The Earle

4.5
2319 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
An award winning Ann Arbor institution since 1977, The Earle serves a rotating menu of fine Italian and French cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. Selections include lamb chops, veal, beef tenderloin, salmon, duck breast, sea scallops and more. Live jazz plays Tuesday through Saturday in the dining room, while the wine bar offers lighter fare, twenty wines by the glass and Ann Arbor's best Happy Hour. The Earle's nationally recognized wine list (Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence) offers over 1,400 selections. Three private rooms are available and accommodate groups from 6 to 48.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian, French
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm, Saturday: 5:45 - 11:00pm, Closed Sundays during the summer
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Phone number
(734) 994-0211
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Shelley Caughey Adams
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Private party facilities
The Earle offers three separate private dining rooms.
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Private party contact
Zoe Cowan: (734) 994-0211
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Ashley
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Parking details
Public parking is available nearby:
1) Large public surface lot that occupies the entire city block, bounded by Huron, First, Washington and Ashley. Entrances are on Ashley (northbound) and First (southbound). This lot is "kitty-corner" from our entrance.
2) City parking structure on E. Washington (1 1/2 blocks east of The Earle)
3) City structure (very large and always has space) on North Ashley (2 blocks north of The Earle)
4) Street (no meters after 6PM)
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Entertainment
Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday we have solo performers (piano or guitar) that play from 8pm until 10pm.
On Friday and Saturday we have a soft jazz trio (usually piano, bass and drums). The trio plays from 8:30pm until close. No cover anytime.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Indoor Smoking Area, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2319 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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P
Tampa
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

The food was excellent. I had the sea scallops with mushrooms, sherry creme. The service was poor and slow. Luckily we weren't in a hurry, but if we were it would have been trouble. 40 minutes from when the appietizers were cleared to when the entree was served. Yes it was Saturday night, bu 40 min? then after dinner, we ordered dessert, waited another 20 minutes until the waiter wanted to know if we "want anything else?" ... "Yes, the desserts we ordered 20 minutes ago." Still, the food was so good, it almost made up for the very poor service.

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MV
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was great. The scallops were recommended by the waitress and they were outstanding. The drinks were all quite good as well but I particularly enjoyed their Moscow Mule. I will definitely be back!

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VL
Detroit
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Made for a great anniversary

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C
Detroit
9 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We love the Earle and were there again for a family celebration. Service was undeniably s-l-o-w and that was disappointing. We like the Earle because it can be leisurely and allow conversation but this went beyond. The food was good enough, not great. I love their reasonable portion sizes but the prices are a tad high. Not sure why but this trip was not the usual exceptional experience we have come to expect.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic scallops and great ambience for our anniversary dinner.

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WR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very good food and service and inviting atmosphere that has a 70s throwback feel to it.

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EK
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 5

Amazing food, breathless ambiance - bad service. We wanted drinks, appetizer and dinner. Waited so long just to order our meal after drinks (server took forever to come back- or would see us talking and walk away) that we forgot to order the appetizer, we were so hungry and ready for our meal! Just a small drink and dinner. We didn’t think about it until we got home, sad we didn’t get to try the apps we chose.

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5
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

While the staff was very nice, service was terribly slow and the food was only mediocre. I expected more, especially given the price.

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KC
Kansas City
64 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific dinner in Ann Arbor with our Michigan students and their friends. Would definitely return. Great experience!

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ED
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have loved this place for 25 years! Dennis is an amazing leader and we especially love Steve, Joe, Kaitlyn, Duwayne and Bruce as well as the hostess of ~24 years who was so kind to give us 2 table options tonight (34 or 78)! What a team. We are so pleased to be with them another 25 years!! Great Job Dennis!

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c
Detroit
20 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great choice for dinner or drinks. Delicious food.

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CC
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambiance is wonderful on a Saturday evening with the piano player and accompaniment. Best happy hour drinks and mussels during the week!

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F
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The cave ambiance creates a most interesting atmosphere. Food is creative and well prepared. Prices are high overall interesting, tasty dining experience, makes this a viable choice for a special occasion .

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OT
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

It was average. Tried 6 different appetizers and all of them were meh. Lamb was good but very saucy, but great sauce. Atmosphere is weird, either too loud because of live music or deathly quiet when the music takes pauses.

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JB
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Lovely meal in a quiet and intimate setting. There was a jazz banding playing quietly adding to the ambience and general good feeling. The food was excellent. The wait staff friendly although a little slow at times, not always a bad thing.

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B
Detroit
6 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

The service issue was our waitpersons. This was not a general occurrence. See my reviews. I’m not a negative person. I brought two people that had never been to the Earl. Where was the manager?

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L
Detroit
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We had a great meal for our anniversary. They were busy, but we were attended to fairly well. The Jazz band showed up half way through our meal. That was a nice topper to an already enjoyable evening.

