Our curated Dine & Drink picks for a night out this holiday season
The Hungarian Rhapsody
14315 Northline Rd., Southgate
The Hungarian Rhapsody offers a taste of the old country just in time for the holidays. “Our recipes have been passed down through generations, and we use only the freshest [ingredients] to bring to true authenticity to each and every dish,” says Jennifer Sullivan. During the holidays in particular, guests will find a variety of weekday and weekend specials that not only honor the season but also Hungarian tradition. “Throughout the holidays, we offer a la carte dishes such as shrimp and steak Budapest, chicken and veal paprikas, as well as several Hungarian style seafood entrees,” Stillman says. “The holidays are a time for robust meals that are homemade; this is what we offer our patrons. Our restaurant is warm and cozy in the fall [and] winter months, and people enjoy feeling like they step into another world with fresh home cooking and beautiful decorations.”
The Hungarian Rhapsody is open for both lunch and dinner. “We offer handcrafted Hungarian delights like goulash, of course, as well as traditional European-American options for lunch such as sandwiches and burgers. During dinner, you will find such hearty options as veal Magyarvary, which is very popular with our patrons,” explains Stillman.
The Hungarian Rhapsody also offers catering with all the trimmings for the holidays as well as private dining by reservation for large parties.
12245 Telegraph, Taylor
20155 Telegraph, Brownstown
Pete’s Place brings Michigan’s best together in two great locations. Known for its extensive local and national beer selections and its loaded baked potato soup, Pete’s Place has become the place for diners across Downriver.
“We are proud to offer five different soups made from scratch daily and our famous homemade chili, which is served in a fresh baked bread bowl made locally from Michigan Bread Company,” says owner Peter Ochab.
In addition to freshly prepared soups and bread bowl chili, Pete’s Place offers gluten-free ciders as well as standard imports and domestics. Not to be outdone by IPAs and seasonal beers, Ochab notes, “We also offer handcrafted cocktails featuring Valentine Vodka from Detroit and a house-made pineapple vodka infused martini. Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and nightly from nine p.m. until close.”
As a supporter of local talent, Pete’s Place hosts a local musician every Friday night at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sporcle Live Trivia every Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m.
Pete’s Place offers a full-service banquet room seating up to 40 guests at its Taylor location. The restaurant also has an extensive off-premise or pick-up catering menu available at petestogo.com
2922 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte
Nestled in downtown Wyandotte, German-style pub R.P. McMurphy’s overlooks the bustle of Biddle Ave.
It’s the perfect view during the holiday season, when lights and snowflakes transform Downriver into a winter wonderland. From the warmth of the dining room, where rich murals don the walls, guests can select from the wide variety of celebrated dishes that span from mussels, escargot, and salmon salad to New York strip, steak Debra, and a plethora of sandwich and burger selections.
Add to that list a collection of soups and sides, and one can understand why R.P. McMurphy’s is such a popular place to hole up and hide away from Michigan’s winter chill. It also makes for a festive gathering space. While the restaurant is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, the menu and atmosphere beckon families and groups alike to celebrate throughout the season. It also welcomes the new year with a specially designed menu on New Year’s Eve.
R.P. McMurphy’s is located in beautiful downtown Wyandotte.
Round House BBQ
2760 W. Jefferson Ave., Trenton
Barbecue never goes out of season, and the proof of that is the loyal following of Round House BBQ in Trenton. Round House BBQ has become a staple in the Downriver community when it comes to smoked ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked fish, and downright delicious chicken wings. “Our focus during the holiday season is on providing the same quality food that we do every season. Once the summer is over, we still have patrons who religiously make it to our breakfast for our legendary brisket hash omelets, Western skillet, or biscuits and gravy, you name it,” says owner Chris Hancock.
Round House BBQ is open year-round, but during the holidays, there is definitely a shift from outdoor patio patrons to catering and carryouts. “Catering for holiday parties, office functions, and home gatherings is what we do best during this time of year. Of course, we still have patrons who come in for a beer and barbecue with friends or family, but most people need to feed large groups during the holidays,” Hancock explains. “This is why we offer catering packages such as the Ultimate Feast, Family Pack, and the Graduation Package. These catering packages feed anywhere from five to fifty people depending on your selection. We also offer bulk items and large quart sides to ensure that everyone is happy.”
