Modern eclectic cuisine
“The location to us felt perfect,” said BESA Detroit managing partner Gerti Begaj about being in the Vinton Building at 600 Woodward Avenue. “It felt like the right way of representing Detroit and being in Detroit.” Begaj is one of multiple owners, along with Edi and Etrit Demaj, and Mario Camaj, owner of Birmingham’s Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro. The modern fine-dining restaurant opened in late October with Chef Kyle Schutte, who previously worked in California, leading the kitchen. Schutte describes the menu of the 135-seat restaurant as modern, eclectic, inventive, and influenced by his own culinary journey. So far, popular dishes include their pastrami spice agnolotto with rendered bone marrow and Michigan ribeye. There’s one menu item Schutte gets giddy about making – a dessert, Object Orange, inspired by the Detroit art project of the same name. As for the name, BESA, it has an Albanian connection (as do many of the owners) and literally means “a pledge of honor.” Begaj said the hospitality behind the word was very big for them. While dinner is the main focus now, they plan on rolling out lunch and brunch early next year.