Food,  Reviews

Rattlesnake Club – Detroit Restaurant Week Review

Our third and final meal for this year’s spring restaurant week is The Rattlesnake Club. It’s located in the Stroh’s 300 River Place building, which is a recognized historic site. The restaurant has been operating here since 1988 and is named for the buzzing energy of its kitchen.

For this trip we took my parents out with us, as it’s not often the two of them get such an extravagant meal out.

The handrails are a long rattlesnake.

They have a great patio area available, which overlooks the riverfront. It was a bit too windy and cool yet to use though.

We sat down and looked over the menu – not that we hadn’t studied it plenty online already.

We passed the time with some photos. :D

We started with fresh hot rolls that came with a large square of butter. I neglected to ask, but I believe these were a olive wheat bread.

Lemons for mom’s water

Another meal, another Shirley Temple.

We placed our orders – appetizer choices were Kale and Goat Cheese Salad and Poached and Panko-breaded Organic Egg

The salad was interesting. I found the kale (my first time having it) to be pokey, for lack of a better term. The red pieces were crunchy like a root vegetable, so I’m not sure what they were. All in all, the flavors were nice, but the kale texture was so very different I had trouble finishing it.

Prepared with pickled watermelon relish, pine nuts and garlicky dressing

I don’t know how you do it – but this is exactly what it says. A perfectly poached egg with a slightly runny center that is breaded in panko. It all mingled wonderfully with the nutty farro risotto and Chris had no problem cleaning his plate.

Served with watercress and farro risotto

For the main course Mom and Chris settled on the Smoked Paprika- and Rosemary-crusted C.A.B. Strip Loin. Dad picked the Pan-seared Steelhead Trout and I the Butter-poached Lobster Tail and Claw.

The strip loin was pronounced quite chewy – especially given how rare it was. It had a side of horseradish remoulade type sauce (it wasn’t mentioned on the menu), that couldn’t compare in flavor and lightness to the Whitney. The potatoes were ok, but not fantastic.

Herb-tossed and served with twice-roasted new potatoes

Dad’s trout was phenomenal. It had the flakey texture of salmon, and was very mild. The thai vegetables were just the right spice to not overwhelm.

Served with Thai-spiced vegetables and mango vinaigrette

My dish was wonderful as well – though the pasta was rather dry and I had to request more sauce. The lobster was creamy in the best way. Not in that watery overdone texture but in this butter-infused blissful way. I could have eaten a second plate! :drool:

Served with capellini pasta and leak-tarragon cream sauce

Then it was time for dessert – it was 2 and 2 for the Popcorn Parfait and Ice Cream Sandwich.

The ice cream was very good. It did not have any actual popcorn in it (almost a shame, as I pictured it having Better Made Caramel Corn Puffs in it), but rather the ice cream was infused with a salty buttery flavor and you got a hint of popcorn while eating.

Buttered popcorn ice cream, served with caramel and chocolate sauces, with a cream soda splash

The ice cream sandwich was excellent. Dad polished his off and he’s not usually a big eater, so finishing his main course and dessert speaks volumes to both. The cookies were divine – just the right blend of lemon and ginger to make you go “what is that flavor?” and the strawberry rhubarb ice cream matched perfectly. We may need to track down where those cookies come from and order a batch! :D

Lemon-ginger cookie, with strawberry-rhubarb ice cream

Despite the few hits for the night, overall Chris and I were disappointed in the experience here. We’ve been once before for their normal menu and had amazing food, wonderful service, and a lovely atmosphere. Tonight it was noisy, the waitstaff was inattentive (there was a table with a group of people who appeared to have deeper pocketbooks that our waiter hovered over the entire time), and the food was not entirely up to par. We agreed that if this was our first impression of the place we would not be back. :/

Given the similarities in prices we’d probably take the Whitney over this, unless there was something specific on the menu here we really desired. At the very least, I know not to dine during Restaurant Week again (or at least lower my expectations).


  • Heather

    I love your food reviews!

    I’m thinking I’d probably like your Dad’s dish the best, based on your descriptions XD Yours looks pretty dang good too. The steaks look good… but too chewy is not fun at all.

    • Melanie

      Thank you!

      I am a fan of almost all seafood, and yes, mine was slightly disappointing in the overall dish compared to his. ;) Still, if you offered me a plate of that lobster I’m not saying no.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *