Toasted Oak Grill & Market in the Baronette Renaissance Detroit-Novi Hotel brings a medley of flavors to the table.
Upright, stamped barrels and vintage advertising signs — these decorative elements at Toasted Oak Grill & Market hearken back to America’s rural roots, when people thrived on wholesome meals made from scratch. Home-baking, canning, aging and curing were vital skills.—
Farm-to-table dining is a byword at Toasted Oak, a brasserie-style eatery within the Baronette Renaissance Detroit-Novi Hotel, near Twelve Oaks Mall. This is definitely not “hotel food.”
The vision of Toasted Oak, merging French cuisine with American, belongs to Executive Chef Ken Miller, 27. He’s a veteran of the firehouse-turned-restaurant Apparatus Room inside Detroit Foundation Hotel. Miller returned nearly two years ago to Toasted Oak, bringing his talent for creating imaginative and memorable fare, often with local ingredients.
A small market at the front entrance has refrigerated display cases filled with cheese from local dairy farms and charcuterie meat. Shelves hold wine and Michigan craft beer. Seating is available here and at a bar along the back wall.
Dining rooms offer an intimate ambiance. Features include recessed lighting, wainscoting below cream walls, chairs covered in brown leather or tartan plaid. The gray stacked-slate gas fireplace is two-sided and visible in the hotel’s lobby.
Service is another area where Toasted Oak excels. Knowledgeable server Kaitlin Marks guided my husband and me to items we’d enjoy.
First, fresh cornbread was delivered to the table on a wooden block, accompanied by soft, house-made butter.
The plate presentations were lovely. We tried three items from the “Starters” list. I ordered Roasted Yellow Beets. The dish has cherries, goat’s milk and a dark “soil,” composed of foraged mushrooms and barley. The Marinated Olives are seasoned with orange zest and thyme.
Sachetti Pasta is something special. The menu description mentions “beet-infused pea-herb filling, ramp (wild leek) emulsion, shaved radish and chickweed.” We devoured every morsel.
House-made Sausage & Dumplings is satisfying comfort food, also with sauerkraut and thinly-sliced apple. It’s on the “To Share” list, which includes a vegetarian Old Blue Flatbread Pizza.
Among the “Mains” entrees are 14-day Dry-Aged Duck, Trumpet Mushroom Scallops and Poached Seasonal Fish. A group might polish off the 34-ounce Tomahawk cut of American Wagyu Striploin ($215). Treated to a dry-aged miso rub, the meat is tender and delicious. I reveled in my smaller portion.
For “Sides,” Chef Ken triumphs with his Rose Fingerling Potatoes baked in hay(!). They’re served atop blended cultured cream, horseradish and chives. The odd-looking Roasted Carrots are the yummiest! These rainbow carrots come with goat butter, coriander and chamomile kombucha (fermented, slightly alcoholic and sweetened tea).
Food service at Toasted Oak starts with breakfast and includes a daily “happy hour” from 2-5:30 p.m. Try the gourmet desserts, too.
Toasted Oak Grill & Market
27790 Novi Road
Novi, MI 48377
$$$½ out of $$$$