Ale Mary's Beer Hall 316 S. Main St, Royal Oak; 248-268-1917; alemarysbeer.com: Situated in downtown Royal Oak, attached to Tom's Oyster Bar, sits Ale Mary's. It's a newish, beer-focused bar that's attracted quite a bit of attention from both locals and those far and wide. We wrote about their food menu and commented on the environs earlier this year. We praised them quite wholly.
Anchor Bar & Grill 450 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-964-9127: Those who aren't swayed by the Anchor's sturdy tavern fare may enjoy the watering hole's wealth of local history. Pre-dating Prohibition, this institution has enough vintage local political, media, and sports photos and memorabilia to make a museum envious.
Andiamo Italia 7096 E. 14 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-268-3200; andiamoitalia.com: The flagship of the Andiamo mini-chain, with the kitchen led by chef Pete Lech. Their newly expanded banquet facility can cater parties or business functions from 50 to 650 people in "luxurious splendor." See website for other locations.
Ardmore Park Place Cafe 26717 Little Mack Ave, St. Clair Shores; 586-443-4597; ardmoreparkplace.com: American fare of small plates, salads and entrées ranging from beef and pork to chicken, seafood and pasta at this intimate spot inside a house from the 1850s.
Atwater in the Park 1175 Lakepointe St., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-344-5104; atwaterbeer.com: Excellent new microbrewery in retrofitted church with an outdoor German biergarten. Over 20 local beers on tap and great kielbasa, spaetzle, sauerbraten and more at this Munich-style gem in the Park.
Bangkok Cafe 323 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-548-5373: Do an informal poll at Bangkok Café's carryout station and you'll find that most people have been coming here for years. It's all about the consistency that starts with their subtly tasty chicken and vegetable fresh rolls enhanced with mint leaves and a tangy dipping sauce and tom yum gai hot-and-sour soup. If a Thai restaurant is to be measured by its pad Thai, then we'll vouch for this well-spiced but not dripping-in-sauce version. Even beyond the staples, we've yet to find a dish here that hasn't satisfied our Southeast Asian cravings
Beans & Cornbread 29508 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield; 248-208-1680; beanscornbread.com: This is the place for upscale soul food with a fresh twist, including excellent meat loaf, salmon croquettes and a dreamy sweet potato cheesecake. Arrive early and plan to stand in line for this perpetually full house. A busy, colorful dining spot that features bright artwork and a bustling open kitchen.
The Bird & the Bread 210 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-203-6600; thebirdandthebread.com: Casual European spot with mussels, pizza, soup, salad, craft beers, and rotisserie chicken.
Bistro 82 401 S. Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak; 248-542-0082; bistro82.com: "Ability takes you to the top. Character keeps you there," boasts the Bistro 82 website. It's a good motto, and it sets a tone for the experience of Bistro 82 that carries through everything they do. Sabrage nightclub with DJ booth-fishtank is upstairs.
Blufin Sushi 18584 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-332-0050; blufinsushi.com: Sushi dominates the offerings, but a glance at the other side of the menu shows pan-Asian influences, and a general Pacific Island sensibility carries through to the decor.
Bogartz Sports & Music Cafe 17441 Mack Ave., Detroit; 313-885-3995: Casual American neighborhood bar and grill featuring pizza, bread knots, onion rings, burgers, salads, fish tacos and more.
Bourbons on Sycamore 118 Sycamore St., Wyandotte; 734-556-3258; bourbonsbayou.com; Downriver Cajun-themed bar and grill in downtown Wyandotte featuring seafood, burgers and pizza. Over 80 bottles of whiskey.
Bread Basket Deli Many southeastern Michigan locations at breadbasketdelis.com: Bread Basket Deli is a Michigan favorite and has "The Best Corned Beef, Period." Founded in 1977, The Bread Basket Deli has earned national acclaim as the best old-fashioned deli serving hot corned beef in metro Detroit. Owner Al Winkler ("Mr. Deli") and his family are committed to serving only the freshest, highest quality sandwiches, soups and salads. 11 locations.
