Monday, August 29, 2011

5 Great Restaurants a Walk from Ashley Terrace

Options for condo living in downtown Ann Arbor just expanded with the new condo listings for sale at Ashley Terrace condominiums in downtown Ann Arbor After the the unsold condos went into foreclosure, an investor purchased the remaining Ashley Terrace units from Bank of America to sell— all with fantastic downtown amenities and within walking distance of several restaurants. Anyone living at the 99-unit high-rise on the corner of Huron Street and Ashley Street also has the option to expand his or her taste palate with many restaurants only a couple blocks away. Five eateries below are guaranteed to be worth leaving your new condominium for an hour or two:

This wine bar and restaurant, 110 S. Main St., is owned and operated by the Jonna family, who believes wine should complement the cuisine. John, the patriarch, operated the Merchant de Vino wine store for more than 40 years and has traveled the world, sampling wine and food, said co-owner and youngest son, Vincent. “He wants to make the whole purpose wine-friendly world cuisine,” he explained. Vincent’s sister, Kristin, also brings her knowledge of wine to the table. Together, the family and chef Jim Leonardo, create a unique dining experience with options like Sous-vide short ribs (the meat is vacuumed-sealed for three days to protect the juices) and “Castaway,” a shell made of coconut ice cream and covered in chocolate that resembles an island delicacy. These rare treats combined with local jazz every Thursday and happy hour (Monday-Friday, 4-6 p.m.) deals on sliders, shortbread pizza and pints of draft beer make Vinology a can’t-miss location for anyone on the Ann Arbor scene. “We’re incredibly versatile and always trying the new and exciting. What more could you ask for?” Vincent asked.

the Earle on Washington in Downtown Ann Arbor
The Earle
The 30-plus-year-old establishment, 121 W. Washington St., specializes in both Italian and French cuisine. The brick exterior combined with the intimate setting creates a romantic atmosphere, said owner, Dennis Webster, who was one of the original partners. Whether restaurant-goers want a more casual dining experience at the bar or a more high-end one in the dining room, Webster emphasized, “We’ll find a spot for you either way.” Solo jazz performers frequent The Earle Tuesday through Thursday, starting at 7 p.m., while a trio plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. If the music doesn’t tempt you, the seasonal entrées like duck with peaches, brandy and currants for late summer will. The Earle also serves favorites like beef tenderloin with Roquefort and a side of potatoes. Chef Shelley Adams ensures these favorites remain consistent and high in quality and has done so for thirty years, Webster said.

The Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant
The Blue Nile, 221 E. Washington St., “will be your favorite place” after long, said owner, Habte Dadi. The restaurant offers Ethiopian delicacies that are often shared like Injera, bread made without dairy and eggs, special tea and several lamb, chicken and vegetable dishes. Catering and space for special events is also available. Ashley Terrace dwellers looking for a drink after work can also check out Blue Nile’s beer and honey wine selection, Dadi said. In addition, the menu offers the “Ethiopian Feast” and “Vegetarian Feast,” which give patrons a chance to try all the dishes.

Grizzly Peak on Washington in Downtown Ann Arbor
Grizzly Peak Brewing Company
The pub, 120 W. Washington St., is located in a 100-year-old building and touts itself as “authentic wet goods” supplier, according to its website. Grizzly Peak brews and offers specialty beers, including the “Bear Paw Porter,” made with chocolate malts and “Steelhead Red” with caramel notes. Bar favorites like burgers and pizza appear on the menu as do one-of-a-kind items like polenta fries and butternut squash ravioli. Finish off the meal with a throwback to the past: a root-beer float or some cherry bread pudding.

Pacific Rim by Kana
What started off as the small family restaurant, Kana, is now an upscale, dining location, 114 W. Liberty St., offering many Asian specialties, according to its website. The chef, Duc, doesn’t label his food as fusion, but as Western and Asian in its own right. This means patrons can choose from items like tuna tartare with taro chips, five-spice duck and even crème brulee. Don’t forget about the drink menu—the kana ginger tea is brewed all day long while manhattans come in a fig-coriander variation.

When your stomach’s full after dinner and it’s time for the long drive home, think back to the billboards: if you lived here, you’d be home by now. And if you purchase an Ashley Terrace condominium, you could not only have a view of the Huron River and a great meal, but a bed within walking distance of some of the best downtown restaurants.

For up to the minute details about condominiums for sale in downtown Ann Arbor,  Contact Andy Piper 734-604-8242

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