The Whittier at the River Hotel
The Whittier at the River Hotel (Ebay)

It was one of Detroit’s most glamorous dating spots.

Looking back to the future … Many may recall when James Beard, author, chef, etc., named his four cities with top restaurants he would stop at … New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Detroit.

He also told of his secondary choices … like the Whittier Hotel’s Gold Cup Room … one of Detroit’s most glamorous, which he said might be the equal to New York and Chicago’s finest in the points of luxury and service and possessed a smaller but equally good menu.

When the Gold Cup Room was originally flourishing, it served as a sort of club for all young men and their pretty companions.

Many suburbanites had their first date at the Gold Cup, swaying to the very danceable music of its owner Charles Costello … who then went on a remodeling campaign.

The new room was much bigger than the old place but retained the same posh intimacy it enjoyed since it originally opened.

The Gold Cup Room Menu

Among other things, the Whittier got a new all stainless-steel kitchen, something the old room lacked.

One of the most important parts of any restaurant was being under the direction of a wonderful chef who had been at other fine eateries.

In many months, he and the maitre d’ at the Gold Cup, who started there as a busboy and had never worked anyplace else, introduced a magnificent flaming dish that many of those who were there will never forget … It was a sliced tenderloin cooked in a wine sauce and garnished with red button mushrooms.

The flaming meal was not only spectacular but probably served the very practical function of being kept warm … One of the gents also added that they had never lost a customer or waiter to this pyre, but the dancing flames suggested a bottle of Bordeaux or Burgundy to the diners or diners.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … The first Jewish president of the United States calls his mother in Queens and invites her for the holiday … “I’d like to,” she said, “but it’s so much trouble. First I have to get a cab to the airport, and I hate waiting on Queens Boulevard.”

“Mom! I’m president of the United States! I’ll send Air Force One!” he said

“Yes, but when we land, I’ll still have to carry my luggage through the airport and try to find a cab …And you know what holiday crowds are like.”

“Mom! I’ll have a helicopter pick you up! You’ll go straight from the plane to my front lawn!”

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’d still need a hotel room. And hotels are so expensive, and they’re not like they used to be.”

“Ma! You’ll stay at the White House!”

“Well.” … She thinks for a while and sighs, “I guess. OK. I’ll come for you.”

That afternoon, she’s talking on the phone with one of her friends. “What’s new?” her friend asks.

“I’m visiting my son for the holiday,” she said.

“The doctor?”

“No, the other one.”

CONGRATS  To Kari Silver on her 30th birthday … To William “Billy” and Georgann Wolfe on their 57th anniversary.

Danny’s email address is