Bucharest Grill 2040 Park Ave. and 1623 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-965-3111; bucharestgrill.com: The Bucharest Grill is a is a downtown favorite for a quick lunch at a great price or for the night crowd looking for great food. Located inside the Park Bar, Bucharest is a quick walk from the ballpark and right in the center of the Foxtown nightlife. The food ranges from traditional Romanian dishes to middle eastern cuisine and hot dogs dressed every way imaginable. Everything is handmade as it should be in a traditional kitchen with original recipes that you won't find anywhere else: pork dishes. In fact, more than half of the menu items contain ground pork in one form or another.
Buddy's Restaurant & Pizzeria see buddyspizza.com for their many southeastern Michigan locations: Buddy's is a Detroit institution and a perpetual winner of Metro Times Best of Detroit neighborhood pizza category. After living a full life as a neighborhood speakeasy, Buddy's original location on Conant Street only started pumping out its award-winning pizza in 1946. Nine locations.
Cadieux Cafe 4300 Cadieux Rd.; 313-882-8560; cadieuxcafe.com: The french fries (called "pomfrites") are essential eating, along with another core element of Belgian cuisine: mussels steamed in white wine and vegetables and accompanied by both clarified butter and a mustard-and-vinegar sauce. Live bands play many of the weekends. Kitchen is open 4-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. Bar open until 2 a.m. every night. Late-night menu is served until 1:30 a.m. Features Belgian feather bowling.
Campau Tower 10337 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-265-3694; rockcityeatery.com: Newly reopened burger joint featuring huge burgers and hot dogs, tater tots, tortellini mac and cheese and more. Affordable and unpretentious.
Cafe Al Karar 1368 Broadway St., Detroit; 313-265-3176; cafealkarar.com: Middle Eastern & Mediterranean cuisine in downtown Detroit featuring interesting mash-ups and a unique menu. If you like things spicy, try the house-made hot sauce.
Café Sushi 1933 W. Maple Rd., Troy; 248-280-1831: When you walk into Café Sushi you are greeted by a sleek newly refurbished sushi bar. The food is delicious, the service is great, and there is something for every kind of diner, timid or adventurous.
Catch 22 Bistro 2430 Pointe Tremble Rd., Algonac; 810-794-4844; catch22bistro.net: American family restaurant with long bar for adults. Seafood, steaks, pasta, salads, sandwiches and more. Known for their Cajun chicken sandwich, pasta, lake perch, pizza and home-made salad dressing. Take the nearby car ferry to Harsen's Island and explore before or after your meal.
Chicken Shack 1320 E. 11 Mile Rd.; 248-541-5100; chickenshack.com: Since starting in Royal Oak in 1956, Chicken Shack has been selling "broasted" chicken, pressure cooking birds in their own juices. It's been wildly successful, with 18 locations listed at its website.
Chocolate Bar Cafe 20737 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods; 313-881-2888; chocolatebar-cafe.com: Old-fashioned soda fountain serving classic sundaes, malts, real sodas and some of the best homemade chocolates around.
Christine's Cuisine 729 E. Nine Mile Rd.; 248-584-3354: A casual, comfortable place to dine, whose menu dances from Eastern European into Italy, America, France, and burritoville. Daily house specials.
CJ Barrymore's 21750 Hall Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-469-2800; cjbarrymores.com: Twenty-five acres of bumper cars, mini bowling, arcade games, putt-putt, batting cages and darn good pizza. Fun for the whole family.
Claddagh Irish Pubs 17800 Haggerty Rd., Livonia; 734-542-8141; claddaghirishpubs.com: Claddagh Irish Pubs bring the best of Ireland to America. The restaurant has a modern twist on the finest traditional Irish cuisine paired with perfect pints of beer in an authentic and friendly setting. Pick a night with traditional Irish music which friends and neighbors come together to enjoy food and drink and socialize, which is in the tradition of the pubs or "public houses" in Ireland that serve as town gathering places.
