Forest Grill

About Forest Grill

Forest grill

Nestled away in Birmingham, Michigan’s triangle district the Forest Grill provides an intimate, American -bistro setting in which to enjoy Chef Brian Polcyn’s cuisine. It is a celebration of the continuation of American born European trained chefs. In the tradition of Chef Milos Cihelka, Chef Polcyn continues to provide a venue for young chefs to establish their place in the local community.

The menu showcases house made charcuterie, a raw bar, clay oven baked pizzas, and traditional bistro dishes. They are inspired by French, Italian, and contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on simplicity and flavor. Chef Polcyn’s vision for the Forest Grill is simple, an American bistro that uses quality local ingredients and is rooted in traditional cooking techniques.

The Forest Grill’s extensive wine list includes a number of regional wines from boutique vintners, Michigan vineyards, and standard classics. Each server is well-versed on the Forest Grill menu and extensive list of wines and will happily share any information. The bistro also features seasonal outdoor patio seating, an intimate dining room, open late on weekends, and the only community table in the city. The Forest Grill is both a neighborhood restaurant and an inviting and exciting eatery.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Forest Grill.

Forest Grill Staff:

Brian Polcyn – Chef/Proprietor
Nick Janutol– Chef de Cuisine
Joseph Salerno – General Manager & Sommelier

Contact Us

Forest Grill
735 Forest Ave.,
Birmingham, MI 48009
Phone: 248-258-9400
Fax: 248-258-6107

Forest Grill

Forest Grill Chefs

Forest Grill Chefs

Tradition runs strong in the heart of the kitchen at Forest Grill. Chef/Proprietor Brian Polcyn has trained under European culinary masters, and has created six highly successful restaurants in the Detroit area over the last 25 years. His unique skills and passion for old-world technique makes him one of the most renowned first generation American born chefs.

The European tradition of culinary excellence can be felt at the Forest Grill, and Chef Polcyn’s vision has lead to the creation of something unique in Birmingham, Michigan: the American Bistro. He is inspired by French, Italian, and contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients, simplicity and flavor.

Forest Grill recently welcomed Chef Nick Janutol as our new Chef de Cuisine. Nick hails from Detroit originally, but spent his relative “culinary youth” in NY at the Culinary Institute of America, and then in the kitchen of 11 Madison Park. He spent the last two years as second in command at the renowned L2O in Chicago, and now is putting down roots back in his home town. We are thrilled to have Nick in the FG kitchen!

Forest Grill

Chef Brian Polcyn

Chef Brian Polcyn is an award-winning chef and charcuterie expert. Chef Polcyn is nationally recognized for his creativity and culinary talents, and as the visionary behind some of Detroit’s most acclaimed restaurants.

While still in his 20s, Polcyn honed his skills at two of Michigan’s most prestigious restaurants, The Golden Mushroom under Certified Master Chef Milos Cihelka and The Lark. He created four of Michigan’s most prominent restaurants before opening the Forest Grill in Birmingham, Michigan.

In 1987, he debuted at Pike Street Restaurant in Pontiac, Michigan. Within weeks, food critics were heaping kudos on Chef Polcyn and his culinary team. In 1990, he premiered Chimayo, Michigan’s first restaurant featuring authentic Southwestern cuisine. Three years later, he created Acadia, an area trendsetter specializing in foods cooked over various hard woods.

Polcyn opened Five Lakes Grill in Milford in 1995 and it has been going strong for well over a decade. His devotion to culinary excellence and supporting local purveyors has made him a culinary icon in Michigan and in the United States.

In 2000 Chef Polcyn was prominently featured in Michael Ruhlman’s widely read book, “The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection”. That takes the reader through Chef Polcyn’s grueling weeklong Certified Master Chef practicum and exam at the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Polcyn and Ruhlman teamed up in 2005 to publish “Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing.” “Charcuterie” was also nominated for a James Beard Award.

With a growing demand for Chef Polcyn’s gastronomical expertise and rumors of his return to the heart of Oakland County, mainly the Birmingham area; Chef Polcyn’s pursuit of a second restaurant came to fruition in the summer of 2007. Forest Grill opened its doors in the summer of 2008. The location was right, it was the right time, and now he has the right team for the Birmingham Forest Grill project. The Forest Grill is an American bistro that provides fine food to its neighbors and guests. It incorporates elements of traditional European cooking techniques, modern American cuisine, and exceptional ingredients.

Chef Brian has been featured in local and national publications, including The New York Times, The Detroit News, Atlantic Monthly, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Playboy, Detroit Hour Magazine, The Detroit Free Press and Wine Spectator.

His numerous awards include three gold medals and a silver medal from The American Culinary Federation. The Hiram Walker Corporation recognized him as a “Rising Star in American Cuisine.” In 1990, he was first runner-up in the semi-annual American Culinary Gold Cup Bocuse d’Or, which is a competition that seeks America’s top native-born chefs. Five Lakes Grill won best restaurant in 2005. Chef Polcyn was also nominated for Best Chef Midwest in 2006 by the James Beard Foundation. He has cooked several times at the James Beard House in New York City, participates at the Traverse City Epicurean Classic, and the StarChefs International Chefs Congress.

Chef Polcyn is also a faculty member at Schoolcraft College where he teaches charcuterie. He is also involved with many local charities, such as Michigan Chefs Against Hunger, Share Our Strength, Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, and National charities like the Taste of the NFL. Giving back to the community means a lot to him.

Chef Polcyn and his wife Julia, have five children. He enjoys spending time with his family. When he is not in the kitchen, at school or with his family you can find him in the skies. Chef Polcyn is a licensed pilot.

Forest Grill

Executive Chef David Gilbert

Chef David Gilbert is a yet another Oakland County born Michigan chef who has an impressive work history and has been deemed by Chef Polcyn as a “rising star” in the culinary world.  He has worked at notable restaurants in both the United States and Europe such as the French Laundry (Yountville, California), L’Astrance (Paris, France), Martine Berastegui (San Sebastian, Spain), and Michel Bras (Laguiole, France).  He moved back to Michigan in 2005 to take the position as the Chef at the Rugby Grill in Birmingham. There Chef Gilbert had many local accolades for his culinary excellence.  One of Chef Gilbert’s signatures dishes is his torchon de foie gras.

With Chef Gilbert’s extensive knowledge and experiences in nouvelle French cuisine and traditional French cuisine made him an ideal fit for the Forest Grill.  Working at various three-star Michelin rated restaurants in Europe and highly rated American restaurants has made him an ideal chef to work along side Chef Polcyn.

Chef Gilbert is a man of exceptionally high personal standards and values genuine collaboration. He has also participated at a guest chef at the “Celebrity Chef Series” at Stratford, Ontario’s Chef’s School.  He continually travels to further expand his culinary knowledge and repertoire. Chef Gilbert is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and began his pre-CIA culinary career at Five Lakes Grill.  He currently resides in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.