Best Italian Restaurant (Detroit)

Ottava Via

Staff Pick, Readers' Choice

1400 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-5500; ottavavia.com

Think of just how much Corktown has changed since Slows Bar-B-Q opened a what feels like a century ago in 2005: Just 15 years ago, the main culinary destination on Michigan was White Castle, and any drinking done al fresco was coming out of a paper bag. Early on in the transformation of this section of Michigan Avenue, this Corktown bank was remade into a richly appointed Italian eatery in 2013. The interior is all dark wood and chic lighting fixtures, and the cured meats and house-made cheeses are of high quality, and aren’t limited to porchetta and mozz’. You might even find such rarities on the menu as air-dried slices of beef called bresaola, delicious with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice. Or choose from several inventive pizzas. Heck, you don’t even have to be hungry to enjoy the pleasures of Ottava Via, which include a full bar. Sneak out back to the umbrella-shaded tables, where you can enjoy sun and shade, weather permitting, while enjoying such cocktails as the Julius Julep. —Michael Jackman

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