Cloverleaf Fine Wine & Craft Beer 711 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-357-0400; cloverleafwine.com: Tons of great wine and craft beer are joyously complemented by a friendly and knowledgeable staff at this downtown Royal Oak gem. Saturday wine tastings to boot. Wine and beer enthusiasts take note.
Coach Insignia 200 Renaissance Center, 2nd Floor, Detroit; coachinsigniadetroit.com: This eclectic chophouse is the United States' second-highest restaurant and is located at the top of the GM Global Renaissance Center. Coach Insignia features incomparable food, great service and a world-class wine list to accompany a panoramic view of Detroit and our Canadian neighbors. Handicap accessible; dress code: no jeans.
Como's 22812 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-548-5005; comosferndale.com: Though they do serve pizzas and pastas, Como's is best-known as a lively bar scene, particularly on their commodious tent patio, even on a frigid night.
Compari's on the Park 350 S. Main St., Plymouth; 734-416-0100; comparisdining.com: Authentic Italian fare, with outdoor dining on a good summer day. Several tables take over a generous portion of the downtown sidewalk during lunch or dinner, shaded beneath white umbrellas.
Cork Wine Pub 23810 Woodward Ave, Pleasant Ridge; 248-544-2675; corkwinepub.org: Contemporary gastropub offering locally sourced made from scratch goodness. Eclectic wine and food menu with popular favorites like the Brick Roll, Amherst Egg and Butterscotch Pudding.
Craft Work 8047 Agnes St., Detroit; 313-469-0976; craftworkdetroit.com: Trendy contemporary American restaurant open for dinner in West Village next to Indian Village. Soups, salads, chicken, fish, sandwiches and an incredible French dip sandwich.
Dave & Buster's 45511 Park Ave., Utica; 586-930-1515; 19375 Victor Parkway, Livonia; 734-452-4600; daveandbusters.com: D&B's serves up big portions of tender ribs, good half-pound burgers, broccoli-and-cheddar soup and over-the-top desserts.
Detroit's Finest Coney Island 25801 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-777-4002; detroitsfinestconeyisland.com: Greater Detroit is blessed with the delicious casual comfort food of coney islands. Coney dogs, fries, pitas, wraps, sandwiches, breakfast all day. What more could you want?
Detroit Style Pizza Co. 28630 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-445-2810; detroitstylepizza.co: Specializing in Detroit-style square deep dish pizza, it's no wonder Shawn Randazzo's chain has won a Pizza Expo World Champion Pizza Maker Award.
Dickey's BBQ 44741 Five Mile Rd., Plymouth; 248-246-7211; dickeys.com: Casual Texas-style BBQ chain offering ribs, mac and cheese, pulled pork and other great BBQ favorites.
Dime Store 719 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-962-9106; eatatdimestore.com: New American brunch bar inside the Chrysler House building in downtown Detroit has everything a food lover wants: cheesesteak benny, Korean BBQ sandwich, house-made sausage, mac and cheese, wine, beer and more.
The Double D Bar and Grill. 240 N. River Rd., Mount Clemens; 586-231-0134: A good-sized bar and grill located on the Clinton River. Double D's offers the usual bar fare, such as burgers and sandwiches, as well as seafood and pizza. The bar features a wide selection of Michigan-made beers on tap, a list of Michigan-made wines, as well as cocktails made with (you guessed it) Michigan-made liquors. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer plenty of natural light, as well as stunning views of the riverfront.
Lakes 5500 Crooks Rd, Troy; 248-646-7900; lakestroy.com: New to Troy, formerly Northern Lakes Seafood Co., offers fish fresh from the Great Lakes. Seafood flown in daily from Boston, Florida, Hawaii and points beyond. Crisp vegetables hand-selected from local farms. All infused with unique flavors and prepared to perfection by Executive Chef Mike D'Angelo and his skilled culinary team. Add a fine wine of the Leelanau Peninsula, Napa Valley and vineyards around the world, selected by an experienced sommelier, and your meal ascends from excellent to exemplary.
Exodos 528 Monroe, Detroit; 313-962-1300: Hottest DJs in Detroit. The original rooftop lounge.
