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Cliff Bell's Restaurant Review: When Cliff Bells opened his restaurant in 1935, the former rum runner picked a spot that had formerly been a speakeasy. Something clearly clicked because the restaurant remained open for the next three decades before closing. A few ventures started here but by 1985, the building was empty and falling into decay, a process that would go on for 20 years. But after an intense renovation, Cliff Bell’s opened its doors once more, keeping the swank Art Deco elegance of the 1930s intact with parquet wood floors, a mahogany bar and barreled ceiling. Located in the heart of downtown Detroit’s entertainment district, the restaurant offers a sophisticated menu of French-inspired American cuisine with starters like oxtail soup with roasted corn, jalapeños and fresh tomatoes; and lighter fare like Champagne cream-poached oysters with leek confit and Michigan apple slaw. Heartier dishes, created in the kitchen overseen by executive chef Matt Baldridge (former chef de cuisine at the famed Rattlesnake Club), include honey, garlic and lavender-rubbed Michigan lamb loin chops with buttermilk smashed potatoes as well as wild-caught salmon with roasted local corn hash and mustard sauce. There are also diverse entertainment options six nights a week, including open mike poetry readings, Hammond organ jam sessions and storytellers.