Monday, August 12, 2013

Anniversary at Ember's

 My parents celebrated their 46th anniversary a few weekends ago.

I would basically need to marry someone within the next year if I'm interested in passing the same anniversary mark by their age..!  But marriage is complicated and not worth rushing, so nope, not happening.  Alas, I'm thriving in my independence.  It was a great chance to round up my siblings though for a family dinner out.  It was the first time I saw a lot of them since Christmas, and I'm always astounded at how much my nieces and nephews have grown (physically and mentally.. kind of).

We had 4:30 reservations at Ember Wood Fire Grill in Livonia.
I ate here once before a few years ago, and I was really pleased to see that their quality has not diminished in the least.

The elegant interior has brick walls and polished wood furniture, but the ambiance is relaxed and the restaurant fills quickly after the doors open at 4:30.  Our server worked with our party of 14 with grace and humor as everyone tried to navigate their tapas concept of ordering dishes to share with others.  
*Gasp!  Eat off the same plate as another?  After coming from China, this just seems standard, but I know people here are more conscious of germs and prefer to devour their own food.  So in that sense, I think the ideal group size is 4 to 6 people that are enthusiastic about democratic eating. 

The menu shifts seasonally and Ember tries to source their ingredients locally, so visiting any time of year is bound to be a treat.  I really appreciated their Asian-inspired dishes, like the baby octopus salad that was charred and a bit spicy, over a bed of soba noodles, shredded carrots, scallions and lime.  My mom ordered the sweet potato wontons, which were crunchy and sweetly glazed.  I wasn't surprised that they would also order a dozen chicken wings and french fries, but being New American cuisine, they were done deliciously and even looked a bit classier than you'd order in a bar.  Also pictured is the macaroni and cheese, the large portion which is made to serve at least four people, but my nephew Josh tried to conquer himself (fail).  My brother Chris ordered woodfire pizza special that had steak, pesto, artichokes, roasted red peppers and dotted with feta cheese.  The flat bread crust was crisp, though the pizza as a whole was a bit dry.  Other dishes ordered included an iceberg lettuce salad with blue cheese and bacon; roasted chicken; bruschetta; more macaroni and cheese.  The table was too large for me to steal bites of everyone's food!
The prices at Ember are really fair considering the inventive sharing menu; tapas dishes range from $6 to $15, while the New American dishes are around $17 and up.  It was nice catching up with my family, and I really look forward to returning to Ember again.

Ember Wood Fire Grill on Urbanspoon

Ember Woodfire Grill on Foodio54

Listening: "Octopus's Garden" by The Beatles


Donna said...

This was a great day!!! Thanks to our wonderful family!!

Allison said...

Congrats to your parents - that is SUCH an accomplishment and I'm so happy that you were home to celebrate with them!
The location looks fantastic too - and I absolutely love that the restaurant uses local/seasonal ingredients!