The Bottom Line
The Original Cottage Inn restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor provides great food in a warm, upscale atmosphere. While a good dining choice for Italian or Greek dishes, it’s a great place to grab a pizza and some ambiance on a weekend evening.
- Warm, up-scale atmosphere
- Good with kids
- Full bar
- Great value for dining-in pizza
- Downtown parking can be a challenge
- There may be a wait
- Some of the tables in the main dining room are too close to the kitchen
- The Original Cottage Inn Restaurant has specialty/gourmet pizza, as well as its Sicilian-style, deep-dish pizza.
- The franchise's flagship location is a restaurant in its own right with a warm, upscale atmosphere.
- The restaurant has a fairly large menu with both Italian and Greek dishes, as well as steaks, seafood and daily specials.
- The restaurant has a full bar.
- A kid's menu is available.
- Dress is casual.
Guide Review - The Original Cottage Inn Restaurant in Ann Arbor
The best part of The Original Cottage Inn Restaurant is its location in a two-story storefront in downtown Ann Arbor. It has a dining room on each floor, a winding staircase connecting them and a separate bar area. It is decorated in warm colors and has a big bunch of grapes hanging from the ceiling like a slightly eccentric chandelier. The atmosphere definitely rivals that of a nice Italian restaurant, which means you can make a pizza outing a very reasonably priced dining experience.
Whether owing to a superior recipe or a higher-grade pizza oven, The Cottage Inn managed to thoroughly cook the crust of its deep-dish pizza so it was thick and filling without being doughy. In fact, two slices of pizza ended up being more than enough for a meal. While the pizza was very cheesy, it had a fair amount of tomato sauce and a spicy finish.
The Pot Roast dish on the daily specials menu included a large portion of pot roast that was perfectly done. In fact, a knife sliced through the roast like butter. The seasoned red-skin potatoes were cut in wedges and crusted so fervently with spice that they ended up with a crusty outer skin and presented more like too-salty French fries.
The Spinach Lasagna had some unique ingredients, including sautéed mushrooms and almonds that gave a traditional favorite a unique flavorful twist. While solidly good, the pasta was served in an oblong bowl that was a little too swamped in sauce, thereby hiding the fact that the portion was somewhat shallow.
While the service is consistently good, the restaurant is hit or miss in regard to its hostess and seating. The restaurant does take reservations for larger parties, which can leave you sitting around in its waiting area for quite a while – even when the restaurant appears mostly empty.