Disappointing - What happened to Ernesto's?.
The Ernesto's of old was elegant and unique, with great Italian food and atmosphere. The current Ernesto's is the complete opposite. The beautiful rooms with their elegant linens and table settings have been replaced with cheesy, vinyl, green and white checkerboard prints. The once enticing menu is gone, replaced with a torn up, tri-fold, cardboard menu that you could find in any cheap diner, offering far less in the way of dining choices. There is a musty, closed up smell in the dining room that taints the dining experience. While we were there, we overheard the owner tell someone else who hadn't been there since the restaurant changed hands that they were going for a more casual, inexpensive atmosphere while retaining some of the old recipes and quality. Don't believe it. They sacrificed everything good that Ernesto's was. EXCEPT where their prices are concerned. The bill for three of us (including a child) was over $75, and the food was terrible. The cooks (not chefs) obviously do not taste anything that is leaving their kitchen. The "freshly baked bread" was stale and chewy. Maybe it was freshly baked two or three days before being served, but it was definitely NOT freshly baked the day we were there. The bruschetta was also stale and overdone. There was no seasoning in the food at all, and the fettuccini alfredo tasted like pasta mixed with paste. I know, I know, you're thinking that we are just difficult to please. Not so. We do not need dinner out to be a five star affair. We are a simple, middle class family, who was looking for a nice evening out at a place where we always had good times. What a disappointment! On the plus side, the service was good. Our server was polite and always there anticipating our needs. But that may be because he was bored...there was a total of five people in the entire restaurant at the dinner hour. Save yourself the trouble, or you will pay through the nose for what turns out to be a mediocre experience.
Great Large Party Service, Food & Accomidations.
I recently had a rehearsal dinner in one of the lower levels banquet rooms and the food and staff were outstanding. All accomidations were met and the servers kept tables quickly bussed and delivered speedy cocktails and wine service. Food was great and guests were very satisfied.
An extensive menu of Italian favorites to suit adventurous or conservative tastes.. In Short Ernesto's attracts families. The decor is buckboard meets Italian distress, with tall clocks a repeating theme. The list of American and Italian red and white wines is as long as an arm. There are also plenty of cognacs, liqueurs, scotch single-malts and a whole page of outlandish martinis. Least interesting are the dishes most familiar to Americans. Most pleasing is the slightly more adventurous fare, such as risotto and pollo rosamarina (rosemary chicken).
I've eaten at Ernesto's three or four times since Chef Ernesto passed away (6 yrs ago?). I took the editors' suggestion, risotto e pollo, and indeed, the preparation was very good (the calamari appetizer has always been one of the best in Detroit). Their wine list is reasonably priced and sufficiently large. Although the food is not in the same league as the original, it is worthy of a visit if you are in the area.
ERNESTOS IS BACK!.
All the poor comments are from people that have not visited Ernestos in a year or so. The food, service and atmosphere have all improved. My wife and i recently visited for new years eve. Everything was spectacular. They have a new chef, new owners, management, and a new bartending staff with a WIDE variety of wine offered. There are new specials and the service was impecable....definatly worth the visit.