Oh Republica, where do I begin. The food? The ambience? The overall experience? I absolutely love everything about this restaurant/pub, and you will, too!
In fact, if it’s any testament to my love for Republica, I’m currently writing this post at one of their booths while munching on their delicious pita bread small plate. (This is actually the second time that I’ve eaten here in a week.)
Before my first dining adventure at Republica in Berkley, Michigan, I had heard wonderful things. Friends, Berkley business owners, Berkley residents, anyone who I talked to about food and must-try local restaurants mentioned how amazing Republica was. While I’m embarrassed that it took me a few months to actually go, Republica more than exceeds expectations.
As cliche as it sounds, Republica says it perfectly themselves: food revolution.
What does food revolution mean, exactly? It’s a mixture of fresh ingredients combined in unique dishes that result in mouth-watering masterpieces. Calamari tacos? Beet burger? Need I go on?
The first time I ventured to Republica, I had the pleasure of dining with my mom. We went on a very cold winter day, so for my entree I opted for the meatloaf. My mom choose the ribs.
Normally, I’m not a fan of meatloaf but I did hear that this dish was one of the best ones on the menu. From the first bite, I was met with juicy meat that was cooked to perfection. Combined with the mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and bacon, all of the flavors mixed together so well. In fact, this meal was probably one of the best that I’ve had in awhile. It also made me become a fan of meatloaf - which I thought would never happen. (I blame the overcooked meatloaf with too much ketchup from my childhood.)
I was able to take a break from my delicious meal to try the ribs that my mom ordered. And, OMG! They were magical. From the tender meat to the delicious flavoring of the BBQ sauce, it felt like I was eating heaven. My mom definitely agreed. We both licked our plates clean (figuratively) and sat in a state of foodie bliss.
Then, we ordered dessert. I will be the first one to admit that I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world, and after that meatloaf I was feeling pretty full. But the food was so wonderful that I just had to try the dessert. Banana cake was the featured dessert that night. To be honest, I don’t like bananas, but even that didn’t stop me. I knew it would be a culinary masterpiece. And boy, I was right! Topped with thick cream cheese frosting and whole walnuts, this cake actually might be my new favorite dessert.
Now, on to my second dining adventure at Republica. This time I had the opportunity to take advantage of happy hour. Opting for a glass of their pinot noir, their pita bread (yes, I’m still snacking on it now), and squash and Brussels sprouts leads me to another great culinary experience. While I could write a whole article on my love for the pita bread alone, the squash and Brussels sprout dish was beautifully enhanced with brown sugar-covered dates. The textures and culmination of flavors in this dish made my taste buds happy.
Of course, there is plenty of other food on the menu, with delicious options for meat eaters, vegetarians, and even those who have a gluten allergy.
I also heard that Republica updates their menu seasonally, which is just another reason why I will be going back again and again.
Walking in the front door, you’ll be met with the smiling bartender serving drinks to those sitting at the high-top bar. Featuring about seven chairs, this intimate bar is perfect for those looking for a quick drink or to catch up with an old friend.
Walking through the restaurant with the friendly hostess, you’ll find both tables and booths made for parties of four. With silver seats and wooden table tops, the ambiance is quite eclectic. One of my favorite aspects of Republica is the big bushes of herbs hanging from the ceilings along with the Detroit-based artwork hanging on each wall. Modern, funky, and unique are perfect ways to describe the space.
There is also a small patio outside, and while it wasn’t open when I went, it most likely features five small tables mirroring the intimate aspect of the inside - and provides me with the perfect excuse to dine here again once the weather gets warmer.
From the helpful hostess and wait staff to the number of diners who seemed to know each other, dining at Republica felt like I was right at home. No matter how crowded it gets (and trust me, it can get a bit busy!), you’re met with attentive service, a delicious meal, and a family atmosphere (perfect for a family dinner with small children). But don’t just read it here, I encourage you to try Republica for yourself and then tell me about your experience in the comments below. From one foodie to another, I’m curious to know your thoughts.