Sans Prétention: Mikette’s Approachable French Cuisine

. October 1, 2016.
food2

Run by owners of Mani Osteria and Isalita, French restaurant Mikette, living in the repurposed shell of a garden-variety chain restaurant, might deceive prospective guests driving past on Plymouth Rd. A double-take is enough to notice that Mikette isn’t the kind of place that’ll prompt jibes from big city-residing friends, mostly because spotting approachable French cuisine in America takes a degree of finesse.

The interior space is adorned with the kinds of quintessentially Français knick knacks harkening between Ratatouille and “A Moveable Feast” – a polished café atmosphere with dark-stained wood panelling and burnt-red accents exudes a vaguely Parisian feeling.

food4

For people acquainted with French food, ordering escargot ($12) may seem pedestrian, but ordering the dish in North Ann Arbor is equivalent to loosening one’s tie and belting karaoke before your co-workers in the audience. The Mikette kitchen understands this and compliments the shell-on protein with a melted hazelnut-butter pond nuanced with Chartreuse and button mushrooms.

Contrast the escargot with raw half-shell oysters, shelled creatures more Americans are comfortable eating. Though both East- and West-Coast varieties are listed on the menu, this particular night only Atlantic-raised selections were offered (still over 600 miles away). The oysters boasted a tastefully, subtle brine and proved a refreshing palate cleanser before the array of rich dishes that followed.

food

Beef Bourguignon ($17) with red wine-braised short rib, mushrooms, root vegetables and bacon glowed with complex flavors. The addition of bacon rounded out the sweet red wine sauce with a smokey porcine finish that coated the tender bits of beef.

The Moroccan-spiced lamb meatball ($10) with cumin yogurt, dill and mint accounted for a surprising flavor explosion that, while delightful, was perhaps evidence of a chef trying a little too hard.

Steak Frites ($21) a seared section of thick-cut hangar steak, maitre d’ hotel butter and a side of au poivre sauce ($1) is served with fries cut into crispy golden cords. The server revealed that the kitchen sears the steak in a high-temperature butter bath before pulling the meat from the heat. The steak’s brown crust visually contrasted with its medium-rare center while the au poivre sauce provided a  peppery citrus kick.

food3

Other menu highlights include a friendly wine selection, featuring some upmarket bottles, as well as the choose-three cheese board ($14).

Mikette’s unspoken emphasis on approachability shines most notably through thoughtful renditions of French kitchen classics – high-end flash tempered by agreeable menu price points. At Mikette, it would be easy to imagine yourself lounging on a cobblestone street in Paris — until you look outside and see Plymouth Rd.

Trending

Laith Al-Saadi & Friends – Annual Birthday Bash

It goes without saying that Laith Al-Saadi is a treasure of the Ann Arbor music community. But if you haven’t yet experienced this bipedal force of nature with his signature beard, shredding guitar, and astonishing singing voice, then clear your schedule next Saturday… Laith Al-Saadi’s Annual Birthday Bash Sept 29 The Michigan Theater 8pm INFO

Grove Studios Grand Opening

If you’ve been following the pages (printed or online) of Current this past year, then you’ve probably heard a bit about Grove Studios already. Grove is a grassroots effort to provide musicians and artists from all around the Detroit metro area and western Washtenaw County a rehearsal and creative space for their work and development.

Audiotree Music Festival (Kalamazoo) – Sept 22/23

The Audiotree Music Festival returns to Kalamazoo’s Arcadia Creek Festival Place next Saturday and Sunday. The lineup features more than 20 artists, including Father John Misty, Khruangbin, Chicano Batman, Diet Cig, and many more! While the names we dropped in the previous paragraph are nationally renowned artists signed on to notable labels like Sub Pop or

saajtak featured among a genre defying lineup at blind pig – sept 13

  Genres are irrelevant. No one proves that assertion better than Detroit’s saajtak. Formed five years ago at U-M’s School of Music, saajtak’s made quite an impression with their stormy fusion of free jazz, noise experimentation, electronica, space-rock and opera. Their newest EP, Hectic, came out earlier this summer. Hectic EP by saajtak Thurs, Sept 13 saajtak