Joe Muer says: Go fish!
A legendary Detroit restaurateur and his legendary restaurant are back
Published: November 16, 2011
MT: What led to the demise of Joe Muer's and the London Chop House and the Pontchartrain Wine cellars after many successful years in business?
Muer: In spite of their indomitable position, they went out of business because of the economic changes and social changes in the city. Much of the advertising industry left Detroit. The old business community evaporated from the city. They got all the walk-in customers for lunch. Since that little business sector down there changed and attorneys were moving out, that was sustenance for lunch and for dinner. We lost demographics. The city was turning more to crime, drug dealing and problems on the expressways, creating fear for people who wanted to come downtown. Twenty years of Coleman Young was a killing factor.
MT: How do you envision the city of Detroit in five years?
Muer: We're on the crest of a change. As long as we keep political order in this town, have great leadership, we're going to have a following of city fathers who will help attract people to Detroit because it's the best buy in the United States. We've got all the resources — physical, human, environmental, natural — that can support a strong economy.
MT: Is there a recipe that you're willing to share?
Muer: I like to use a thick salmon fillet cooked with caramelized capers. I cook the drained capers, slowly in olive oil until they almost get crisp. Add lemon juice and fresh parsley. The fish can be poached, broiled, seared, whatever, and finished with the sauce. It's good on pasta too. Plain broiled cod, dipped in butter, is one of my favorites. Simple and delicious.
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