Our upcoming issue features some of the best new bars and restaurants to open in Detroit in the past couple of years. Editing the story, I was reminded of a few places I still needed to check out. Among them was the Peterboro.
The Peterboro opened in Detroit’s historic Chinatown district this year, the project of the Detroit Optimist Society and the team behind Wright & Co., Sugar House and Café 78. I’d heard good things about Peterboro, but truth be told, Detroit’s been underserved for so long we still tend to go all Sally Field whenever anyone opens a new eatery or watering hole, sometimes too busy basking in the glow of being liked that we overlook mediocrity.
That said, the Optimist crew has been investing in Detroit for a while now and thoughtfully so. Sugar House, arguably one of the best cocktail bars in the country, opened in 2011—well before the city’s dining scene took off. (In fact, Sugar House helped spark the movement we’re seeing today.) So, there was reason to feel hopeful about Peterboro.
The first thing worth noting about the restaurant is its décor. It combines large Chinese red lanterns suspended from the ceiling with a tiled bar and high windows, with a result that manages to feel both classic and contemporary.
The Chinese-American menu features plenty of options without being overwhelming. I tried the burnt edamame and mom’s roast pork as starters, and they were both delectable. The edamame, in particular, offered a tasty, smoky twist on an Asian staple.
For dinner, I sampled the steamed salmon and the hangar steak. The portion sizes were just right, and both dishes were flavorful without overdoing it. Dessert was an incredibly light sugar egg puff.
In short, the Peterboro remains on my list because I really want to go back.
The restaurant accommodates group dining; you’ll get those details in our upcoming issue. I encourage you to check it out if you’re looking to offer a distinctive experience that might still be a bit under the radar. If I were your guest, I’d be impressed.