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“Underwhelming”
Review of Lelli's Restaurant

Lelli's Restaurant
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Ranked #9 of 132 Restaurants in Auburn Hills
Price range: $0 - $80
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Tried Lelli's as there wasn't much else to try in the area. VERY DISAPPOINTED, first of all I don't like to HAVE to use a valet service when there is virtually NO PROBLEM getting parking. Second, menu's with NO PRICES are a turn off. Lelli's tries to bill themselves as a white linen and high end steak and chops house. Sorry but they're missing the mark. I ended up ordering the "petite" dinner filet mignon and it was QUITE petite (very small), it was prepared well so that's a plus BUT there was this oily "sauce" on the plate which was so overly salty that I couldn't stand it. The mashed potatoes were lukewarm and the 6 to 8 green beans on top of them were not even luke warm. The Peroni beer was out of date (had a July 15 pull date.... I work for a beer company) which; in some folks view, should not be the issue for the restaurant as the distributor should be taking care of such. BUT for Lelli's being "HIGH END" (or trying to be such) I'd think that THEY would be watching their beer dates (it's not that difficult). Capped the meal off with a cup of warm NOT HOT coffee.

Overall a very, very disappointing meal and evening. I would NOT go back.

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2  Thank James T J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 - 168 of 278 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2013

Been going to Lelli's for many years. The Original one in Detroit was really THE best. But then again maybe I'm just nostalgic. The Auburn Hills location, well, it's just ok. Service has gone downhill somewhat and the atmosphere isn't the same. The soup and salad recipes have changed. The steaks are still good. However, there are better steak houses out there besides Lelli's.

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1  Thank Nila01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

It was good to try this Detroit area classic institution once. Lelli's has been around for 74 years. A six course meal at an Italian steak house (for a woman who doesn't eat mammals) sounded like a daunting amount of food but it turned out to be good. There were many good wine choices, many of which are available by the glass. The antipasto had selections for everyone in the group's preferences. The salad was good, but I was really surprised by the soup. It was a vegetarian minestrone which looked like it had a cream base but it didn't. It was made with pureed garbanzo beans. It was surprisingly good. I told the waiter that I don't eat meat, so he offered fettuccine Alfredo as a pasta option. Typically the pasta course is a Bolognese. I was only going to taste it, (as a woman of a certain age must watch what she eats), but soon it vanished from my plate. I decided that would count for dessert! I asked a lot of questions about the fish options available, and had a hard time deciding, as they were quite limited. Also, our waiter was young and didn’t like fish so he had a hard time guiding me. There were no fish specials available. As a Floridian with fresh Gulf and Atlantic fish everywhere the lake perch sounded lame. I could make salmon at home. I'm not a lobster fan, so I settled for the Shrimp Lelli. The shrimp was lightly breaded, fried and was supposed to have a lemon sauce on it. I didn't taste the lemon; the sauce was bland and overall was disappointed in the entrée. My friends all had the filet with their famous Zip sauce, which they all liked. I could smell the Chateaubriand entre being prepared tableside nearby and it didn’t smell very good to me. For desert, a choice of house-made spumoni or lemon sorbet was offered. My friends seemed to like the spumoni. Overall, I’m glad I tried this classic place once, but once would be enough for me.

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1  Thank edyrp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2013

Lelli's is a traditional Italian restaurant, known for steaks, veal and seafood. Have traveled the US and Europe and have not had a better steak anywhere. The Filet Lelli was done a perfect medium rare: moist, deep pink and delicious. The lobster tails were large, sweet and tender. Although ala carte is available, meals include several courses, and guests aren't "rung up" by high pressure sales/wait staff for each and every side dish. The service is attentive without hovering, giving guests time to relax and unwind. All around a great spot.

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Thank MichiganAlexanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

My eighty year old lunch companion loved Lelli's for the nostalgia it held. When we entered, musty smell in the largely unoccupied, main dining room was not noticed. The unsmiling waiter's somewhat brusque manner didn't seem to matter either. I however, was left feeling that he embodied the feeling that the happier days of dining at Lelli's from years ago are slipping away. At least, it appeared that way on this particular afternoon.
That being said, the two bread rolls we received were served warm and fresh. The three, small pieces of thin-sliced, crusty toast were good too. They were served with a generous portion of large, cold butter pats. The luncheon menu was reasonably priced. The wine selections we tried were excellent accompaniments to our meals. Our minestrone was thick, almost creamy and rich. Fresh-grated parmesan was offered by the wait staff. My companion enjoyed the petite filet. I liked the mostaccioli with palomino sauce. We both enjoyed the brick spumoni at meal's end. Coffee, though late in coming and well after dessert, was hot and fresh.
I hope that this was an off day for the waiter. Other servers appeared more balanced. Additionally, I hope that the smell was a temporary thing too...maybe a reaction to recent, more humid weather. Photos on the entrance wall certainly recall happier, better days. Funny though, there are other wonderful Italian restaurants in metro-Detroit that have withstood the decades better. I would encourage a first-time visitor to try those places instead.

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1  Thank VaporK8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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