Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A Ralph Lauren wall treatment and a new focus on local, sustainable cuisine marks the Townsend Hotel's recent upgrades to its four-star restaurant.
After six weeks of renovations and some serious menu planning, the Townsend Hotel's Rugby Grille is back open for business. The fine-dining restaurant re-opened on Monday with a new look and some new items on the menu, courtesy of the restaurant's new executive chef, Drew Sayes. "Our hope is that guests of the Rugby Grille, whether they are regulars from our past 25 years or newcomers dining with us for the first time, will find themselves feeling relaxed, welcomed and perhaps even a bit spoiled by the understated opulence of the restaurant's refreshed interior," said the Townsend's Managing Director Steven Kalczynski. Opulence is right. The Rugby Grille's sophisticated interior is now wrapped in a Ralph Lauren herringbone tweed wall …
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Myles Anton, currently the chef at Traverse City's Trattoria Stella, was nominated for a 2013 James Beard Award, sometimes known as the 'Oscars' of food.
Talk about good food coming from Michigan. Myles Anton, a former chef at Birmingham's Townsend Hotel and Rugby Grille, has been nominated for a 2013 James Beard Award. Referred to as the "Oscars" of the food world by the Huffington Post, the James Beard Foundation annually recognizes chefs and restaurants across the country for excellence. Semifinalists were selected from more than 44,000 online entries in 20 categories. Anton is currently the executive chef at Traverse City's Trattoria Stella but before that, he worked his way up to sous chef at the Townsend Hotel under head chef Louai Sharkas in the 1990's, according to Anton's profile on CrushMichigan.com. From there, he opened D'Amato's in Ann Arbor in 1999 and in 2002, opened Bunker's…
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Still looking for something to do in Birmingham with your special someone tomorrow? Check out these five specials around town.
It's still not too late to solidify those dinner plans for Valentine's Day, but time is running short. Here's what's going on around Birmingham to make this special day even more special. The Big Rock Chop House is extending its Valentine's Day celebration beyond Thursday, offering a special romantic dinner menu through Saturday. Diners will be able to pick from a list of appetizers, main courses and desesrt, featuring dishes like butternut squash soup with toasted hazelnut-rum cream, red miso glazed salmon with marinated seaweed salad and a raspberry semi-fredo. The cost for the special menu is $40 per guest, exclusive of tax, tip and valet. Reservations are required; visit www.bigrockchophouse.com or call 248-647-7774. Also offering a …
Monday, May 21, 2012
Recently opened sidewalk deck at Rugby Grille fills on sunny, summer-like afternoon.
Sunshine, a gentle breeze and an 80-degree afternoon are the type of ideal mix Townsend Hotel executives envisioned when they planned a Rugby Grille sidewalk annex. And it works, as filled tables showed Monday on an outdoor terrace created by cutting through an exterior wall near the restaurant that repeatedly earns a Four-Diamond rating from AAA. The 22-seat patio, previewed March 29 in Patch, opened this month. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails are served from 6:30 a.m. to midnight under a teal awning. Victor Saroki & Associates of Birmingham designed the expansion.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Steakhouse patio café to feature sofas; Hotel adds sidewalk deck on Townsend.
Call it South Beach meets South Old Woodward. Red-cushioned sofas, wicker chairs and cocktail tables will add a resort-like aura to downtown Birmingham's main avenue when Hyde Park Steakhouse opens. The Ohio-based restaurant group won city approval this month for an enlarged patio at its high-visibility site two doors north of the Birmingham 8. At the same Planning Board meeting, the Townsend Hotel got the OK to break through a front wall near the Rugby Grille and add a 56-foot sidewalk deck with a colorful awning over tables. Both designs, also approved by the Historic District Commission, support the Downtown Birmingham 2016 master plan goal "to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment," city Planning Director Jana Ecker said at the…
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
In total, 14 hotels and six restaurants in Michigan received the association's second-highest ranking for 2012.
A Birmingham hotel and restaurant were named among AAA's four-diamond lodgings and restaurants for 2012, according to a list released Friday. The Townsend Hotel and the Rugby Grille join 12 other Michigan hotels and five restaurants in receiving the automotive association's second-highest rating this year. No Michigan establishments received a five-diamond ranking for 2012. The Townsend has been a AAA four-diamond hotel since 1988, while the Rugby Grille has maintained its elite status since 2001. AAA's diamond rating system uses trained inspectors to evaluate lodgings and restaurants. Cleanliness, comfort and security of lodgings are rated during an unannounced inspection. Only 4.8 percent of the 31,000 lodgings approved by the AAA make …
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The Townsend Hotel will host a seven-course special event with the Midwest's celebrity chefs Thursday.
Jim Bologna, executive chef of the Rugby Grille at the Townsend Hotel, once aspired to be a Navy fighter pilot. When his plans to attend the U.S. Naval Academy fell through, he recalled, “My mom said, 'You like food and people.’ ” And so he went from flying to flambé, enrolling in Michigan State University‘s hospitality program. “My first cooking class, I took to it like a duck to water,” he said. This Thursday, he will host some of the Midwest's top culinary talents as the Rugby Grille presents the only Michigan edition of this year’s Celebrity Chef Tour. Guests will enjoy a seven-course dinner, fine wines and the best in Belgian beers and have the opportunity to talk informally with chefs Bologna, David Gilbert of Birmingham's Forest …