Review: Fourteen East

Fourteen East
Fourteen East in Midtown Detroit

Fourteen East 4 Star Review

Yelp! Review of the Day

I’ve walked past Fourteen East Café I can’t say how many times, usually drawn by the lure of the white marble confection of the DIA or the strawberry-studded joys of Good Girls. I finally gave this charming modern café snug inside the Park Sheldon building its due and sat down with the beau for a visit. We were both charmed.

It had something to do with the little plates of biscotti and the free water held in a glass pitcher, the interior studded with fresh strawberries and cantaloupe. Come spring I’m stealing that for my own pitcher, given I hate flavourless water without some form of additive like a grove of lemons. The sleek interior in modern whites and dark tones has its own flair that works with artwork on display and what I think might have been a Tibetan prayer blanket for sale near the front.

But what stole my heart were the French macarons. They had them under a glass container like the old-fashioned bakeries I went to as a kid. There they were, in primary colours bold as life: blueberry, lemon, and black forest like someone took a crayon to them. We got two each, the last of the lemons being mine, and retreated to a table in the back to coo over purchases at the Peacock Room. I’m used to munching cookies a la a certain big blue monster on Sesame Street. Not these, which were $2/pop if I recall right. A slow, savory nip delivered a burst of lemon flavor. It was like a meringue and a swirl of lemon curd on top in terms of potency. Across the white table, my beau was similarly lit up for the blueberry tsunami that he said was about to turn him into Violet Beauregard.

We managed to nibble those macaroons au Parisien, one tiny bite at a time, interspersed with much conversation. The black forest are a delicious mélange of chocolate and cherry, their filling airy and somehow substantial in ways that don’t first meet the eye. In the meantime, we were admiring the old trolley poster on the wall and the large conference room at the back of the café in use by a local artists’ group. I was thrilled to see that sort of smart design encouraging the community to come in and keep Midtown hopping.

Fourteen East is a charming addition in an atmospheric old building. I’ll be stopping in again for more macaroons and a cup of tea, watching the city fly by while I settle in a peaceful oasis at a totally relaxed speed.