Otus Supply Bar Area
Dining SEEN Food + Drink Restaurants + Chefs

Otus Supply

January 30, 2017

The Nexus of Food + Art

By Mary Meldrum

We discussed the name “Otus Supply” while we circled the block to park. Someone said the name was probably derived from Otis Elevator, a well-known company in its industry. But I knew the spelling was not the same and, because I have a degree in zoology, I suggested a reference to the genus name for owl. Although I didn’t realize this place was originally called the Black Owl, I happened to be right.

Located at 345 E. 9 Mile Road in Ferndale, Otus Supply is just winding down its soft opening.

Beginning with an enormous 15-foot wooden front door, we walked into 10,000 square feet of artistic and architectural wonder. I found it difficult to hold a conversation with the hostess as my eyes were kidnapped again and again by curious and spectacular pieces of furniture, lighting and paintings.

Otus Supply Bar Area

One of two spacious bars in Otus Supply that offer patrons a cozy place to sit and enjoy drinks and a meal

My voice trailed off as my brain and all my senses were hopelessly hijacked by the art. I wasn’t the only one. I glanced at the patrons; everyone seemed to be looking up at the walls and the ceiling with their jaws hanging open. The art of Alex Morales from Smartmouth Designs in Chicago as well as Daniel Ross from Detroit occupy the space, along with many others. I was already feasting before we even sat down.

Otus Supply is a nearly 200-seat restaurant that features a Great Lakes-inspired menu with an emphasis on quality. Indeed, the word quality was mentioned to me several times by our server as well as Jeff Gieche, the general manager, and Myles McVay, the head chef and one of Otus Supply’s partners.

Otus Supply Seating

Otus Supply is a great place to enjoy a get-together with friends or a cozy meal for two

“Our food is all non-GMO, sourced locally from sustainable farms that embrace humane practices with their animals,” Myles said. “We wanted to create something with a communal vibe — a place of sharing and gathering.”

The venue is big but broken up into smaller areas, making the seating more intimate and the noise that a larger space generates less of an issue. The room in front of the restaurant has one wall made of huge garage doors that can be opened during warmer weather. The restaurant is divided into two main areas: the Hollow and the Parliament Room.

The Parliament Room is a somewhat separate area with a large bar, an entertainment stage and a chef’s counter where patrons can sit or stand and interact with the kitchen staff and watch them prepare food. Live entertainment in the Parliament Room includes local, regional and prominent national acts six nights a week, with tickets available on the Otus Supply Facebook page.

Seating throughout the Hollow is a mix of mostly communal tables, booths, benches and couches. Once seated in the “Library” section in the Hollow near the back of the restaurant, we settled in with drinks and browsed the menu. I recognized very few items, but our server was very well versed in the offerings.

Otus Supply The Hollow

In the area known as the Hollow, couples and larger parties enjoy the sense of great space within an intimate setting

We started with a small plate each. We chose the Zucca Al Forno, which included delicata squash, chestnut, sage, pureed rutabaga, cinnamon and an unexpected dusting of habanero powder. We also chose the Duck Cotechino. This was a sausage dish made of a combination of duck and pork with a complement of sweet potatoes and puffed black rice crispies. It was a delightful circus of taste.

Otus Supply Small Plates

A small plate called the “Little Gem” is fast becoming a favorite

Otus Supply Succulent Small Plates

Succulent small plates hold center stage at Otus Supply

The highlight of our meal was something off the menu named “Filthy Animal,” a pizza that is the favorite of the staff — and for good reason. Aside from the flavorful pesto and pine nut topping, the sourdough crust was heaven. The crust, oh my, the crust elevates this entire place to a new level. Otus Supply has an in-house bread process. They make all their own bread, pizza crust and pasta from scratch every day, and you can tell.

While Otus Supply is clearly able to seat and feed large groups, they have taken care to make sure there are cozy corners for couples and foursomes as well. People of all ages were enjoying drinks and food when we were there, and the warm, casual atmosphere makes everyone feel included. NS

Otus Supply
345 E. 9 Mile Road, Ferndale
(248) 291-6160


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