Fenton Fire Hall 201 S. Leroy St., Fenton; 810-936-0442; fentonfirehall.com: Contemporary American restaurant featuring burgers, mac & cheese, Korean BBQ ribs, chili, armadillo eggs and more. Large beer selection with numerous Michigan beers on tap.
Firebird Tavern 419 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-782-4189; firebirdtavern.com: With Windsor only a short jaunt away, it's surprising that it's taken so long for poutine, a Canadian specialty of french fries, brown gravy and cheese curds, to gain a foothold here in the Detroit area. Perhaps, with the stellar example set by Firebird's poutine plate, we'll see more places try this cousin of chili cheese fries — but they won't measure up to Firebird's without some serious effort: a simply exquisite short-rib gravy — rich, smooth and flavorful — and creamy cheese curds make the humble plate of fries into a savory, near-decadent experience.
Frita Batidos 117 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-2882; fritabatidos.com: Downtown Ann Arbor's best fast casual restaurant and bar for Cuban-inspired food and cocktails. Chef Eve Aronoff's award winning restaurant has so many amazing picks ... a frita — "a Cuban burger made from spicy chorizo served with shoestring fries on top in a soft egg bun" — and batidos — "tropical milkshakes made with fresh fruit, crushed ice and a drop of sweetened milk."
Gator Jakes Bar & Grill 36863 Van Dyke Ave., Sterling Heights; 586-983-3700: Colorful Cajun-themed sports bar and grill with mouth-watering burgers, pizza, steak and more.
Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse 39550 Seven Mile Rd., Northville; 248-380-7770; gauchosteakhouse.com: Brazilian churrascaria (steakhouse) offering an endless carousel of meats. Servers carve 16 different meats tableside. There's also a salad bar with 40 hot and cold dishes for your enjoyment.
Golden Fleece Restaurant 525 Monroe St., Detroit, 313-962-7093: Authentic Greek cuisine in the heart of Greektown. The best Gyro in town!
Green Lantern 28960 John R, Madison Heights and 15505 15 Mile Rd., Clinton Twp.; greenlanternlounge.com: As in most older pizza palaces, the kitchen first made thin-crusted round pies and only added the deep-dish variety around seven years ago. Both come in four sizes from 10 inches ($5.35-$5.95) to 16 inches ($10.50-$11.95) with the 10-inch mini suitable for two. The price structure here and throughout the menu is quite reasonable, another explanation for the Green Lantern's popularity.
The Grille Midtown 3919 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-0892; thegrillemidtown.com: Casual upscale American restaurant mingling a modern interior with exposed brick and offering soups, salads, burgers, seafood, cocktails and more.
The Hill Seafood & Chop House 123 Kerchaval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-886-8101; thehillgrossepointe.com: Many of the Hill's "signature dishes" cater to a Reagan-era notion of good eating — surf and turf, lots of blue cheese and bacon in the house salad. Seafood is a strong point.
The Hills Bar & Grille 6810 N. Rochester Rd., Rochester; 248-652-4455; thehillsbar.com: Spacious American bar and grill with two-story fireplace, 30-foot-high ceilings, pizza, burgers, pasta, Southwestern dishes, salads, and soups. Try the Piedmontese burger.
Hippies Pizza 121 E. 13 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-733-1111; eathippiespizza.com: Pizza shop, open 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 4 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Specializing in craft pizzas with pop culture references.
Iridescence 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-237-7711; motorcitycasino.com: Iridescence takes 4-diamond dining to new heights. Perched high atop the MotorCity Casino Hotel tower, the restaurant is pure luxury. From the sweeping city views, to the winning entrées, experience true fine dining as the chef prepares your contemporary American and fusion dishes in their open kitchen. The restaurant menu is designed with an eye toward organic and sustainable products.
J's Bar and Grill 2859 Coolidge, Berkley; 248-547-1892; jsbars.com: Yes, PBR is on tap at this neighborhood sports bar. Food menu features sliders, wraps, nachos, burgers, sandwiches, wings, salads and more.
