Opened in 2013, Gastronomy is part of the Detroit-based Epicurean Group family, a collection of restaurants that range from deli to fine dining. Gastronomy is firmly rooted in the fine-dining, food-made-from-scratch camp, featuring an impressive wine list, an extensive tasting menu, and locally sourced meats and produce. Yet, the restaurant’s atmosphere is unexpectedly sterile and charmless.
Though the place is brand new, it screams 1990s. Lime green and black carpet paired with cherry-tone tables meld awkwardly with bits of exposed brick wall and birch twigs, and the open booths create an atmosphere that feels more like a hotel breakfast room than special-occasion-worthy destination. Which is unfortunate, because for the most part, Gastronomy’s cuisine is stellar. The walleye chowder tastes Great Lakes fresh; the beet salad is a thing of beauty; and the turkey sandwich is Thanksgiving-quality with precision-sliced Granny Smith apples and local cheddar served on house-baked bread. The open kitchen, if you’re seated where you can see it, is a flashy vision of stainless steel.
The menus offer many nods to American diversity in the cuisine, but the overall ambience (or lack thereof) just doesn’t make this the exciting establishment we’d hoped it would be. Service, too, is bumpy and uneven. Gastronomy seems to have high ambitions, but it definitely hasn’t gotten itself sorted out yet. Starters and salads from $8 and up; most main dishes run $25 to $40.