Restaurant Review: Detroit, Michigan

Mabel Gray

Gnocchi bolognese, cured yolk, parsley leaf

Dinner at Mabel Gray is worth a detour from downtown Detroit, as chef-owner James Rigato redefines what Michigan cuisine can look like. One night, the corndogs were filled with pork belly and topped with a mustard made with Leelanau Whaleback White Ale; another night, the main draw was quail, buttermilk-brined and fried. The handwritten menu showcases what’s in season; the wine list, by Rachel Van Til—a W&S Best New Sommelier 2016—keeps pace with a tight selection, including some of Michigan’s best bottles. Ask her for guidance and she’ll lead you through a vinous tour of the peninsula, or simply look under WWRD, or What Would Rachel Drink, a short list that might include Lallier Champagne or Larry Mawby’s sparking pinot noir rosé, or aged Huet.