It only took us three months. About the only restaurant recommendation that I’ve gotten since we moved here was Food Dance. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the place and have really been looking forward to it, but every time I look at the menu online, my credit card jumps out of my pocket and goes off to hide somewhere.
Today, J and I loaded up our first Christmas tree and took it down to the Farmer’s Market for recycling. Since we were near downtown anyway, J suggested Food Dance. I didn’t argue because I’ve been really wanting to check it out.
Food Dance is on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Pitcher Street in the Central Business District. It’s a great looking old building that has been repurposed into a cafe and market. There are a couple dedicated parking lots. One is behind the building. The other is across the street. Being a Saturday afternoon, there wasn’t much activity downtown so we found a spot on the street just a half a block away.
There are two entrances to the building as well. One is on the front corner of the building. When you enter at this door, you come right into the cafe. The other entrance is off the back parking lot and this brings you into the market area. The hostess station sits between the two entrances. We entered in the front and walked through the dining room to get seated.
There are several seating options in the large dining space. They have a bar area near the hostess station with some pub tables. There’s also another room on the north side of the building with quite a few tables. We were seated in the first dining area at a table for two that sat in the middle of the room. We had large booths for six on one side and smaller booths on the other.
Our waiter came for drink orders and neither of us looked at the expansive drink menu. They have a number of wines and cocktails, but we both went with our regular Pepsi’s. We went back and forth on lunch. J saw about five things that she wanted and so did I. I was determined that one of us was getting the Mac & Cheese. If she went with a sandwich, I was getting it. If she wanted it, I would get a burger. When the waiter came back with our drinks, I still don’t think J had completely decided, but she ordered anyway.
She went with a sandwich and got The Chicken Dance which is Otto’s chicken, applewood smoked bacon, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, cheddar, and a chipotle mayo on Zingerman’s bread. She left the onions off and pulled most of the tomatoes off when she got the sandwich. She took one bite and knew she made the right choice. The cheese was a white cheddar and it was perfect with the sliced breast meat. She said the Chipotle mayo had just a slight kick to it. She absolutely loved the bread. It was a delicious, toasted piece of Zingerman’s best. Her sandwich came with choice of side. She opted for the french fries and also added a side salad at an additional cost. The fries were absolutely perfect. They reminded me of a greasy hot dog joint in Chicago. They are fresh-cut and slightly greasy which I think is a great thing and J agreed. They were also pretty heavy on the salt which reiterated the Chicago feel. Usually, J’s not a fan of limp french fries, but these were so good it was hard not to like them. The salad, which came out first, was a bed of mixed greens, carrot strips, croutons and a cucumber. She went with the house dressing which was a basil vinaigrette. Again, she finished everything on her plate and had nothing but positive to say about it.
Since J got the sandwich, I got the Classic Mac & Cheese. The noodles are billed as “Macaroni from Tuscany.” They are nice big tubes that are cooked al dente then covered with a Black Diamond 24 month aged cheddar and cream sauce then topped with toasted bread crumbs. I was in heaven. The pasta was a perfect match for the thick, creamy sauce. Again, it was a white cheddar cheese and there was a lot of it. J said there might have been too much cheese had she ordered it, but I loved it. I “accidently” dropped a few of her french fries in the leftover sauce when I was done to make some cheese fries. J compared it to the Mac & Cheese she had at Roast in Detroit which she still calls the best Mac & Cheese she’s ever had. I would call the Food Dance Mac & Cheese the best I have ever had. It was a large portion that was perfect for a big eater like myself. The side item for the dish is limited to only a side salad which I had with the low-fat peppercorn parmesan dressing. I surprised myself in eating the whole plate of salad. I’m more of a meat eater than a veggie eater, but I really liked this simple salad.
We were both stuffed after the entrees and passed on dessert. When the check was set down, my heart did skip a few beats like I always imagined it would. Our bill, before tip was $35. That is quite a bit more than I like to spend on lunch. I usually like to stay in the $20 range, but I will say, the food was worth it. I’m not complaining about the price because Food Dance uses local, fresh, sustainable ingredients and it really shows. The food is amazing and there’s no way I would expect a meal of that quality for the price I like to pay.
We loved Food Dance. If I could afford it, I would eat every meal there. We’re more pizza and pub food people, but it’s really nice every once in a while to eat at a place that serves up quality food in a great atmosphere.