Went into Cliff Bell's with great expectations. The atmosphere was everything I had hoped for; authentic, romantic, and the band was great. Other than that, I could not have been any less impressed. The staff was at best curt. We were seated at a table that could maybe seat one person directly in front of the stage. Mind you, it was 5:45, we had reservations, and there were only maybe 20 other people in the establishment. When I went to the host station to ask for a different seat the gentleman stated "Give me five minutes, I'll see what I can do" There were four people working the host station at the time. We finally ended up asking our waitress to have us moved and she came back and said "they said you can sit over there" (a table right next to the piano up on the stage). We accepted this since I wasn't looking to make a scene. I ordered the ribeye and my girl friend ordered the Lobster Risotto. The food came out very quickly but was still almost cold. The waitress basically acted as though we were an annoyance the whole evening. The food was at best good, certainly not worth the price. If you want to go have some drinks and listen to some jazz, then this place is great. If you are looking for a good dining experience it is a disappointment.
The 5 of us had an AWESOME time! We ate at the restaurant before heading over to THE FOX THEATER to see STOMP! Already looking at dates to come again, this time with spouses and staying for the live show! :-)
The chance to hear and meet an internationally renowned jazz pianist was the main reason for our visit. We had great seats (thanks Open Table) right in front of the stage.
Our server, Scott, was was courteous and attentive. Two appetisers and a couple of Caesar salads were flavorful and well-presented. We added wine by the glass, a Creme Brûlée and a couple of coffees for a fine evening of great jazz, good food and service.
A throw back to an era that made sense. Enjoy
A gem in Detroit. Hope it always remains the great place that it is. Good food, good music and a unique atmosphere. It's like stepping back in time to visit what was genuinely 'cool'.
We had the best time at Cliff Bell's. Our food was cooked perfectly and our drinks were delicious. Finding parking was a bit tough, but everything else was great.
Food was very good, entertainment was great, fun night out!
Great place. It’s like getting back in time, back in 1930s
Went to see Alex Wintz on jazz guitar. Absolutely a great performer with the artistic and technical skills of the jazz greats. About as fast as anyone that ever played including Johnny Smith, Joe Pass, Lee Ritenour you name it, and with chord sensitivity and creativity that can match anyone. A real treat. Food was above average, but service was exceptional. A great place for a date or just to listen to jazz.
This is more of a jazz spot dinner restaurant, the food here can be inconsistent. And it’s expensive. But the music is great the atmosphere is great the staff is first rate
Great place to see great bands! Food was delicious but a bit pricey however everything was top notch including the service.
Our overall experience was very good. Loved the decor and jazzy music. My kale salad was lackluster. Sadly we had to cancel our dessert order because it took 20 minutes for our one piece of chocolate cake to be served!
Nephew playing in band
In a word, disappointed. We came here anticipating some great brunch. I ordered the chicken and waffles, my wife the vanilla french toast.
Sat down, ordered coffee and OJ. Coffee came, sloppily spilled into the saucer so it dripped everywhere when you drank it and the cloth napkins really didn’t soak it up so well. Once the first cup was gone - no offer for a refill. Bewildered.
Food arrived quickly, but that’s about it for the good. My chicken had been split into 4 pieces (odd) was cold, barely breaded and breading was soggy. It was also cold. To make it worse, the breading didn’t even adhere to the chicken. Slid right off. Chicken was dry....even came across some raw, pink chicken in the mess.
My wife’s food was also underwhelming. Dry French toast that was cold or been reheated and sat for a long time and got cold. Might’ve even been frozen. Even worse, the fruit on the plate was obviously from a can (think fruit cocktail from your childhood).
We really wanted this to be a good experience but is was just a huge disappointment. Could be great, but that would take a chef and kitchen overhaul as the concept and ambience is really neat and has potential.
Music was awesome-food was very good. Overall great evening.
No complaints really keep up the good work Cliff bells
Lovely brunch with great music and bottomless mimosas
Had a awesome time the atmosphere and jazz music was great food a little pricey but hey the overall experience was great will visit again 😊
Food was great as was our server. There was a man collecting “cover” which we believed was with the band. We went for restaurant week and this was not advertised until we saw the menu at the restaurant so we felt caught off guard and put a bad mood the rest of the evening of annoyance
Where to start? First off, getting a lecture from the hostess on why I shouldn’t make reservations via OpenTable was a nice start to the evening. Then we stood at the bar for one hour waiting for our table to be ready.
