented cook … In addition to helping him in the kitchen, she manages the dining room, coordinates private parties and occasionally works as a waitress.
Our excellent server, John Healy, is recognized from the former 1980s London Chop House days.
The new Caucus Club seats 150 in the dining room along with 13 stools at the bar … plus entertainment Wednesday through Saturday … Hours are Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday, 5-11 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Caucus Club is back again in name only … but well received with much goodness on its first anniversary … as a fine dining establishment of which to be proud.
READER MINI REVIEW … from Dennis Silber, Boca Raton, Fla. … “We’ve heard about it being the new hot spot for great dining and went there, coming away after a wonderful dining experience.
“Kitchen restaurant, 319 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, Fla., has been open for almost five years in a tucked-away strip mall out of the main flow of traffic. What makes this such a wonderful experience, aside from the unique layout, is the menu’s creativity. Our group started off with Crispy Eggplant with Roasted Peppers, Charred Corn & Crab Cake and Blue Beets in Walnut Oil.
“The entrees are generous and tasty-enough for sharing, Chicken Schnitzel under Fried Egg, 5-Spice Duck Breast, charred Filet of Beef. These five-star dishes are complemented with exceptional side dishes, dill-roasted cauliflower, butternut squash and Israeli salad.
“All made-in-house desserts are tempting, presentable, tasty and irresistible, Chocolate Pudding Pie, Apple Blueberry Crisp and its signature Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd.
“The special panache of this fine place is the owner/chef Matthew Bryne, who has the reputation of having been Tiger Woods’ personal chef for several years prior to opening Kitchen. The personnel, in our case, Jody, are personable, like family. Not to forget, this wonderful experience comes with a pricey evening. But every so often it is worth the splurge.”
OLDIE BUT GOODIE … An elderly lady is walking home from her garment industry job when suddenly a man who has been walking toward her stands in front of her and flashes her by opening his raincoat. She takes a look and says, “That, you call a lining?”
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CONGRATS … To Hedy Blatt on her birthday … To Ron Coden on his birthday… To Julian Katzman on his birthday.
Danny’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.