The French-influenced Bistro 82 is still drawing new customers.

By Danny Raskin

When a restaurant is still drawing new faces going into its fifth year, you know that it must have been doing something right … Five years in the dining business is considered by many as the coveted amount of time agreed upon and ultimate emblem of its success.

Bistro 82, owned by Aaron F. Belen on the southeast corner of Lafayette and Fourth, Royal Oak, has reached that pinnacle in celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Noted, among other items, for its excellent taste stylings of French onion soup dumpling appetizers … plus steak frites, free range organic brick chicken, salmon succotash, roasted mushrooms, an excellent filet, etc., among many choice menu selections that include numerous French influences … Bistro 82 is seeing both new and old customers … Its dedication to the ultimate in elegant cuisine has never wavered in those five years.

via Bistro 82 Facebook

Much credit must go to Executive Chef Derik Watson, whose pan-roasted cobia and beignets, among numerous new dishes like Scallops Carpaccio, pasta Bolognese and Seafood Melange, etc., are highly received.

Doing its own baking from start to finish, including breads and pastries, gives Bistro 82 added touches of choice … As do the intimacy and style of an interior photographer based in France whose works are well noted.

Seating at Bistro 82 numbers 163, with 18 stools at its bar … Hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 4-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 4-11 p.m., Sunday, 4-9 p.m.

To celebrate a successful fifth anniversary with so dedicated a degree of well-noted dining consistency is something to be proud of … To see the smiles of constantly returning guests is a blessing … Aaron F. Belen and his staff are seeing them all.

via Bistro 82 Facebook

THINGS PEOPLE HATE and love … They rarely go back to restaurants too dark to read the menu … And they love servers who flash that little flashlight in helping customers scan the bill of fare.

MAIL DEPT. … From Jon Mandel … Does the cook at the Golden Bowl Chinese Restaurant in Oak Park know that it may be against the liking of health officials for him to smoke while cooking? And does anyone know where I can get information about Infants Service Group? I am Eleanor Riseman’s grandnephew and would love to know about her and the organization’s history. Call me at (248) 250-3788 or email me at

BIG FARCE IS THAT any woman who throws a successful dinner party or man who can grill many steaks to perfection on a barbecue grill have all the necessary talents to open a restaurant … The restaurant business has many sides to it and cooking is just a part of it … Ask the man or woman who owns one … or did.

REMINDER DEPT. …The newly named 29th Annual Hank Greenberg Memorial Golf and Tennis Invitational looks en route to a sellout … The event on Monday, June 3, will have breakfast and registration at 9 a.m. … Golf begins at 11 a.m. … Tennis is from 1-4 p.m. at Franklin Country Club … Dinner and sports panel will include baseball hall-of-famer Jack Morris plus Detroit Pistons announcer George Blaha with emcee ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap … Call Sari Cicurel, executive director, Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation office, (248) 592-9323 or email scicurel@ for info.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … The gentleman’s dog had passed away. He was so attached to it that he went to his rabbi and asked if the rabbi would say Kaddish for his dog. The rabbi said, “No, we only say Kaddish for humans, no animals. However, there is a new congregation two blocks down the street from here. You could ask them if they will bless your dog.” The man thanked the rabbi and said, “Do you suppose they would also accept my donation of $75,000?” The rabbi said, “Hold it! Come back! You didn’t tell me the dog was Jewish!”

CONGRATS … To Betty Ellias on her birthday … To Elizabeth Applebaum on her birthday … To Marvin Chessler on his birthday … To Irving Waldman on his 29th birthday.

Danny’s email address is