19416 Livernois Avenue
Detroit, MI 48221
The 1917 American Bistro is nestled between 7 Mile and 8 Mile on Livernois, says Jay Rayford. He spoke so highly of it, that I had to check it out. The restaurant was opened in 2009 by Don and Katrina Studvent. It seemed to exist in some sort of oasis. A friend and I got a perfect parking spot, and headed on in. We were greeted right away and asked where we’d like to sit. We chose the upstairs patio. On our way through the restaurant, I noticed brilliant art work on the wall – all done by local artists (one of Jay’s favorite things about this place). We sat down, were handed menus, and placed our drink order.
Some might say the menu is limited, but to my guest and I, it included just the right amount of variety. We order the Sampler Platter ($11) to start. It was good for an appetizer, but it was really no more than glorified bar food. Now, the entrees, that is a whole different matter. I ordered the Shrimp Scampi ($14) over a bed of wild rice and a grilled zucchini/squash/onion mix. It was succulent. Even the rice was spectacular. No grain went uneaten! My friend opted for the Blackened Catfish ($12) with a side of steamed broccoli and the same grilled veggie mix that I did. Someone made a mistake along the way and gave him smashed potatoes instead of steamed broccoli, but the situation was fixed hastily and with grace. Since we weren’t going to let the smashed potatoes go to waste, we shared them and were equally impressed with the creaminess and amount of flavor they possessed.
To top it all off, they were out of their famous Chocolate Obsession dessert, so we shared a slice of Deep Dish Cheese Cake ($5) drizzled with a small amount of chocolate. It was an exquisite specimen that almost put me over the edge. Beyond the great food, 1917 American Bistro offers happy hour deals and live entertainment, including open mic nights and jazz nights. All in all, I left the bistro content and inspired. That’s not something I can say about many places! Surely, this establishment will remain a part of the Detroit community for a long time to come. – Natasha Guimond