Ultimately, Round House BBQ knows that amid the holiday cheer, meal planning for the season can be stressful, so these catering packages are here to save the day.
Grotto Pizzeria and Tavern
2441 Van Horn Rd., Trenton
The Grotto Pizzeria and Tavern may be somewhat of a newcomer to the Downriver culinary scene, but restaurant has made an excellent first impression. Between its food and ambience, it has called patrons back for more, and this holiday season will be no different. “You should come to Grotto because you want amazing comfort food and of course the best pizza in town,” says owner Chris Hancock.
For the holidays, patrons can expect to see the Grotto dressed in all the Christmas trimmings, but more than likely the focus will be on its one-of-a-kind brick oven pizzas and all the other tantalizing entrees. “During the holidays, here at the Grotto, we know that most people are extremely busy yet are trying to make time for friends and family,” Hancock explains. “That’s why we have created a warm and inviting atmosphere that allows people to slow down and enjoy their present company, whether that is over a brick oven pizza, one of our authentic Italian entrees such as the chicken marsala, a cold beer, or our family-style meal for larger groups.”
In addition to the restaurant’s renowned chicken marsala, the pizza remains a Grotto favorite. “Our focus is definitely on the food, but we want patrons to have a nice and festive place to gather with loved ones. Ultimately, we try to bring that feeling every day of the year,” says Hancock.
The Grotto offers carryout and has a private room for larger parties that can be reserved.
The Auburn Cafe
3520 W. Jefferson Ave., Ecorse
With fall well underway, the holidays are just around the corner – and with them come excitement and much-needed time with loved ones. “At the Auburn Café, there is a feeling of hometown nostalgia, in general, that has always drawn in customers,” says owner Kostas Callis. “Throughout the holidays, patrons come in droves to reconnect with friends and family over a delicious homemade meal with only the freshest ingredients. And of course we offer several specials just in time for the holidays.” Besides the handful of mouth-watering specials to choose from, patrons also can select their usual Auburn Café favorites like saganaki, Greek salad, and gyros.
In addition to the atmosphere and food, the Auburn Café makes it a point not skimp on the flair during the holiday season. “We want our patrons to feel at home with their families; thus we make sure that we decorate for all the major holidays as well as maintain that feeling of nostalgia that our regular patrons hold so dear,” remarks Callis. Those short on time but still craving the restaurant’s cooking are in luck: the Auburn Café offers an extensive catering menu for holiday parties, office functions, and patrons on the go.
10 Pins of Trenton / Classics Tavern
2591 Fort St., Trenton
10 Pins and Classics Tavern offers everything for a good time this holiday season. “There are a lot of options when you come to 10 Pins and Classics Tavern. We have an inviting patio area, bar area with great food, and, of course, the 30-plus lane bowling alley and high-end billiards area/room,” says owner David Patz. During the holidays, guests can witness the space’s festive transformation. “Our outdoor patio is decked in lights for Christmas, and the fireplace area becomes the favorite spot for late fall gatherings,” Patz explains. “Moreover, our live cover bands adjust their music accordingly, and we have Jazz bands that perform around this time of year. Other areas of the tavern are also adorned with holiday decorations that are, simply put, a feast for the eyes.”
The ambience at 10 Pins and Classics Tavern ranges from a celebratory night out with friends and family to a classy late-night happy hour year-round. Yet one of the best reasons to visit 10 Pins and Classics throughout the holiday season is for its events and large party accommodations. “We enjoy the holidays just as much as the next person,” Patz says. “We offer catering for office or company parties and home gatherings, especially catering for Christmas. In addition to out-of-this-world catering, we can accommodate 65-plus for in-house parties and gatherings. We also throw a big New Year’s Eve bash.”
For guests looking to catch up with friends, family, or coworkers, 10 Pins and Classics Tavern is a must-visit during the holidays.