In less than a week, Arts, Beats and Eats takes center stage in downtown Royal Oak. And if there’s one thing you can count on, there will be plenty of good food. I enjoyed an appetizer of the “eats” portion of the festival last week at Arts du Jour. Fifty of metro Detroit’s finest restaurants, caterers and more provided samples for all who attended.
There were several standouts.
Prime 29 Steakhouse went all out, featuring filet mignon sliders with a creamy horseradish sauce, and plump grilled shrimp with a tangy zip sauce. The shrimp were outstanding. Hamlin’s Corner, a fairly new addition to the Royal Oak dining scene, offered a house smoked chicken salad on tortilla with grilled roasted corn, and a mint basil chimichurri.
Royal Oak’s Town Tavern was back with their dreamy lobster mac and cheese. I wanted to go back for more, but resisted, so as to have room for Reuben sliders from Ferndale’s One Eyed Betty’s. Crispelli’s of Berkley brought their prosciutto carpaccio salad with arugula, white beans, and some thinly shaved Romano cheese.
Southfield’s Beans and Cornbread offered rib pieces and signature cornbread, served up with a smile. And speaking of comfort food, Black Finn’s bacon wrapped meatloaf was a pleasant surprise. Following along the comfort food theme, Polish Village Café offered a trio of their delicious pierogies. With an eye on saving room for other things, I stuck with one potato pierogi that hit the spot. Grand Trunk Pub cured my comfort food craving with two dishes, a shepherd’s pie that had a meaty richness balanced nicely with creamy mashed potatoes and corn, and for dessert, a bourbon bread pudding. Divine.
There was a lot of pulled pork at Arts du Jour, notables included Ye Old Saloon and Thibault & Moore Catering. But the best bbq of the evening was none other than Lockhart’s Royal Oak, which offered two kinds of homemade sausage, and their burnt ends. I may have gone back for a second helping.
And possibly my favorite spot of the evening—Lilly’s Seafood, offered pork belly over mushrooms, shrimp on toast with a blueberry jam, and a scallop ceviche which was out of this world.
I stayed away from dessert, with the exception of the bread pudding above, and Café Muse’s butterscotch pudding with crumbled bacon. Two great tastes on their own—combined to make magic.
Ten nonprofit organizations are slated to receive 75 percent of the proceeds from Arts du Jour, and event attendees were able to choose which of those organizations their ticket benefits. The 16th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats, Oakland County's Taste, Music & Arts Festival, will be held over Labor Day weekend in downtown Royal Oak, August 30 – September 2, 2013. The event is presented by FirstMerit Bank. Nearly 400,000 visitors attended the 2012 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats in its third year in Royal Oak. Follow Arts Beats & Eats on Facebook and Twitter @artsbeatseats. For additional information, visit www.artsbeatseats.com or call 248-541-7550.