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click to enlarge COURTESY OF DETROIT FOUNDATION HOTEL

  • Courtesy of Detroit Foundation Hotel

What actually constitutes indoor dining is a question that restaurants around the country and definitely here in Michigan are struggling to define.

Completely enclosed structures equipped with heat are cropping up all over the metro Detroit area as restrictions against indoor dining put in place by the Michigan health department are still in effect for at least a little longer. Igloos and tents are popular alternatives that allow for small parties to all eat together in one space with limited interaction with other diners or wait staff.

That idea been applied to a new concept from the Foundation Hotel in downtown Detroit. The boutique hotel is transforming up to 10 of its suites into an intimate dining experience for small groups of up to six guests Thursdays through Saturdays.

“Through the difficult months of 2020 we have attempted to find safe and different ways to offer hospitality, food, and some form of relief to our guests,” executive chef Thomas Lents said in a statement.

Diners have the option of ordering directly from the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Apparatus Room, or a five course Chef’s Choice menu, delivered directly and safely to a private suite-turned-dining room.

The experience isn’t cheap. A $50 reservation and sanitizing fee is automatically charged at reservation. The Chef’s Choice menu starts at $85.

“The private dining suites are an opportunity for us to offer our regular Apparatus Room menu in a safe and private experience,” Lents said. “Before 2020 my goal had always been to get people out of their hotel rooms and down into the beautiful Apparatus Room space, now we’ve reversed it. Our goal is to bring as much of the Apparatus Room as we can up into the dining suites.”

The Foundation Hotel suite dinner is a cute option for Christmas holiday or New Year’s Eve meals. The posh rooms overlook a glimmering view of downtown and the ambiance is unmatched.

The experience is a taste of luxury that many of us may be craving after spending nearly a year in the house dressed in sweatpants.

“For a few hours you can get away from everything, have some great food and drink in a safe and private environment,” said Lents. “One day soon we will all be able to gather together again, but right now we think this is a pretty great way to enjoy a holiday evening.”

The Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus feature five courses with optional wine pairings, available exclusively on the holiday.

The Detroit Foundation Hotel is located at 250 W. Larned St., Detroit; 313; detroitfoundationhotel.com. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance.

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