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Logan: An American Restaurant Review

Logan-Staff

As a writer, I always thought it would be cool to play food critic just once. So I have to spread the word about a great little place called Logan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is one restaurant where the DIFF is a way of life for them. Of all the great restaurants in Ann Arbor, this is right at the top. Not only is the food to die for, the service is beyond exceptional.

Logan is owned and run by brothers Thad & Ryan Gillies and Kevin Hobart. Ryan and Kevin are the friendliest and warmest hosts you’ll ever
meet—always sharply dressed and completely devoid of any snobby
attitude you might encounter in other restaurants. Thad is Head Chef,
trained in France. His dishes are so far beyond anything you’ll ever
see on the Food Network and better-looking than anything I’ve seen Emeril Lagasse create. There isn’t one dish you won’t like.

And the wait staff doesn’t just serve food—they know every in and out about every single dish and each wine or spirit (carefully and specifically chosen by Chef Thad). I suspect Chef Thad himself explains to them in extensive detail exactly how everything is prepared. Most restaurants give their wait staff a short “script” to follow, but the entire Logan staff is truly knowledgeable.

Logan-Inside

Don and I went there last Saturday night with our very close friend Dr. Jay. They started us off with a tangy, shaved papaya salad topped with cilantro and peanuts, influenced by Thai cuisine which I’m naturally partial to due to my Thai heritage. Next was the appetizers—jumbo Saffron shrimp and broiled mussels. The mussels were presented with citrus reduction sauce that literally looks like a beautiful stained glass window. Talk about impressive presentation and taste!

I ordered the braised skirt steak that came served with a tasty tamarind curry sauce and cashew smashed potatoes, tender enough I could cut it with my butter knife. The men ordered the in-bone “Cowboy steak” with a veal-stock-based dipping sauce, perfectly complimented by a French red wine that was smooth, light and clean. While every dish is always incredible, that Cowboy steak was un-freaking-believable! Eat that and you’ll be thankful you’re a carnivore. I tasted it and I swear a gospel choir suddenly appeared and began clapping their hands and singing "Hallelujah!" It’s like when I had their Osso Buco, which they’ve unfortunately removed from the menu—truly THE most incredible thing I have EVER eaten in my entire life. I’ve only ever had that in Italy and Logan blew it out of the water. (I personally met Chef Thad and begged him to bring it back—I think he just might!)

Logan-Outside

Then came dessert. Ryan, who always recognizes us, offered us an experimental dessert. I stuck with the crème brulee, one of my favorite comfort foods. Always perfect at Logan, it came presented with an impressive, 12-inch standing melted sugar sculpture. The folks at the next table saw that and had to order it too. But Don agreed to try the “experiment” which I tasted—a lovely dish of pear fritters deep fried and served with cinnamon ice cream. Yuh-MEE! I got an instant ear-to-ear smile.

But Logan is about more than just the food or the fact that the staff is so talented. It’s the entire experience. They go well out of their way to make sure their client experience is beyond five-star without charging five-star prices, though they could certainly get away with it. You can see in their faces they sincerely care about you and your dining experience. Let me tell you, every single time I go there, it is off the hook! It’s the kind of restaurant I imagine exist in New York or L.A. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend it! During the week, Don and I can usually walk in, but if it’s a Friday or Saturday night, make sure to call ahead. I guarantee you won’t have a single complaint whatsoever. Bon appetit!

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Comments

  1. You had dinner with Dr. J? That’s great. I wondered what happened to him after he retired from the NBA.

    Posted by: Fred | April 10, 2007
  2. Sorry to report this was hands down the worst experience I have ever had at a restaurant. The owner/manger seems to be unstable and was not able to handle feedback on an over cooked steak.

    Posted by: B Smith | December 28, 2007
  3. Perhaps one day the author will journey to New York or LA, dine in one of its fine establishments, and see what quality culinary experience actually looks like. Boy, he or she will sure have egg on his face that day.
    The Verdict:
    –>Underwhelming, overpriced entrees.
    –>Decor by the same design team who created “The Max” hangout in Saved by the Bell.
    –>A Cosmo with hints of cranberry and ethanol
    –>An overzealous discipline regimen, evidenced by one waiter’s black eye.
    –>Decent presentation.

    Posted by: Logan International | March 8, 2008
  4. I confirm the review that this is the best restaurant in Ann Arbor by far and question the legitimacy of the negative reviews. The last time I dined at Logan, I ordered the duck and was surprised to find that it was just as good if not better than the Duck Confit my mother used to make. I’ve lived most of my life between Paris, Manhattan, San Francisco and Dallas–all major culinary areas and I can tell you that if there was a Logan in any of these cities, it would do well against the competition. I have been coming to Ann Arbor for the past year on business and have yet to find a restaurant in this town–other than Logan–that is worth making it out of my hotel.

    Posted by: Martin Durand | June 24, 2009

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Friday, August 18, 2017