Selden Standard since opening in late 2014 has had critics raving. The menu has been on point, consistent and timely. They have maintained a high level of fresh and seasonal items with a velvety and restorative approach. The space has a clean minimalist design with warm woods and a cooks-counter hearth that can brighten your soul in the winter. K loves the amount of options when it comes to seating. They sport a large back patio, many four tops in the general seating area, a private dining table, cooks-counter seating as well as a full length bar. The food certainly ranks above atmosphere but honestly the space is not far off, justifying the 4-star rating the Detroit Free Press bestowed.
I will say that we usually come for the dinner, but lately we’ve been catching lunches around town. They have three different menus, depending on what day and time you come. The lunch menu is small but there isn’t one thing on there I wouldn’t recommend ordering. We started off with some warm Ethiopian Anthology Coffee and a soft white Joseph Wesley tea – we both wanted a pick me up but I had already had several cups of coffee that day so for the first time in a quite a while we split hairs on what to drink.
The meal got rolling with probably our favorite item on the menu, their Bean Salad. To be fair, the name is underwhelming but the flavor really goes to show that you cannot judge the quality by the simplicity of the name. The salad was dressed with toasted pinenuts and light olive oil – then tossed with their house dried tomatoes and sweet corn. The ricotta seemed as if it had been whipped and after scooping some of it on a few green beans it was clear that these flavors had been married for some time. The salad was refreshing and bright but still had warming features. The whole thing became more than a two-dimensional plate when the toasted nuttiness of the pinenuts was added. K and I had a hard time leaving each other fair portions with this one – as you really cannot stop eating it once you start. All in all if you are vegan I would only recommend their lunch if you get the Veggie Wrap without feta and perhaps some of their Fries without the aioli – vegetarians take the cake here. But we’ve both had their wrap and it’s really worth it if you haven’t tried it yet.
Next came out our side of Fries and the Roasted Summer Squash. Both of these dishes were executed well and platted perfectly. The squash had a nice traditional tahini and yogurt dressing to it and the za’atar spice that had been dashed around really brought the whole thing together. This dish seemed to me a bit Mediterranean inspired but with a New-American style.
Our last dish was what brought us back for their lunch a second time around, their Bucatini. These tender house made noodles with a very contemporary Italian flavor were slippery delicacies. They were presented in a shallow bowl with a healthy amount of garnished pecorino (sheeps milk cheese) and a few perhaps par-boiled sweet snap beans. What really rounded out the richness of the plate was the crushed black pepper. The dish was simple yet lacked nothing, an instant classic for sure. Stop in a try Selden Standard’s dinner or brunch sometime too, both highly recommended. And with that K and I grabbed the check and made our way off for a quick sunny stroll on the Riverfront.