The Sardine Room has been chosen as one of the top 10 best new metro Detroit restaurants for 2012 by the Detroit Free Press. The Free Press said the restaurant might be the best-all-around new restaurant of the year.
The restaurant, which opened in downtown Plymouth in May, gives dining out a new meaning to its patrons.
"It's kind of a break from the traditional order," said co-owner Frankie Yaquinto.
The Sardine Room offers shareable snack and small plates and a raw bar, which is where raw oysters and other seafood are served. Yaquinto said the restaurant's style offers a more casual dining experience and lets customers be more creative with the menu.
Yaquinto said the praise from the Free Press has had an impact on the restaurant, which has been packed this holiday season.
The restaurant is called The Sardine Room not only because of the many seafood options on the menu but also from the idea of sardines packed into a can. It has a small, long dining room and bar, which gives it an intimate setting.
"The concept of The Sardine Room was around long before the restaurant was," Yaquinto said.
He said he and his family, who own Fiamma Grille and Compari's next door, wanted something smaller than the other two restaurants.
The Sardine Room provides a different experience because of its interior design and its menu.
"We've worked hard to come up with something fresh and creative," Yaquinto said.
He said one of the most popular items is the roasted bone marrow, which was reviewed by Hour Detroit. From its small plates menu, popular items are the country ham board and the cheese board.
Country ham board: tripps-tennessee, edwards-virginia, broadbents-kentucky, whole grain mustard, sweet cream butter
Cheese board: humbolt fog, de bourgogne, chef’s selection, pear mostarda, truffle honey
It isn't necessary to go from soup to salad to entree to dessert. Patrons can come on a Tuesday night and spend a few dollars at the raw bar and come on a Saturday and get red wine and steak, he said.
"We're taking away some of the stuffiness," he said. "We're taking away the white tablecloth."
Yaquinto said The Sardine Room's style of dining is also economical. People can try different items and share plates all at reasonable prices.
The Sardine Room opens 4 p.m. daily and is also open Sundays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch and 4 to 9 p.m. for dinner.
Have you visited the Sardine Room? Be sure to review it on Patch!