Why I Think Going To A Chef’s Table Is Totally Worth It

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It’s no question that the Apparatus Room has become a very popular destination for diners looking for an upscale dining experience.

It is one of my favorite recommendations when people ask me where to go for a nice meal.

Executive Chef Thomas Lents has created a great menu that is great for people with a variety of tastes.

But if you really want to get to know Chef Lents personal aesthetic when it comes to cooking, you need to pony up the money for an evening at his Chef’s Table.

I’m not going to lie. It costs a pretty penny at $175 per person plus an extra $95 if you want to add the wine pairing.

Some people might think that it is frivolous, but if you are a foodie or love to eat this is one of those things that you need to experience at least once.

Put it in the same bucket as going on a fancy staycation or a weekend in another town. It’s dinner as a show.

So, a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to dine at the Chef’s Table overlooking the Apparatus Room inside the Foundation Hotel.

It was exquisite.

It wasn’t just the food. Of course the food was amazing and the wine parings were great. But my favorite part of the evening was the stories behind the food.

With each course Chef Lents let us in on his thoughts about food sustainability, preparation, and cultivating relationships with people in the food business. You could feel the passion he had for food.

Bluefin tuna, kohlrabi with tomato ponzu

We learned why he swore he would never serve bluefin tuna again because it was over fished. But now someone has found a way to breed wild tuna, so he puts his name into a lottery each week to try and get it.

Or about how the butter he paired with the freshly milled whole wheat sourdough that came from a creamery in France. The butter is hand turned, and Chef Lents thinks this is the best butter in the world.

I’m not sure about that, but the gentleman across the table from me was eating it straight after each course.

I digress.

Chef Lents portioning the dover sole.

Beyond learning the story behind each dish you also get to watch Chef Lents prepare and plate the dishes. I was seated right next to the small kitchen, so I got to get up close and personal with the dover sole.

Going to the Chef’s Table also gives you an opportunity to get to dine with people you might not have ever met before.

The couple who was seated across from us were from Ann Arbor. They were young and hip and liked coming to the city to see all of the new things that are going on here. We talked about how much we like Bad Luck Bar.

There were also two couples down at the other end of the table that found a common thread because they were from Grosse Pointe. I was at the other end of the table so it would have been rude to shout “Hey, I’m a Blue Devil too!”

At the end of the evening each couple was presented with a gift bag with a loaf of the bread from the beginning of the meal and signed menus from Chef Lents.

The Chef’s Table at Apparatus Room is one of those things where I would save up my pennies to go to again.

The Chef’s Table occurs on Friday and Saturday nights at 6:00 p.m.

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