Meet Magnet, the newest concept from Chef Brad Greenhill (Takoi, Corktown) and the restaurant group, Top Young Hospitality. Magnet, located in the old Magnet Radiator Works building in Detroit’s Core City neighborhood, is a 100% wood-fired Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influenced restaurant. Upon entry, guests are introduced to a rectangular space with a sunken bar in the center of the room. Booths line the walls, blue tile covers the bar, and red neon lights ignite the dining room. Inda and I decided to check things out.
The menu is seasonal and simple, with no detailed descriptions. The servers/bartenders describe each dish which was both interactive and engaging. There is a lot of emphasis on seasonal ingredients and conversation. There are also a number of vegan/vegetarian and gluten free options.
Vegetables are the star of the show at Magnet, but meat and fish are also offered. The menu is broken down into sections: Flatbreads, Vegetables, Large (larger portions including a whole roasted head of cauliflower for $22), Meat & Fish, Sides, Feast (Chef’s selection for $65/person). The vegetable dishes are $9 each, or 3 for $25, both smart and economical.
Burnt Persimmons: Delicious! Tasted like a sweet tomato with the texture of a firm plum. It wasn’t burnt, per se, but tender with natural flavors exploding with every bite. Thanks to a recommendation from my friend, Becky Scarcello with the D Brief Podcast!
Twice Baked Squash: Whipped pumpkin and tahini topped with a crunchy nut medley. Hands down, this was my favorite thing that we tried. The whipped pumpkin and tahini was silky and decadent. I couldn’t get enough. This dish screamed Fall/Winter and I have already been brainstorming ways to recreate it for Thanksgiving.
Roasted Beets: Avocado crema. Beets are always a go to when they are in season and these were peaking. The combo of golden and red beets added a nice color and sweetness to this dish. The beets were tender and caramelized, nicely done.
Grilled Broccoli: Peperonata. The char of the broccoli was nice. Tender, with a slight texture. I could easily taste Mediterranean spices which I don’t usually have paired with broccoli. I was into it.
Lemon Tart: Of course, I had to try dessert! The lemon tart was lovely and I am not usually a lemon person. Our server recommended it and I see why. The filling was so creamy, it tasted like custard went on a date with cheesecake and had a lovechild! The crust was thin and cooked perfectly.
One unique thing about Magnet is their no tipping policy. Staff is paid a salary with benefits and paid vacation. The prices were a tad more above other restaurants, but when you think about the tip being incorporated, it was affordable. Personally, it felt weird not tipping, but I support this policy. I think paid vacation and benefits are a big deal and hopefully more restaurants will follow suit.
Service was very good and the food was amazing. As soon as I walked into Magnet, I sensed a familiarity of Takoi (neon lights, warmth, spaced-out futuristic vibes), but I could find features that set it apart. Middle Eastern flavors, the gorgeous sunken bar, and a veggie centric menu solely using a wood fire grilling technique were a few that came to mind. I will definitely be back to try more of the delicious veggies and the flatbread.
Magnet•4842 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48208•313-656-2640