Best of Detroit 2011
Photo: Marvin Shaouni
Nutritional Value - Readers' Choice
Our readers pick the best places to scarf, nosh, tipple and dine
Published: April 27, 2011
Best New Restaurant
Cork Wine Pub
23810 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge; 248-544-2675; corkwinepub.com
Let wine flow freely — or at least cheaply — and people will come running. The early, explosive success of Cork Wine Pub proves as much. Opened just before Thanksgiving, the first-ever recipient of a liquor license in Pleasant Ridge has a delightfully kitschy interior, a variety of comforting small plates, and a wide variety of wines — often with exceptionally low mark-ups.
Best Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $50 in Wayne County
Best Barbecue in Wayne County
Best Slow Food
Best Beer Selection in a Restaurant
Slows Bar BQ
2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-9828; slowsbarbq.com
The atmosphere of this Corktown base of home-style cuisine is pristine, ripe for vibrant conversation and hearty laughs; the drink list is wide-ranging, boasting the driest of whites, the boldest of reds, and the foamiest of brews; and the food has justifiably attracted national attention, with special spotlights belonging to the Carolina-style pulled pork, the crusty-and-creamy mac-n-cheese, and the flaky catfish. As for Slows having the Best Slow Food, we'll accept the answer — with a wink.
Best Romantic Restaurant in Wayne County
4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700; thewhitney.com
Elegance is everything at the Whitney; 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. The building is unquestionably a work of ornamental majesty, with stained glass windows and fine-carved wood walls really setting off the mood. And then there's that beautiful garden.
Best Romantic Restaurant in Oakland County
The Melting Pot
888 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-362-2221
26425 Novi Rd., Novi; 248-347-6358
309 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-622-0055; meltingpot.com
A new way of dining mixed with an old favorite, the Melting Pot exists to fulfill all of your fondue fantasies. Dipping an assortment of breads, vegetables and fruits in your choice of cheese or chocolate fondue allows you to dictate your desired taste. Plus, there are plenty of experienced servers on hand to ensure everything goes smoothly, even for beginners.
Best Romantic Restaurant in Macomb County
Best Italian Cuisine in Oakland County
Best Italian Cuisine in Macomb County
7096 E. 14 Mile Rd. Warren; 586-268-3224
42705 Grand River Ave., Novi; 248-348-3838
See andiamoitalia.com for more locations
Andiamo serves up reliable, old-line classic Italian food in a setting conducive to both family and romantic nights out. Some of the more creative menu items are the vitello con insalata di portabella (a free-raised veal rib-eye steak smothered in portabella mushroom slaw served atop a bed of balsamic braised Swiss chard) and the involtini di melanzine (grilled eggplant slices rolled with roasted veggies and fat-free ricotta cheese in a herb-sprinkled tomato sauce).
Best Romantic Restaurant in Washtenaw County
121 W. Washington, Ann Arbor; 734-994-0211; theearle.com
Illuminated with candlelight, the Earle is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner for two. The menu includes French- and Italian-inspired entrées that will satisfy whatever you are craving, as will an award-winning, 1,000-options-strong wine list. On the weekends, you can even enjoy live music during your meal.
Best Restaurant View
GM Global Renaissance Center, Floors 71 and 72, Detroit; 313-567-2622; mattprenticerg.com
The "crown jewel" of the Matt Prentice Restaurant group, the second-highest restaurant in the country offers a view that is the perennial winner of our Best View honors. And it earns it: It's head, shoulders and skyline above all other restaurants in town, perched spectacularly on the upper floors of the Renaissance Center's central tower.
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15 in Wayne County
Inside the Park Bar, 2040 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-965-3111; bucharestgrill.com
Bucharest Grill, a small counter set up in back of the Park Bar, is where, for just a fistful of singles, you can have affordable shawarma sandwiches and creative hot dogs. Warning: Take your meal out to a seat in the Park and the bottles and taps of their formidable bar are sure to call your name.
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15 in Oakland County
Best Cheap Breakfast in Oakland County
The Fly Trap
22950 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-399-5150; theflytrapferndale.com
This is certainly a premier bang-for-your-buck spot. The Fly Trap's setting is like one big cozy booth, and the menu is loaded with originals. There is, for instance, the "Veggie Rumble," a mix of roasted veggies, provolone and spinach, with a choice of eggs or tofu. Or sample their fantastic "Three-Cheese and Mac," distinguished by its smoked gouda and caramelized onions. Be sure to ask about the "Fire-Breathing Dragon."
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