THE SHORT COURSE
To avoid wait: The earlier the
better for dinner (before 7pm)
Noise level: Moderate to high
Bathroom amenities: No changing tables in unisex bathrooms upstairs; one changing table in the women’s restroom downstairs
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? Yes, plus lemonade and soda
Kids’ menu? Yes
Anything healthy for kids? Grilled chicken, potatoes and vegetables
Food allergy concerns? Servers can identify ingredients and chefs can cook food separately using clean utensils
“You know what I like about this restaurant?” pondered my seven-year-old daughter. “It’s very different than other restaurants.”
“FAAAN-CY!” her older brother, age 11, chimed in.
My family was sitting in Knight’s restaurant on East Liberty near State Street. This new location of the well-known steakhouse opened in April in the spot formerly occupied by Borders.
“You wouldn’t see the fancy lights and words on the wall,” continued my daughter. Indeed, the ambiance inside the newest Knight’s was refined. The soft white walls, dotted with words like “Seafood” and “Cowboy Steak”, contrasted and complimented dark wood paneling, flooring, and tables. Big, bright windows let in ample light and a view of the activity on Liberty and Maynard Streets. Still, this refined restaurant was filled with patrons of all ages and I felt at ease with my kids.
Where’s the meat?
While the ambiance of the newest Knight’s seems more upscale than the original location on Dexter Avenue, both share a similar menu. Meat, particularly steaks like Filet Mignon, New York Strip, and Porterhouse, are their specialty. When I balked at the prices, my husband stared at my incredulously. “You can’t come to Knight’s and NOT get steak,” he declared. He ordered the Cowboy Steak ($34.50). There were salads and seafood dishes that tempted me, but I decided on the London Broil: marinated flank steak with mushrooms, vegetable and salad ($19.95).
The Kids’ menu offered grilled cheese, a quarter-pound burger, chicken tenders, mac and cheese, grilled chicken with potatoes and vegetables, PB&J or a 5-ounce sirloin steak. Prices ranged from $4.95 to $13.95 and included a drink and fruit, applesauce or fries. My daughter ordered mac and cheese with fries. My tween ordered a plain “Big Double” cheeseburger off the regular menu: two quarter-pound patties with American cheese on a triple decker sesame seed bun ($8.50). (Knight’s is also known for its fresh ground burgers.) Hand-cut potato chips were included.
A savory cut
Fifteen minutes later, after my husband and I finished our dinner salads and the kids wolfed down dinner rolls dusted with poppy seeds, our meal was served. The presentation was impressive, particularly my husband’s 22-ounce Cowboy Steak. “This is a big, healthy chunk of meat,” he swooned, enjoying each bite. “Excellent marbling.” His tasty side of au gratin potatoes were but an afterthought.
My marinated London Broil was tangy, with a hint of teriyaki, and so good. It was cooked perfectly to medium as requested. The thick gravy on my mashed potatoes was decadent.
The kids savored their meals, too. The mac and cheese, made with penne not macaroni, was “yummy” per my daughter. My son, a burger aficionado, downed nearly all of his beefy burger before surrendering.
There is an appetizing selection of desserts to sample. My husband and I settled on the seasonal blueberry peach cobbler while the kids picked Key Lime pie. Alas, the Key Lime pie was too genuine for them. Its creamy, non-green goodness went unappreciated by their palates. The warm cobbler with vanilla ice cream was sweet, tart and delightful.
Ray Knight opened Knight’s Market over 60 years ago and the Dexter Avenue restaurant some 30 years ago. A steakhouse was added in Jackson. With the newest location downtown, Knight’s continues its tradition of excellence—for everyone in the family.
Knight’s Downtown Steakhouse
600 E. Liberty St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am – midnight; Sunday: 11am – 11pm