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OT
Detroit
6 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This will be a very honest review because this place is a gem but not for long. The Earl is a long time favorite to Ann Arbor with a much needed remodel. The decor although somewhat comfortable is outdated and a light remodel would even do the trick. It’s in a basement so maybe some fresh paint with new industrial lights and Edison bulbs would be a start. Anyway, the service here has always been slow so keep in mind that this will be a long dinner. Slow service doesn’t necessarily mean bad service but it will be mediocre and also could use a refresh. The drink menu is probably the most updated item in the whole restaurant. They had nice cocktails but priced at $20 each. I always believe that the small things matter and will truly make an experience from good to great. In this case, it goes from good to ok and that’s what the food is, ok. The plates they use are very small and everything gets mixed together and it resulted in a less then perfect meal for a $30 plate. (No soup or salad corse) The sauce ran into everything I ate and was also broken, the orzo was not cooked all the way and the vegetables where way over cooked. Even with that said, the flavors where there but it was very poor execution. Over all, this place probably deserves more stars but in actuality it lacks on all fronts. I personally hope that this landmark restaurant works some things out before it’s is lost forever. Cheers and happy dinning!

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DK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent scallops dinner (plentiful and delicious). Will definitely go back.

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KG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We were SO disappointed with our experience at The Earle! The four of us were crammed into a tiny booth at the far back of the restaurant, where it was so LOUD we could hardly hear each other talk. The service was incredibly slow, food took forever to come out, and when it did we were very disappointed! We ordered the roasted garlic appetizer, which came with 8 toast rounds but only enough goat cheese for two. Several people ordered soup, which was good. The entrees were served on tiny luncheon plates. The vegetables were a mushy mound of grated mixed veggies...WAY overcooked and unrecognizable, the lamb (which our server recommended as one of their best dishes) was $38 and swimming in a tarragon sauce that was so strong we couldn't really enjoy the lamb. The pasta dish was poor and served in a tiny luncheon bowl. The redeeming entree was the salmon in puff pastry. We had creme brulee and an apple cake for dessert, and those were both quite good. We would not go back.

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BB
Milwaukee
20 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a gem! I travel every week and have the opportunity to eat at great restaurants. This is one of my new favorites. The food is delicious but the diverse, HUGE, reasonably priced wine list is outstanding. Even though the Badgers lost, experiencing The Earle was a highlight of the weekend.

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ML
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great evening at Earle. We weren’t rushed and service was great

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OT
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I were celebrating our 33rd anniversary. We always choose The Earle because it was where we had our first date in 1984 and it’s always been a special place for a dining experience. Once again, it lived up to our expectations.

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JS
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Live music was nice and the room has an attractive feel to it, but the food was mediocre and service was haphazard. My beak was oily, the brussel sprouts were over cooked and my husband’s sausage pasta was dry and fairly flavorless. We had 3 or 4 different servers. No kids menu for little ones.

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BH
Detroit
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A long time favorite. Great service and food are complemented by a terrific wine list. Wine list is notable not only for its size but also for its full range of prices. Good value wines peacefully coexist with those great special occasions wines.

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CS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Great ambiance with only above average food. That may be okay, however, given the prices the food should be significantly better.

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CB
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Overall the food was great especially the entrees. We were all a bit disappointed by the desserts. The dessert selection had a good variety but the desserts themselves were good but not as fantastic as we expected especially based on how they looked.

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DA
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Strong performance across the board. Service was a bit slow, but food was excellent for all six of our meals.

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KB
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Extensive wine list! Soup was amazing, but entrees were mediocre. I had the salmon with spinach and the spinach was salty. My husband had the white fish on a bed of sautéed spinach and he said his was salty as well.

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DB
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Second year in a row I celebrated my birthday at the Earle. Had a fantastic time, as usual.

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JH
Detroit
6 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The food is very classic in style but delicious. I will never be able to eat scallops anywhere else.

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EO
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Service was a little slow at first, taking about 15 minutes to get a whiskey and a gin, but after that was quick, the server was very friendly and funny and attentive, and there were no mistakes made. The food was delicious, especially the roasted garlic, and the atmosphere was very welcoming.

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CA
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and service. Our two servers were attentive, friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was lovely and romantic. My boyfriend and I were there for an anniversary and between the food, service, atmosphere and attention to detail we were very happy! We plan to return next year!

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JS
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

My first medium well steak was medium rare. My second one was well done plus! This has never happened here before. One of my favorite steak places in Ann Arbor!

Had an out of state guest with me so I didn’t have the time to try a third time.

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LF
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My absolute favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor! The service, atmosphere and food are all Ryo. D excellent. I can't say enough good things about the Earle.

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j
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Loved the live music on Sat night. Many of the dishes have interesting sauces that complement the food well. A few were heavier than we prefer. The veal scallopine was a favorite.

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F
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a table of 12 and received great service. All food options were great. What was especially notable was the line list. Probably the best selection of wines in Ann Arbor. Also, every wine was priced very fairly with significantly less mark up than usual. Highly recommend a visit to the Earl. Truly a great experience all around.

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SC
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 2

I've been eating at the Earle for close to ten years now. I enjoy the food, ambiance and the music. Service is always spot on until last Friday night. Took my husband there for his birthday dinner and our service was absolutely horrible. Usually servers are super attentive, not that night. Didn't even check on us after delivering our meal. I had to get up and get sugar and creamer for my own coffee.

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JM
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 5

OK food. Certainly better than 90% of restaurants but uninspired preparation.

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KE
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 5

Birthday celebration and the Earle never lets us down!

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