Remembering Our Beginning at Fillipis Wine Barrel

One of our first dates was at Filippa’s Wine Barrel in Shelby Township. Our first time there we cozied up in wrap around booth for 2, shared some appetizers, had a few drinks and had a really nice time. Not sure if it was the restaurant, or the great company we were sharing. Either way, we decided on a whim to go back again.

This day, July 2, 2017 was a warm beautiful summer day. We chose a table on the small patio out back. Now the patio is a much more casual setting than the white table clothed, candle lit tables inside. The tables are simple wrought iron mesh tables, and simple bistro style chairs. Simple umbrellas surrounded by lush greenery for privacy and an outdoor fully stocked bar.

We started our evening with a couple cocktails, enjoying conversation and the relaxing atmosphere of the patio. We both ordered the “house specialty” Prime Rib, along with Caesar salad and baked potato. The Caesar salad, was decent, lacking that extra tang from fresh anchovy and lemon, but good nonetheless. The prime rib was disappointing as both our meals were grossly overcooked. A prime rib cooked anymore than medium rare is simply a travesty. The baked potato was underwhelming as well, but in all seriousness, what do you expect from a baked potato with a bit of butter and dollop of sour cream.

When desert rolled around, as usual Omar and I were simply too full to order. At this point, a light rain started to fall. We decided to wrap up our dinner quickly before the sky opened up and soaked us.

Overall, Filippa’s Wine Barrel is a nice restaurant, the staff is always friendly and although our meal was overcooked that evening, we have had good food in the past.

If you have not visited this restaurant, it is worth a trip. Keep expectations at a minimum and enjoy the nice patio on a sunny summers day.

More valleys than hills

I decided to try something different for dinner tonite. My beautiful hottie (Jen) and I went to Tre Monti in Troy.  Now I scoped it out on line and they had a cocktail hour from 5-7 Tuesday -Friday.  Now most places that tout some type of happy hour, have a  limited number of items and drinks on special. This place was no different. When Jen and I arrived, at 5 pm, it was clear that they just opened. The staff seemed confused as to where to seat us. I said, we are here for happy hour can we sit on the patio and we were told no because there was a wine tasting party later. So, we sat at the bar instead. Then just as someone handed us a menu, they said that we could sit outside after all. So we got up and were escorted to the patio.

Now, the patio was very spacious and resembled a courtyard with lots of flora including an abundance of Hydrangeas. We were the only ones out there. The waiter, David came over quickly and took our order. Jen and I wanted to stick with the cheaper happy hour menu. Jen asked for a Mojito but David said that they don’t make those. So she then switched to a Dewars and ginger ale. I asked for a chilled gin martini with 3 anchovy stuffed olives. Now, when the drinks came, we couldn’t wait to sample cuz as y’all know it was hot today. Jens cocktail tasted odd and looked watered down. My martini was equally disappointing. It bordered on a being a flavorless mixture of average hooch just thrown together. Certainly not the punch of the Bombay Sapphire Gin that was touted to be in it.

Now came our entrees/apps. We split a small Caesar salad that was served in a Parmesan bowl. I believe all you Italians call this Fricco. Its kind of a cheesy cracker. Now that was damn good, while the salad was tasty but not worth the 15 dollars.  Jen ordered  a meat ravioli in a Bolonese sauce,while I ordered the prime burger. Now I asked the server David, how big was the burger and he said 10 ounces. Of course I knew that a burger for 9 dollars on a happy hour menu wasnt going to be 10 oz. And when it came I was right, more like 4 oz. This prime burger came topped with spinach, pancetta and Gorgonzola all on a toasted bun. Sounds interesting right? It actually was a cacophony of dissonant flavors that didn’t work at all. The cheese over powered everything, couldn’t taste the meat much, and as we all know, the star of any burger should be the beef patty.

Jens ravioli was just okay. Now I am not Italian, but no way in hell Nona would let that leave her cucina. Less than enamored with our first cocktails we decided to switch to beer. So we ordered two Peronis, a good Italian pale lager. David took our order and then came back saying that they didn’t have any, even though he suggested it. We asked about any draft beers and he said they don’t serve any. He then suggested  a different Italian beer, Menabrea. This beer is similar to Peroni, beautiful Jen and I both agreed it was good.

In summary, the ambiance was wonderful,the beer was good and the service was excellent. The food was mediocre and even though we ordered off the limited happy hour menu, it doesn’t mean the taste has to be limited as well. I have been to plenty of places that have upscale happy hours and basically, they serve their same food just smaller portions at reduced prices. We probably wont be returning anytime soon, unless we feel compelled to drink beer and look at a nice garden. But I guess we can do that in our own backyard. Buona sera paisanos!