Cook staff struggles with not overcooking delicate food. A medium rare steak was cooked well, and scallops came to our table so over we could not cut through the rubbery pieces.
To top it all off, when it was time to receive our bill, the already-negative hostess threw (you read that right) our bill at me from across the table.
There are so many incredible options in downtown Detroit. Don’t let a young, untrained and entitled staff at Cliff Bell’s ruin your night out as it did ours.
One of my favorite spots for live jazz! Great bar scene, great food and excellent music. There is a cover charge if music is on (even for Detroit Restaurant Week which was set price).
The crab cakes are to die for... so good
Cliff Bells is a bit pricey but I really enjoyed the food! The gnocchi is fantastic, as was the chocolate cake!
First time there - loved it. Very cool space and the music was wonderful. We were there for DRW. All four of us had the filet steak. All we had were butter knives and they were all that was needed to cut these tender and perfectly cooked steaks. Also had the crispy maple ribbs for an app - delicious. Service was great!
It was very loud and my filet was under seasoned but cooked perfectly.
The gnocchi were the best
We went for Detroit Restaurant Week. Every food item we ordered, we raved about to each other. Our waitress, Jacqueline, was bubbly and attentive. The jazz started a little while after we got our food, which was perfect timing, for having conversation first, then listening. Loved every minute of it. A tad expensive, but worth it every once in a while!
Food was average. Over priced
Hard to carry on a conversation. Tables are very close
Had dinner before a show at the Fox. Server asked if we had a commitment and was exceptional in making sure we ordered to allow time to eat, enjoy and get out in time. She was spot on. Salmon was excellent
Before going we read the reviews so we planned for a leisurly dinner. We arrived on a Friday night at 5:20 and left the restuarant at 7:10. We enjoyed the music and the relaxed pace of the dinner. The food was very good, music was also good! We enjoyed it so much that we went back the next night and arrived at 5:00, and were out of there by 6:00. A bit faster pace, but that was good because we had tickets to see the Red Wings at 7:00. Only complaint is that the waitress did not smile or seem terribly friendly. We will go back to Cliff Bell's
Food was bland. Music was too loud. Couldn’t hear the person across the table.
Overall I enjoyed my experience. The interior of the restaurant is fantastic! Takes you back to another era. I love the mini tables at the bar and that they had live music. The only thing that I disliked was that when the band plays it is so loud you can not conversate with your dinner guests.
We went to Cliff Bells for the first time for Restaurant Week. The meal was great. My filet was cooked perfectly and the salmon dish was excellent. I loved the ambiance of the place and the history. I'm so excited to see so many great restaurants return and start up in Detroit. Cliff Bells is in the perfect location for our tickets to the Red Wings.
High cost for food that was ok. Venue was cool on the inside and the jazz singer was very good.
Wonderful experience. The service and ambiance are excellent. A wonderful date night
We had a wonderful time and even met new friends. We had not been to Cliff Bell’s before but will be going again.
I loved the decor and the retro ambiance. The jazz band was great and my food was very good! We did go during Detroit Restaurant week so the value was VERY good. Some things on the menu are a little pricey and I thought the crafted cocktails were high considering the quality is that of other area bars. But that isn't something that would deter me from coming again. I will definitely come back. The ceiling alone is worth coming her to see it.
It was our first time dining at Cliff Bell’s. We were celebrating our 15 year anniversary with dinner there. Loved the ambience and environment. Just seemed a little on organized considering we had reservations. The hostess was going to seat us at the bar but had to kick some people out of the space first. I was a bit confused since I reserved a table, preferably a corner table or booth. I spotted a booth near the entrance way that was open and asked if we could sit there, which we did. Our waitress made a statement right away asking us if we were in a time crunch. So we knew that wasn’t a good sign. They were very busy and maybe shortstaffed, I am not sure. Overall I liked the restaurant but just found the meal portions were very pricey for what you received. Entertainment was nice.
Great food and service will definately go again. It's a hidden gem in Detroit.
Such a great piece of Detroit history! It was just 2 of us and we were sat at a 2 person table, but it was tiny. That is our only complaint, barely any room for our plates and drinks. The food was so good, we had the bison braised short ribs and the ribeye. We also HIGHLY recommend the Detroit Dirty Martini and the Mudlark. I will now be making my martinis with pickle brine! Overall a good experience.
Great food, great music!