Above: Salmon Shisu Cuc
The iconic Peabody-Ford Mansion is a gorgeous presence in downtown Birmingham. While the exterior remains intact, the interior reveals its new identity as the restaurant Adachi.
Since August 2018, Adachi has impressed locals with eclectic Japanese-style fare and its classic ambiance. Michael Schlow is the face behind Adachi.
Schlow grew up in Brooklyn and now resides in Boston with his family. He started out as dishwasher at age 14, eventually becoming a renowned chef and restaurateur.
Foodies may recognize the restaurant mogul from TV programs such as Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and the Food Network. Schlow was also awarded “Best Chef in the Northeast” by the James Beard Foundation.
Local real estate developers Kenny Koza and Clint Mansour introduced Schlow to Birmingham. Even at first glance, Schlow immediately sensed there was potential.
“I have many friends who come from Metro Detroit, and they come from every walk of life — but the one thing they have in common is a deep love and sense of pride for their hometown, which I find incredibly attractive,” Schlow says.
With the help of Koza and Mansour, Schlow brought his vision of classy yet approachable Japanese cuisine to Birmingham’s vibrant restaurant scene.
Molly Allen, a designer based in Washington D.C., re-vamped the interior, adding deep blue hues and carved Japanese-style doors. A vibrant image of cherry blossoms adorns the ceiling in part of the dining room, adding a pop of color to the 65-seat space.
Upon being seated by the friendly hostesses, it’s easy to spot David Kraus, Adachi’s general manager, greeting guests and ensuring day-to-day operations are running smoothly.
Kraus hails from West Bloomfield and is thrilled to call Downtown Detroit his home after years of managing restaurants in Los Angeles.
The extensive menu is a collaboration between Schlow and Executive Chef Lloyd Roberts, who is well-versed in French and Asian cuisine. He worked alongside Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Southeast Asian-style Vong in New York and perfected his technique at Nobu restaurants around the globe.
One of the major highlights is the sushi bar, where chefs create a rotating array of creative maki and vegetarian rolls made to order. Diners can opt for either hand-rolled items or fresh nigiri and sashimi.
While many Metro Detroit spots offer sushi, Adachi is known for both traditional maki rolls such as spicy tuna, along with original creations like the salmon, shiso and cucumber roll that simply melts in your mouth.
For starters, the savory cucumber and kani crab salad with radish, wakame (seaweed) and sesame is a delicious option, along with the blistered shishito peppers. More petite, yet satisfying dishes on the menu are equally tempting. Stand-outs include the savory Kobe sliders topped with melted cheese and the tuna poke, served atop a slightly spicy edamame puree and crispy tempura flakes.
For visitors craving a more substantial meal, Roberts delivers on high-quality steak and fish entrees, along with Yakitori dishes involving grilled delicacies stacked neatly on skewers.
Rather than serving traditional Yakitori, Adachi’s rendition includes duck meatballs, octopus and crispy chicken skin teriyaki for an added “wow” factor.
While each dish is better than the next, the dessert selection is far from simplistic. A delicacy most diners won’t spot on many menus in town is the matcha-swirled cheesecake, which has just the right amount of bitterness to balance out the sweet notes.
Adachi’s beverage program is also enticing, featuring rare varieties of sake, craft cocktails, wine and beer. On the non-alcoholic front, Adachi offers a tempting selection of teas.
Starting in October, Adachi will open for lunch, easily becoming a staple for locals who work and live nearby.
As the restaurant continues to build its reputation, Schlow and his team are dedicated to offering a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
“We’re really excited for this opportunity, to learn more about the community and hopefully become an integral part of the culinary landscape,” he says.
325 S. Old Woodward Ave.,
Monday-Thursday 5-10 p.m. (bar open until 11 p.m.)
Friday & Saturday 5-10 p.m.
(bar open until midnight)