Joe's Hamburgers 3041 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-285-0420; joeshamburgers.net: Intimate all-American six-table spot offering tasty old-school sliders, fries, hot dogs, soup, chili and poutine. Try the slider with cheese and a side of poutine fries. Full bar and great craft beer collection.
Johnny Noodle King 2601 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-309-7946; johnnynoodleking.com: Delicious Asian noodlehouse from restaurateur Jacques Driscoll. Highly lauded ramen spot also features bacon fried rice, shoyu pork belly, sake and more. As a bonus, head over to Driscoll's Green Dot Stables and try the sliders as well.
KouZina 121 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-629-6500; gokouzina.com: Transport yourself to Greece thru the culinary portal of delicious Greek street food in downtown Royal Oak. KouZina's simple and simply amazing menu features: homemade pitas, pork gyro, spinach pie, lemon rice soup, and more.
La Feria Spanish Tapas Restaurant 4130 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-285-9081; laferiadetroit.com: Things are bustling at this Midtown gem, which offers authentic small plates Spanish cuisine in a historic Detroit atmosphere. Patatas bravas, skewers, hot and cold tapas, montaditos and more. Whatever you're ordering, add a pitcher of sangria.
Little Z's 22428 Greater Mack Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-585-1000; littlezsbbq.com: For some juicy barbecue and a homey feel, this is the place to be. Try some succulent ribs, which fall off the bone, or pulled pork to satisfy your needs for some real comfort food.
Logan 115 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-327-2312; logan-restaurant.com: At Ann Arbor's Logan you will find knowledgeable "foodies" and the adventurous enjoying this brightly decorated bistro for wildly eclectic and elegant fare. Voted "Best Ann Arbor Restaurant" in the Metro Times Best of Detroit poll, Logan is "worth a special journey" for Metro Detroiters who want an exceptional culinary experience.
Luciano's 39091 Garfield Rd.; 586-263-6540; lucianosfinestitaliancuisinerestaurant.com: Located in a prosaic strip mall, Luciano's is opulently decorated and big enough for an Italian wedding party. Pasta specialties average around $16, and come with soup or salad. The respectable wine list is a mix of Italian and New World vintages.
Maccabees at Midtown 5057 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-831-9311; maccabeesdetroit.com: American deli located inside beatufiul Art Deco building next to the Detroit Public Library. Standouts include corned beef, potato pancakes, BLT, surf n' turf and more.
Majestic Cafe 4140 Woodward Ave, Detroit; 313-833-9700; majesticdetroit.com: Situated inside the Majestic Theater complex, this popular spot is known for fresh, seasonal and Detroit-local ingredients. Pizza, burgers, lobster mac and cheese, beer and more. Plus, their Sunday Brunch features endless mimosas and Bloody Mary's.
MGM Grand Palette Dining Studio 1777 Third St., (inside MGM Grand Detroit); 313-393-7777; mgmgranddetroit.com: Indulge your creative side at Palette Dining Studio. Created by our award-winning chefs especially for our all-you-care-to-eat gallery, these inspired creations are a delicious canvas of color, texture, and flavor.
Mimi's Bistro 15318 Jefferson Ave., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-922-4085; mimisonjefferson.com: Small intimate European cafe, bakery and restaurant. Serving breakfast and lunch, Mimi's is known for its German potato pancakes, Caprese panino, salads, house-made gnocci and more.
The Mirage Banquets & Catering 16980 18 Mile Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-228-2222; themiragebanquets.com: Elegant banquet and catering facility offering Italian staples, meatballs, chicken, and more.
Mudgie's 1300 Porter St., Detroit; 313-961-2000; mudgiesdeli.com: People swear by Mudgie's, and with good reason: Their grass-fed brisket that melts in your mouth, and their famous $45 Mudgie Sandwich which could feed a family for a week. If you like deli meats and sandwiches, Mudgie's is one place that you shouldn't pass up.
Nero's Steakhouse @ Caesar's Windsor 377 Riverside Dr. E., Windsor; 800-991-7777; caesarswindsor.com: Upscale gourmet fine dining on the Detroit River. Dry-aged USDA prime beef, steaks, seafood, bison tenderloin, crab cakes, soup, salad. Plus a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and amazing view of the Detroit skyline.
