Guys, I love food. It doesn’t take a lot to impress me when it comes to what I’m eating, and I am not at all moved by hard to understand names of dishes and shmancy ingredients. Give me a hot dog. Actually, give me two hot dogs.
A few days ago I was taken on a date to Chartreuse. Don’t worry about the date. It’s none of your business [insert smiley face emoticon to lighten the mood when you actually mean something but don’t want to come across as rude]. When he mentioned going to Chartreuse, I had one thought: Oh God, a French place. My tattoo is in French. Everyone is going to think I speak French. I’m done for. This is it. (I don’t know why I even assumed that this place was French. I had no foundation for this).
As any mildly OCD woman does before a date, I looked up the menu online. The first picture was of an octopus with its tentacles hanging over the side of the plate. I am really good at pretending I’m cool and refined, but I have a comfort zone and eating octopus is on the outside. Hello from the outside. I must have barfed a thousand times. This was going to be my night, no doubt.
I went on to read a few reviews from people whose Facebook pictures showed them holding beer and not looking like children who grew up with a trust fund and their own horse named Fancy Feet. This made me feel better. If Alan from Roseville can eat at Chartreuse, I can too.
My next step was finding out what the acceptable attire was. I certainly couldn’t ask my date. This would be incredibly uncouth and not at all sexy. So what did I do? I messaged the restaurant and asked. I thought this was a good idea and I was happy with the decision to message them. My date later told me that I was “ridiculous” which obviously means adorable.
The following are the messages that I exchanged with a Chartreuse employee:
Me: What is the normal dress attire on a Friday night? I am meeting a guy there tonight and I don’t want to show up looking like a homeless person if everyone else is going to be in their prom dresses. Please advise.
Chartreuse employee who instantly loves me: Ha! Hey Leah, we want you to be comfortable and typically describe our restaurant as casual. Our staff wear jeans but no sneakers. The clientele is all over the board on weekends. There are (restaurant/bar) industry people in hoodies and jeans and some suburban folks in sweaters and slacks. Suits are pretty rare at dinner. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Me again: Great! I don’t think I’d fit into my old prom dresses anyways. See you guys soon!
I met my date there, and arrived a little bit before him, so decided to sit at the bar and chat up the staff. I wanted an insider opinion on what to get to eat. Like I said, I’m a big food person. And by that I mean I just want to eat. Give me food.
The atmosphere of Chartreuse was upbeat and vibrant. They had foliage hanging from the walls that we surmised was there if you wanted some extra greenery in your bloody mary or a little more basil on your pasta. Incredibly convenient.
We took awhile to look at the menu. I will say that the one downfall was that the restaurant was dimly lit, and the menu’s font was on the lighter side. Man-I-was-with had to take out his flashlight to read it. I thought that was funny, so I took a picture of him. No, you can’t see it.
I decided to order the Twice Cooked Egg. The description makes it sound a meal that I would not want. It has both kale and brussels sprouts, two things that I try to stay away from and keep out of my life in general. I honestly think I ordered it out of nervousness.
When I got it, I was warned that cutting the egg might result in squirting my date or myself in the eye with yolk. This made me more nervous, as this is definitely something I would do. I cut into it without incident and took my first bite.
Kale, brussels sprouts, egg. Never in my life have I wanted something more. One bite and I was hooked. I think I kept mmmmm-ing without realizing it. I offered my date some out of kindness but kept it to one bite, maximum. Like, I want to appear nice but was also feeling possessive. When I say it was good, that’s a vast understatement.
This was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. It was sweet and savory. It was drizzled with the tears from Jesus that come from him laughing at how funny I am. I have never felt richer in my entire life. I was immensely enjoying an egg on top of a brussel sprout salad. Who was I?
This meal transformed me into a new person. Should I start draping sweaters over my shoulders? Should I buy a horse? Will someone name their yacht after me? Should I purchase a vineyard? Should I start my children’s Harvard college fund?Should I start a book club? Where are my driving mocassins?
I felt so successful in my meal choice. I felt fancy, like, “Yeah, I knew it would be this good all along. Yeah, I love kale. Oh, brussels sprouts? Eat em all the time. Oh, I cut into egg yolks every day. Squirt someone? Never.”
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about The Twice Cooked Egg since I went there. I almost went the next day to get carry out. And the next day. And the day after that. It’s that good, guys.
Would I go to Chartreuse again? Hecky yeah I would. (Sorry I just said hecky yeah). You should go there, tonight if possible, and get something…anything. I can’t wait to try more. The waitstaff was awesome, the hostesses rocked, the atmosphere was exciting, the bread was kind of weird but delicious…
But the number one reason?
It has my favorite dish to eat in all of Detroit.