Bastone Complex Royal Oak Review

Bastone Complex Royal Oak Review – review and menu info for the four restaurants in the Bastone Complex – Vinotecca, Bastone Brewery, Cafe Habana, Commune Lounge.

I had the opportunity to visit the Bastone Complex and review food and drinks from all four Bastone Complex restaurants. For those of you not familiar with the Bastone Complex, it is a group of four restaurants under one roof.

Each of the Bastone Complex restaurants has a different look, feel, menu style, etc. It’s an interesting and fun concept and I totally enjoyed it. I can’t wait to go back with some friends!

Executive Chef Robert Young joined the Bastone Complex in August and has made many changes to all of the Bastone Complex menus, all while incorporating the different styles. When asked how he does it all, he replied “I have my dream job; exactly what I want to do and all in one location.”

Here’s a summary and review of each of the Bastone Complex restaurants:
Vinotecca Wine Bar & Restaurant, 417 S. Main Street, Royal Oak: Vinotecca is a romantic, fine dining experience. A great date place. It has been recently renovated and is modern, dark (in a good way) and quite cozy. Chef Young came in and completely changed 99% of the menu with new options. My favorites included the roasted red pepper and feta spread and the roasted eggplant and feta spread. Both of these were so good on the flatbread. The Paella was also good and was loaded with fresh ingredients – shrimp, scallops (huge!), mussels, lobster, chicken, spicy sausage and vegetables. I’ve never had so many different kinds of seafood in one paella dish. The wines I tried were great. They have a huge selection that included my favorites – dry red wines, and lighter, fruity red wines.

Bastone Brewery, 419 S. Main Street, Royal Oak: The Bastone Brewery is quite interesting. Definitely more casual and family friendly. Kids eat free on Sundays all day (2 kids meals with one adult meal purchase). Chef Young changed 40-50% of this menu. We tried the Bastone Brewery spinach and artichoke dip which is a favorite of mine. And here, they do it good! The five cheese mixture was so creamy and was mixed with fresh spinach leaves and nice chunks of artichokes. I could have easily filled up on this alone. I also tried their signature dish, the Leuven Waffle. This is the new craze – a Belgian waffle with chicken! Sounds bizarre, right? It was topped with a yummy sour cream and white wine sauce. And, of course, what would a brewery be without the beer? Rockne VanMeter, the Bastone Brewery Brew Master, has created a great selection of beers with some very interesting names… Dubbel Vision, Voo Doo Brown, Monumental Blonde, etc. Two of their beers,  Voo Doo Brown and Nectar Des Dieux Tripple (this one has the highest alcohol content), won the 2009 Best Of for their category. Rockne is the most award winning brewer in Michigan, and they are very happy to have him!

altCafe Habana, 105 E. Fifth Street, Royal Oak: The interior was casual, a bit rustic with brick walls, yet sophisticated. Chef Young has done a tremendous job with the Cuban cuisine. My favorite was the carne asada – another single item I could have filled up on easily:). This is the dish Cafe Habana is known for. It is marinated for at least 24 hours and the end result is a very tender and perfectly seasoned steak. It also had this very interesting chimichurri sauce on the side that had a powerful, but very tasty, cilantro presence. I tried the Cafe Habana Mojito drink which I’ve never had before. It was really good and also interesting in appearance. You could tell they took the time to make it just right and they have the right tools that “bruise” the mint leaves so the oils mix into the drink perfectly.

Commune Lounge, below Bastone at 419 S. Main Street, Royal Oak: This was a unique experience and a great way to end the tour. The lounge is in the basement and definitely has an underground, dark alley kind of feel, but with a very welcoming and neat ambiance. It’s open daily at 6pm and can accommodate groups up to 30 for some fun get togethers. If I worked close by, I’d be getting the gang together to do some Friday happy hours. I tried their signature absinthe cocktails. They were good, but I could only drink them in small doses. Again, the atmosphere in the lounge is unique in a great way. I was quite surprised and I loved it.

Bastone Complex Royal Oak
419 South Main Street
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067
248-544-6250

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