Nick's 22nd Street Steakhouse 48900 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Twp.; 586-731-3900; 22ndstreetsteakhouse.com: Cozy full-service American-Greek steakhouse known for their steaks, prime rib and delicious cherry bread with house-made butter. Wine and spirits also abound.
Northern Lakes Seafood 5500 Crooks Rd., Troy; 248-646-7900; lakestroy.com: Upscale American seafood, pasta, gourmet sandwiches and Michigan wine. Fresh fish from the Great Lakes and seafood from abroad are flown in daily.
Novi Chophouse 27000 Karevich Dr., Novi; 248-305-5210; novichophouse.com: Expect prime-quality cuts of meat broiled at high temperatures at this primo surf-and-turf establishment, an outpost of the Epicurean Group that's popular for business dinners and intimate celebrations.
Old Shillelagh 349 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-0007; oldshillelagh.com: There's nothing like a multi-level Irish pub in Greektown! This famed St. Patty's Day hotspot is good all year round for Guinness on tap, shepherd's pie, Irish stew, and live music from house band Black Mist.
Om Cafe 23136 Woodward Ave, Ferndale; 248-548-1941; omcafe.com: Vegetarian, vegan and macrobiotic deliciousness. Menu is loaded with unique offerings like BBQ seitan sliders, vegan sushi, quinoa salad, mushroom burger and whole vegan apple and pumpkin pies. Just do it.
Pickles & Rye Deli 6724 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-737-3890; picklesandryedeli.com; $$: Jewish deli food done right. Latkes, corned beef, lox, matzo ball soup, corned beef hash omelets, etc. Extensive menu.
Plaza Deli 29145 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield; 248-356-2310; theepicureangroup.com; NYC-style deli known for its corned beef, hot pastrami, fresh turkey and more.
Polish Village Cafe 2990 Yemans St.; 313-874-5726; polishvillagecafe.us: During peak dining hours, there's a steady flow of waiting customers first lining up at the bar and sometimes winding up the stairs and out the door. In a space with old-style character, Polish Village serves a few pages of meat-and-potatoes Polish dishes and their accompanying sides. Most entrées run around $8.
Prism 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit; 313-309-2499; greektowncasino.com: Elegant contemporary dinner spot inside Greektown Casino. Steaks, pasta, seafood, lobster bisque, jumbo lobster tail, filet mignon, rib-eye and more mouth-watering goodies inside.
Red Ox Tavern 3773 E. Walton, Auburn Hills; 248-340-7070 and 45411 Park Ave., Utica; 586-726-7070; redoxtavern.com: Large sports bar with over 50 high-def televisions to catch all the games on. Burgers, pizza, pasta, cold Michigan beer and martinis will help delight your night.
Rock City Eatery 11411 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 248-633-3072; rockcityeatery.com: Late-night spot specializing in the fantastic combination of pies, booze and food. Recently named one of Michigan's Top 10 places for pie. Pies change daily. Try the Cherry Whiskey Pie.
Rockefeller's Oyster Bar & Grill 15402 Mack Ave, Grosse Pointe Park; 313-626-5000; rockefellersoysterbar.com: Upscale oyster bar known for oysters, calamari, lobster mac and cheese and their new feature: Sunday Brunch with bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas. New lunch hours.
The Royal Eagle 18745 Old Homestead Dr., Harper Woods; 313-521-1894; theroyaleagle.com: Extremely unique Russian restaurant housed inside St. Sabbas Monastery and staffed by monks! Cozy atmosphere, bi-weekly Russian high tea ceremony and great food like borscht, garlic soup, fish, etc. Optional BYOW: bring your own wine.
Rubbed 2015 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-265-3684; rubbedindetroit.com: Corktown sandwich shop and charcuterie. Small, casual, hip, delicious. Tons of amazing sandwiches, small plates and dry salt-rubbed meat platters.
