Here's yet another reason to visit the Capitol Park enclave, west of Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit: A Lebanese restaurant just opened in the "increasingly food- and retail-heavy district," as Crain's puts it.
Leila is in the Farwell Building, a renovated 1915 landmark at 1249 Griswold St. It starts with dinner only and plans to add lunch in four weeks.
This is dining spot No. 3 run by Sameer Eid and his 39-year-old son Samy, owners of Phoenecia and Forest in Birmingham. Annalise Frank of Crain's talks with the younger partner:
"Leila is named after my mom, and more driven by the family meals that I grew up having. What's always separated Phoenicia from the pack is that we pride ourselves on, beyond just food, an overall experience ...
"What Leila is is kind of taking it to the next step. Trying to modernize some of the foods while staying true to the traditions. Getting more playful ... while being inviting."
The menu (excerpt below) has lamb, bronzino, ribeye, fish stew, quail, spaghetti, sea bass, ribs, soup, salads and lots of hot or cold Lebanese appetizers.
Beverages include 15 wines by the glass ($10-$28), 11 craft beers ($6-$12) and cocktails.
There are 130 seats, including 19 bar stools, and a private party space. A patio comes next summer. It takes reservations for dinner seven days a week and plans to add lunch Dec. 2.
The website so far just has these menu pages and a few others: