Mystery chef lined up for new Midtown restaurant Chartreuse

A mystery chef will have a rotating selection of fresh and local ingredients to choose from at Chartreuse, a new restaurant planned for the old Rodin location in Midtown's Park Shelton building. Chartreuse is the work of Sandy Levine, owner of the Oakland Art Novelty Company cocktail bar in Ferndale. He hopes Chartreuse will be open by March.

Levine has agreed to keep the chef's identity a secret while that person finishes their run at a different restaurant "about an hour and a half away." Levine and his wife learned of the chef through a recommendation and made the trek to check out that person's work. Expecting to be slightly underwhelmed, the opposite occured and the couple left convinced that the mystery chef would have to come to Detroit to run the Chartreuse kitchen.

Levine says the restaurant is laid out more like a New York restaurant with most of the space dedicated to the dining room. Because of that lack of storage space, Levine plans on daily shipments of fresh food and a menu that changes at least a couple of times a week, if not daily. He says to expect simple and rustic American food.

As well known as Levine is for his specialty cocktail bar, Chartreuse won't be the Oakland: Detroit. Levine plans a smaller drink menu for Chartreuse, emphasising quality and not the obscure.

"We won't need a crazy selection of spirits," says Levine. "We'll just make crazy good drinks. This will be a neighborhood restaurant where we'll do things simply and well."

The restaurant has been painted, the tile has been set, and the furniture has been ordered. Levine hopes to have everything in place by January and will be waiting for the permits to come through for that March opening.

Source: Sandy Levine, owner of Chartreuse
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.