Sweet Lorraine's Cafe 29101 Greenfield Rd.; 248-559-5985; sweetlorraines.com: Casual, fun and sophisticated, award-winning chef Lorraine Platman's fusion joint has not only marked 25 years, it has prospered and grown.
Sweet Lorraine's Fabulous Mac N Cheez! Great Lakes Crossing Outlets; 4438 Baldwin Rd; Auburn Hills; 248-338-4848: Sweet Lorraine's extended its brand to include this new enterprise dedicated to the comfort food of all comfort foots: macaroni and cheese. From the classic to the create-your-own, taste their inspiring flavor combinations. Everything, including our mac n' cheese is made-fresh-to-order in only three minutes.
Toast 23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-398-0444: Toast opened in 2001 with great fanfare. "Toasters" love the creative omelets such as the Petosky with brie cheese, caramelized onions, dried cherries and bacon and the Garnda Marnier French Toast, made with cinnamon challah, orange liquere, orange segments, toasted almonds and brown sugar. Open for breakfast and lunch, its Birmingham location (203 Pierce St., Birmingham; 248-258-6278) is open for dinner.
Toast Birmingham 203 Pierce St., Birmingham; 248-258-6278; eatattoast.com: American brunch spot with something for everyone. Toast's scrumptious and sumptuous offerings include: homemade hash browns, banana coffee, apple streusel French toast, eggs benedict and more. They have wine, liquor, beer and a second location in Ferndale (23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-398-0444) also.
Toasted Oak Grill & Market at the Baronette Renaissance, 27790 Novi Rd., Novi; 248-277-6000; toastedoak.com: A hotel restaurant that's a cut above, such charcuterie as terrines, patés and rillettes are excellent, served among bare tables, a mirrored ceiling, vintage signs and posters.
Tony V's Tavern 5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-833-5595: New tavern in Midtown with a great craft beer selection, specialty pizzas, salads and sandwiches. Karaoke Friday's with the local Wayne State University crowd are also quite memorable.
Trattoria Da Luigi 415 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-542-4444; trattoriapizzeriadaluigi.com: Sicilian wood-burning oven pizza, wine, garlic bread and more are some of the many offerings at this cafe and wine bar in downtown Royal Oak. Open 4-10:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
Villa Penna 43985 Hayes Rd., Sterling Heights; 586-566-9900; villapenna.com: Radiating retro charm, this circa 1968 casual Italian family restaurant and banquet hall offers pasta, bocce ball, stracciatella soup, steak empanada and an excellent 12-ounce filet mignon.
The Whitney 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700; thewhitney.com: With its 52 rooms, 10 bathrooms and 20 fireplaces, the three-story pink-granite edifice built for a lumber baron in 1894 has been one of Detroit's most celebrated restaurants since 1986.
Wild Red Wings & Sandwiches 30124 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-541-8401; wildredwings.com: When you're craving chicken wings, crispy or gilled, there is no substitute. Try the signature hot sauce, waffle fries and house-made fried mac and cheese bites as well. Specializing in gluten-free.
Wright & Co. 1500 Woodward Ave, 2nd floor, Detroit; 313-962-7711; wrightdetroit.com; $$: Beautiful new American gastropub and wine bar in downtown Detroit with cool tin ceilings and ambiance. Small plates, cocktails, Michigan beer, sea scallops, pork belly sliders, tuna tartare, etc.
Ye Olde Tap Room 14915 Charlevoix St. Detroit; yeoldetaproom.com: Around the world in 250+ beers ... this is Detroit's "Libation Ground Zero." Here is where good friends meet great beer. If selection is what you're looking for, head to this little beer room on Charlevoix. It's small, dark and offers more than 200 beers, including Belgian ales and other foamy delicacies.
Zef's Coney Island 4160 Woodward Ave., Detroit; From morning coffee, breakfast to lunch, Zef's is the place. Corporate and private catering available. Patio opening in spring 2015.
The Zenith at The Fisher 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-972-1135; thezenithatthefisher.com: Located inside the gorgeous Fisher Building, The Zenith fuses Mexican and Southern food together for surprisingly tasty results. Quesadillas, tacos, burritos and try a side of candied mango bacon.