By Lindsey Shaw
From ancient Rome to modern day Detroit, SheWolf will rock your taste buds. Opening late summer 2018, SheWolf Detroit is an Italian classic in the Detroit restaurant scene. If you were a fan of Larco’s and Roma Café back in the day, this spot is its modern contemporary. Chef Anthony Lombardo and owners took research trips to Rome and Italy for inspiration. Rome’s Roscioli Salumeria restaurant was one of the inspirational restaurants for SheWolf.
SheWolf is in the Selden Corridor of Midtown, around the corner from Masonic Temple. The restaurant sits within a 3,300-square-foot space with 90 seats and a 30-seat outdoor patio for the warm months. SheWolf boasts a warm sexy contemporary atmosphere where you want to dress to impress because it’s likely you’ll run into a few friends. However, it is Detroit and you can easily show up in your favorite sports team gear and still blend in.
You’ll definitely want to make reservations in advance. If you are not able to snag a reservation, I would recommend showing up close to when they open and be flexible with landing on a seat at the U-shaped bar. This restaurant is on the louder side even with sound cushions on the ceiling.
What makes SheWolf unique is the open kitchen where you can witness the pasta-making in action. Chef Lombardo made the decision to mill heritage whole-wheat flour in-house, giving restaurant-goers the freshest, highest quality, purest tasting pasta. Only the finest of the fine is served.
Classic top shelf cocktails are flowing, and the drink menu highlights spritzes, vermouth ’tinis, and a strong wine list. There is aperol spritz on draft. With your first sip, you are transported to a summer’s night in Italy.
The menu is sectioned off into Blue Steel Focaccia, Crudi, Antipasti (aka Apps), Pastas (Roman pastas, whole wheat extruded pasta, finely milled durum and egg pastas), Secondi (carne + pesce, meat and fish options) and, lastly, Contorni Di Verdue, aka Veggie Sides. The Lombardia Focaccia is bread worth indulging in. The Crudi, Antipasti and Veggie sides are changing a few times a season, giving you the freshest product.
The menu hosts a pasta family tree — where the simplest of pasta is at the top, and it works its way down with new ingredients. There are 10 different pastas to order with and without gluten, dairy, tomatoes or meat. The portion sizes are like that of Italy, not America. You may be a little plate shocked during your first experience. Cacio e Pepi and Carbonara are two of the most classic Roman-style pastas. I like to go half-size with my dining partners.
Delicious doesn’t even cut it for my feelings on the Orata pesce (whole-roasted sea bream) option. It has lemon wedges within and the flakey pieces of fish easily slide off the bones. The eyeballs and head are included on the fish so if this freaks you out, say something before it arrives at the table. With its menu being rather pricey, this destination is perfect for a special evening.
All in all, you cannot go wrong on what you order at SheWolf Detroit.