Executive Chefs Aldo Ottaviani, Milos Cihelka and Leopold Schaeli
Left to Right: Executive Chefs Aldo Ottaviani, Milos Cihelka and Leopold Schaeli. (Photos courtesy of Tributes.com, Book cover, Schoolcraft College)

Under the prestigious Golden Mushroom, the Mushroom Cellar was much more than just a downstairs to go to.

Dining in the cellar of a restaurant has a certain charm … and the Mushroom Cellar of the noted Golden Mushroom was in a class its very own.

Under the prestigious Golden Mushroom, with its own entrance off 10 Mile, Southfield, Mushroom Cellar was much more than just a downstairs to go to … and certainly upheld the high standards its upstairs grownup had earned.

Going down the Golden Mushroom stairs where walls were decorated by GM honors and awards, Mushroom Cellar was like a private club, although open to the public … It had been a banquet area until the spring of 1973, a year after opening of the Golden Mushroom … It became very popular after being converted into a cocktail lounge with banquet chairs and a stand-up bar.

The bar was a story in itself … where regular customers were recognized with bronze plaques … Owner Reid Ashton came up with the idea of remembering retiring customers, among others.

Shiitake mushroom on wooden table

The clubby New York-ish Mushroom Cellar wasn’t just another downstairs operation … It was comfortable, intimate and casual … Guests came in wearing anything from jeans and casual dresses to suits and sat amid high-backed padded booths.

There was all kinds of pizza and sandwiches … but also dinner courses of grilled chicken, rock shrimp, fettucine, broiled scrod, etc. … Also, lobster bisque, Golden Mushroom soup, etc. … And appetizers of house smoked salmon, escargots, oysters, salads and desserts and more.

There was its own wine list, and a bundle of single malt scotches, one of Michigan’s largest collection … Lunch from its own menu satisfied many … with a little bit of Golden Mushroom favorites.

Mushroom Cellar at Golden Mushroom had many well-groomed faces … and the necessary ingredients to stand on its own, but chose to be just a cozy, intimate bit with all the ingredients to stand on its own two feet as an excellent neighborhood spot to go to for a most inviting casual good time well spent.

WHEN TALK COMES turns to executive chefs, few restaurants can be classed with those many times heading the kitchens at Detroit and its suburban restaurants … Aldo Ottaviani, Milos Cihelka, Leopold Schaeli and others … They may have the higher educations, but their own out-of-the ordinary presentations are numerously of another world … Metro Detroit can and are mighty proud of them … They and many local chefs, although not masters, are also always looking for ways of improvement.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of Tampax and proceeded to the checkout counter …

The man at the counter asked the older boy, “Son, how old are you?”

“Eight,” the boy replied, “but these are for my brother. He’s four. We saw on television that if you use these you would be able to swim and ride a bike. He can’t do either one!”

CONGRATS … To Ray Horenstein on his birthday … To Joe Horenstein on his birthday.

Danny’s email address is dannyraskin2132@gmail.com.