By Robert Nester
The “practice opening” for the highly anticipated new restaurant in west Ann Arbor, “The Standard Bistro and Larder” occurred April 4 – 8 serving over 700 guests in the the day period. Chef/Owner Alex Young said “I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.” Young has partnered with Wickfield Properties and in May of 2017 purchased the former site of the Creekside Grill, which was briefly owned by Rick and Ben Buhr of The Sports Bar Westside.
The Standard is located at 5827 Jackson Road and features a 12 person bar, open dining for 118 and a lower level event facility with indoor seating for 120. Young, recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award, is a longtime local resident with many success stories to his credit. In 2001 he partnered with Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig to open the popular Zingerman’s Roadhouse and then in 2005 he again collaborated with Zingerman’s corporation to create the Cornman Farms event facility. Prior to working with Paul and Ari, Chef Young enjoyed a very successful career working as an executive chef for several top name restaurants in SoHo Manhattan and then moved on to California and London.
For the inaugural event last week Chef Young prepared a menu which included four plate settings that covered what is more traditionally referred to in American cuisine as appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. The variety of options are much more diverse than usually experienced in theme restaurants. Peter Noll of Dexter commented that “this new endeavor by Chef Young is a wonderful addition to the western corridor of Washtenaw County which is closely tied to the Dexter community. We are long overdue for this type of restaurant and talent.”
An impressive level of detail shows that Young has spared no expense to capture the ambiance and traditional cuisine of a fine French restaurant. Another local resident, Candice Carbajal, was pleased to learn that the wait staff was very well educated in the potential concerns of customers with food allergies. “If you or someone in your family has food allergies it is important to know how the food is prepared and whether there may be an issue with cross contamination. The wait staff here at The Standard was informative and happy to insure we had a meal that was free of worries.”
The restaurant is steeped in a French tradition from the maître d’ and servers that greet the guests to the knowledgeable sommelier making suggestions for just the right wine pairing for an entree. Menu options change on a daily basis and provide a wide verity of flavors and textures to accommodate almost any palate. In keeping with the French tradition there is a wide selection of pastas made daily, dry aged meats and fresh greens, all available for purchase at the Larder adjacent to the dining area. For those interested in picking up a meal to go there is the option to call in an order and take home a perfectly prepared dinner or the ingredients for a DIY fine dining experience at home. For more information or reservations please call 734 263 2543.