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Shining a light on Alpine cuisine, seasonal ingredients and quality wines, Alpino earns the title of 2024 Detroit Free Press/Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Restaurant of the Year

Alpino brings a foreign, yet familiar cuisine to Detroit

Last December, I took a detour from a vacation in Milan, Italy, to get a glimpse of Zurich, Switzerland. I'd hoped to feel the pulse of a city in the Alpine region, the territory from which Corktown restaurant and 2024 Restaurant of the Year Alpino draws its inspiration, even if only for a few hours.

A lot of the experience felt foreign: the Swiss German language, the colorful Swiss franc bills — navigating stop-and-go traffic of busy, icy city streets in a stick shift. But there was a familiarity in the food of Zurich.

Mild sausages and sweet sauerkraut called to mind dishes I've scarfed at Jacoby's in downtown Detroit, and the ever-present rosti, dressed down from its fanciful presentation at Alpino, was nothing more than a salty, dense potato pancake. Rich chocolate cakes were served with a side of fresh, tart gooseberries and currants — the same berries I've foraged in Michigan woodlands — and as a street vendor handed over a basin of hot, fried apples topped with crunchy sugar crystals, the transaction sparked the memory of my wedding night when my husband and I downed carnival treats at a Michigan fair.


Alpino: Best New Restaurant

In a world where restaurants are increasingly opting for maximalism, it could have easily been assumed by its name that Alpino would somehow give Disney Matterhorn vibes. That rickety, old bobsled log ride modeled to recreate the Swiss and Italian Alps might have been a Gen Xer’s childhood nightmare, but here in Detroit, we’re impressed to see Alpino offering a perhaps more subtle (and delicious) exploration into Austrian, French, German, Italian, and Swiss culture. No, the space does not replicate some corny après-ski. Diners are greeted with neutral tones, sure, some firewood accents, that stone fireplace, and a menu that reminds many of metro Detroit’s Eastern European community of grandma’s cooking.


Standouts include an herbaceous güurkensalat accented with edible marigold petals and a healthy dose of dill, a baseball mitt-sized wienerschnitzel made with a cut of breaded Strauss veal and a creamy morel rahmsauce, and pastas like a ragu tagliatelle made with buttery decadent Piedmontese beef. 


The Hottest New Restaurants in Detroit, February 2024

The first couple of months of the year tend to be slow for new restaurant openings, and this month is no exception. Folks looking for fresh options for upscale Japanese cuisine will find some exciting food and drink destinations in the Book Tower, Hiroki-San and a casual pub called Sakazuki (details of which can be found on Eater Detroit’s latest bar heatmap) — marking the final two new hospitality tenants to launch within the restored skyscraper since its reopening last summer.

This month, the Breadless Rochester Hills location and Encarnacion make their exits from the heatmap, while Hiroki-San makes its entry.


Your 2023 complete food and drink guide to Corktown

The strip of Michigan Avenue between two major freeways near downtown Detroit has been changing rapidly over the past several years.

If it's been a while since you visited historic Corktown, the city's oldest neighborhood and a crux of the area's Irish American community, you may be shocked at the area's changing skyline. The Michigan Central Depot is alive again and hip, residential housing is popping up everywhere.

Corktown is still home to favorites that have stood the test of time such as Mudgie's, Slows, Nemo's and Lager House, but it's also welcomed new names as of late, including an ax-throwing bar, an Italian cafe and a smoothie shop.

Whether you're looking for a complete night out or just a bite, live music or somewhere quiet, here's your complete and up-to-date food and drink guide to Corktown.


Alpino Detroit opens Monday in Corktown with cheese, wine and more inspired by the Alps

Corktown will get a taste of Europe's Alpine Mountains when a new, much-anticipated restaurant makes its debut Monday.

Alpino Detroit is opening in a popular and historic location, the stone-cobbled and cozy brick building where Kate Williams' award-winning Lady of the House restaurant made a home. Before that it was neighborhood hangout St. CeCe's, and in another lifetime, Irish bar Baile Corcaigh.


