chef-driven, progressive modern american cuisine. multi course tasting menu. yeah, this is so vogue right now...
213 FB users likes Goldfinch american, set it to 96 position in Likes Rating for Detroit, Michigan in Restaurant/cafe category
to Metro Times Detroit, Deadline Detroit, Detroit News and the opiners, here is my opinion There is a euphoric sentiment associated with business in detroit-- really everywhere. The capitalist imperative to solve market problems and, in the more sophisticated cases, create a demand where none existed is celebrated. The truth is capitalism, or profit has become an unintended euphemism for inequity, poverty and in extreme cases death. When a new business arrives, it is greeted and feted as a necessary good, or at worse a necessary evil, its necessity being that its existence makes everything else possible; the premise is simple, we all need employment to provide material sustenance and capitalism is the proven vehicle for such sustenance. My position is simple, and harsh; you are probably a dunce if you fail to recognize that capitalism (or whatever you want to call the current economic system, “corporatism,” “liberal economic blah blah blah”) is really a carcinogenic panacea. It sates part of the economic corpus-- the middle and upper class, by effectively shitting on the working poor and economically disenfranchised (people of color, immigrants, women etc), all the while undermining itself. It is insidious, but it is US. In my limited imagination, goldfinch American is the stripping away of this euphemistic ideal that surrounds business, disrobing it of the incomplete glory it professes and leaving it naked, cold and shriveled. I am presenting business, profit and capitalism as a dysphemism, as the offensive, but necessary contradiction that it is. Imagine if all business, along with their earnings report disclosed the accompanying degradation (social, environmental et al) of their work? I decided to use goldfinch american as a platform, to shout, in what I thought would be an inaudible whisper, certain ideas that stubbornly persist. These ideas are of two genres, the first being a more universal variety, concerning equity, poverty, justice and the inadequacy of money as judge of value, and the second, conversely hedonistic, being interested primarily in my self-expression, my discomfort and need to dismantle formality and my belief in the arbitrariness of social norms. These ideas collectively represent my ideology, which is always evolving by becoming less entangled in itself and hence more coherent as it grows and interacts with the world of discerning and dissenting views. So as an extension of myself I wanted my restaurant to wear its ideology on its sleeve and not somehow pretend to just be a vehicle for economics. FCUK A LIE The UK based clothing label French Connection goes by the alternate label FCUK. In plain sight they present an obscene statement, except the literal expletive is slightly obfuscated-- but not the intention. However, most will automatically read FCUK as the epithet is represents. With the transposition of “C” with “U” the fallacy inherent in our standard of judgment becomes instantly exposed making apparent that what is condemned and what is accepted are barely different. But this isn’t news, this is marketing or something more nuanced than that. Businesses do this all the time, with some deft sleight of hand, they transpose profit for benefit and they are soundly applauded, even if the trick is apparent to all the audience. So it is that a University can proclaim its mission is to educate (benefit), while it grinds its students into the dirt with debt (profit). So while we pontificate about goldfinch American, chests puffed in righteous anger chorusing, “how dare they charge so and so for a meal when people in southwest CAN’T possibly afford to eat here” or “oh my, they said the streets are dirty, how disrespectful. I mean they are dirty, but they have no right to say that, we do” or “fcuk that goldfinch or robin bird restaurant,” while we do all that, we are busy saving our pennies (or not) eating a $300 valentine’s day meal at coach insignia, or buying a $20,000 vehicle made by folks who can barely struggle to pay their mortgage. But that’s okay because, coach insignia never mentions the city’s dismal poverty rate, nor does ford advertise its worker’s wages on the sale price of its vehicles. In truth the difference, between obscenity and propriety is mere social formality, but the attitudes to this difference exposes the contradiction we all live; that an explicit truth is despised more than the misrepresented, tacitly acknowledged, reality. But we are all fine with vague lies, and we place our trust in them. We criticize automakers, while we all scramble to purchase their goods, slam mcdonalds but refuse to pay more for good food, teach poor black detroit kids but would never send our own kids to the schools we draw a salary from. We all believe what is proclaimed as the intention, even though the dissonance caused by the radically different outcome is overwhelming. We are paralyzed by the contradiction of unfulfillable campaign promises yet we elect to vote, figuratively, casting our ballots for the easy truth. We create simple equations, villainizing and valorizing, in texts, tweets and posts. The visceral and venomous responses that goldfinch American has received is a result of the blaring of apparent contradictions. It causes foaming at the mouth, in earnest pavlovian fashion. Everything that smacks of anything that highlights the obvious truth about our reality is immediately attacked, because we can only hold the microscopic manifestations of the truth. The wider-lens view reveals more than we can stand, causing our forlorn faces to draw long as we realize how we all are, exactly no more than a teeth in a small gear of the larger machine. The entire city of Detroit is an ideological battlefield, usually concealed in plain sight or maybe ignored in open view by the sort of protesters who balk at the overt display of what is happening in their own backyards. CONTRADICTIONS We are surrounded by the stuff, almost invariably falling into a pit of hypocrisy why we try, in accomplished fashion, to sidestep a harmless puddle of some minor contradiction. There is an African proverb that reminds those who point a finger to recognize that a majority are pointed back at themselves-- including the middle finger, which is kinda saying fcuk you to you (that part isn’t African though :) ) excuse the typos. its midnight
eleven courses over four hours requires gastronomical stamina and internal fortitude. it's very serious business
(fucking pigeons) on the corner of clark and vernor, there's a city bus stop. it's an unattractive place to sit, stand or be. people sometimes eat as they wait for the bus. often food is abandoned as weary travelers hurriedly board the lumbering buses squealing to a stop by the bus shelter, sending fried chicken and fries flying into the sidewalk. then the pigeons come... fucking pigeons. they are the boldest, maybe most beautiful breed of vermin. sauntering between the absent-minded legs, they peck persistently at some processed food morsel, leaving beautiful markings in the snow, impressions like cuneiform script. what does this have to do with a restaurant? everything. a restaurant is a part of the neighborhood milieu; the pigeons dine on discarded pizza pieces, fight over pepperoni circles; cars drive by, scattering the congregating birds; folks take shelter at the bus stop, protecting themselves against blistering snow, and splattered slush from speeding cars. this is a where a restaurant lives.