Review: San Morello is excellent — too bad it’s in the Shinola Hotel

Apr 17, 2019 260

BY: Tom Perkins

San Morello is a difficult one to review. On one hand there's a dearth of high-quality Italian food in Detroit, so the nearly four-month-old restaurant at Grand River and Woodward avenues is a welcome addition. There are also few chefs in town of Andrew Carmellini's caliber — he's the recipient of multiple James Beard Awards, and won a Michelin star in 2006, while another of his restaurants received a Bib Gourmand in the 2015 Michelin Guide for New York City.

Carmellini's skill is evident in San Morello's black shells puttanesca, a dish with big, sweet pink shrimp and small rings of tender calamari among a perfectly salty mix of shells, sweet cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, chili, white wine, anchovy, arugula, and breadcrumbs with dehydrated olives, capers, and anchovy that provides a textural contrast. It's a plate to behold, especially in Detroit.

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