Alpino, a European-inspired restaurant, to open in Corktown

A new restaurant that draws its inspiration from European homes is coming to Detroit's Corktown neighborhood.


European-inspired restaurant replacing Lady of the House in Detroit's Corktown

A former Detroiter and hospitality industry veteran is breathing new life into a space in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood.

David Richter, who spent the last two decades in New York, moved back to Michigan last year to open Alpino, a "wine-inspired, regional" restaurant.   

“I’m thrilled to be back in Detroit, opening a restaurant in the city my heart never left," Richter said in a news release. "The culinary scene was being talked about in the cities I was living in, inspiring me to come home and be part of the growth.” 



Today, we are proud to announce the 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists for the James Beard Awards® presented by Capital One. Nominees will be announced on Wednesday, April 3, and winners will be announced at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 10 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Established in 1990 and first awarded in 1991, the James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards are one of five separate recognition programs of the James Beard Awards. The awards recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.


Detroit restaurant Alpino is a breath of fresh air

Ask anyone about their dining experience at Alpino, and you’ll notice a trend.

The response is pitchy. A resounding eyes-widened, head-tilted: “It’s actually really good,” echoes from person to person with an emphasis on “actually,” as if they’d collectively anticipated otherwise. As if they’d hoped to be underwhelmed.

The new Corktown restaurant, which opened in May, had big shoes to fill as successor of Lady of the House, the beloved, James Beard-nominated haunt helmed by darling chef Kate Williams.


Alpino Detroit Brings the Flavor and Culture of the Alps to the Heart of Corktown

Corktown's Alpino herds in live music, an extensive wine list, and comfort cuisine to celebrate the tastes and traditions of the Alps.

Every menu at Corktown’s new Alpine-inspired restaurant, Alpino, reads, “Till the cows come home.” The phrase is one of the restaurant’s many nods to its inspiration, the Almabtrieb, or the homecoming of cows, sheep, and goats from the high Alpine pastures celebrated each fall with food, wine, and spirits.


European and Alps-inspired cuisine spot opens in Corktown. Here's a look inside.

A former metro Detroiter and hospitality industry veteran opens the doors Monday of a highly-anticipated European-inspired eatery in Corktown.

Alpino Detroit, from hospitality veteran and Rust Belt Hospitality owner David Richter, is Corktown's newest spot. The restaurant, announced by Richter last summer, is on Bagley at the corner of Trumbull. It’s in the brick building with its well-known, cobblestone entrance that was previously home to chef Kate Williams' Lady of the House restaurant. The location was also once home to the popular St. Cece’s Pub and, before that, Baile Corcaigh an Irish pub.

Richter said the goal is to "build a culture, a place where people want to be."


Big restaurant openings slated for Detroit area this year

We're early into 2023, but the year promises to be one that sees some big-time restaurant openings. Some projects are slated to open across metro Detroit, along with some local brands branching out into new parts of the state.


Regional Cuisine from the Alps Coming to Corktown this Winter

A new wine-inspired restaurant featuring regional cuisine from the Alps called Alpino is slated to open its doors this winter in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood at 1426 Bagley St.

The restaurant location at Bagley and Trumbull is near Ford Motor’s Co.’s emerging mobility innovation campus made up of the former Michigan Central train station, the neighboring Book Depository building, and The Factory. The station is scheduled to open next year with 5,000 employees, half of whom will work for Ford, with the remaining workers made up of suppliers and mobility firms.


Alpine Mountains-Inspired Restaurant Named Alpino to Open in Detroit

A new restaurant inspired by the Alpine Mountains in Europe is opening in Detroit later this year. Named Alpino, the eatery will be located in Corktown on the corner of Bagley and Trumbull in the building formerly occupied by Lady of the House.

The 3,200-square-foot restaurant will feature an interior reminiscent of “European countryside farmhouses and cabins.” Taking inspiration from agriculture found in and around mountainous terrain, Alpino will serve traditional dishes from countries bordering the Alpine Mountains, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. Meanwhile, its beverage program will offer lesser-known, affordable wines from the same part of the world as well as cocktails and European-style beers.

people in traditional Bavarian dress dancing
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