Food & Drink

Midtown Detroit Is Cooking: Smith & Co. and Savant Restaurants Open

September 19, 2019, 3:01 PM

The open kitchen and a portion of counter seating at Savant on West Forest Avenue. (Photo: Facebook)

It's come to this: Restaurant launches in the former Cass Corridor are so numerous they bunch up.

First-nighters on Friday have a choice of two openings less than a mile apart -- Savant on West Forest Avenue and Smith & Co. on Selden Street.

"A new restaurant opening in Midtown is hardly news these days," Detroit News food writer Melody Baetens acknowledges near the top of a Thursday afternoon piece on Smith & Co.

Here's a look at each newcomer:


An exotic craft cocktail preview from Savant. (Photo: Instagram)

"French-inspired cuisine" and craft cocktails become available at 5 p.m. Friday to start a three-day "soft opening," owners Rebecca Wurster and chef Jordan Whitmore post. The official debut is next Tuesday evening at the former site of Bolero Latin Cuisine, 51 W. Forest Ave., just off Woodward.

Invitees got preview tastes Monday and Tuesday at staff training nights.

Eater Detroit editor Brenna Houck writes Thursday:

Expect a mix of French and classic American dishes such as creme brulee with candied mint, croissant biscuits and gravy, vegan fruit carpaccio, gold leaf-flecked caviar with champagne, and foie gras eclairs with cognac, orange blossom, lavender. 

A classic neon sign stays in place.

Smith & Co.

Friday's opening is confirmed on Facebook, where its About page says "Opened on September 20" and a post teases: "We hope you don't have plans this weekend . . . because we have something in store for you." 

This newcomer gets its name and 1917 building from the former Smith Welding Supply & Equipment Co. That predecessor's vintage neon sign hangs on the 644 Selden St. facade in an area evolving from gritty to gastronomic.

Smith & Co. will serve dinner daily, plus brunch and lunch on weekends.

The 160-seat restaurant includes a 19-seat concrete bar and courtyard patio, Houck writes earlier. The chef is Greg Antioho, formerly of Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery in Ann Arbor.

The airy dining room at Smith & Co. (Photo: Instagram)


Its menu has six small plates ($12-$14), four salads ($13-$16; extra for tofu, chicken or steak options) and four sandwiches ($15 fried chicken, $16 for waygu burger, braised lamb gyro or corned beef). 

Six entrées are $22-$27:

  • Michigan rainbow trout

  • Pan-seared chicken

  • Carne asada bowl

  • Steak frites

  • Fried chicken bowl

  • Shrimp and grits

There also are four desserts ($7-$10) and beer (19 on tap), wine, cocktails.

Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. 

Architectural rendering of the makeover at a 1917 industrial supply building on Selden Street, an area changing from gritty to gastronomic. (Illustration: Smith & Co.)

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