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Antica Pizzeria Fellini and 28 other restaurants reviewed in our pages
Published: November 9, 2011
Antica Pizzeria Fellini 415 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-547-2751: Fellini's seating centers around its massive wood-burning oven, where pies are cooked to perfection. Among the best is the Fiocco ($15), a rich pie slathered in cream, fresh mozzarella and Romano cheese, dotted with ham and potato crocchè. Each pizza is made with fresh ingredients imported from Italy; prices range from $9 to $17.50. For dessert, try the Coppa Pistachio, a generous dish of custard, chocolate and pistachio gelatos that's topped with a praline. Service was mixed: Some tables turned quickly while others waited at length.
Astro Coffee 2124 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-638-2989; astrocoffee.us: Astro is a comfortable neighborhood café known for its superb coffee. Dishes are handmade from mostly local ingredients. Breakfast includes house-made buttermilk scones, ham and white cheddar croissants and tomato and ricotta tarts. Lunch features a variety of baguette sandwiches: roasted beets with avocado, meatballs with cheddar, roasted carrots with mint, tomato with basil and thyme-roasted chicken. Sweets include a flavorful chocolate mousse cake baked with ground Honduran coffee and served with a hand-whipped cream.
Blue Tractor 207 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-4095; bluetractor.net: Part brewpub and part barbecue joint, Blue Tractor will satisfy lovers of 'cue and suds. Chile cheddar corn muffins, pork quesadillas, fried pickles and chipotle buffalo wings are among the appetizers. Entrées include catfish, mac and cheese, moist spare ribs or baby backs with fries, pulled pork with braised greens and grits, brisket with veggies, and beer-can chicken with baked beans and mashed potatoes. Desserts include a bourbon milkshake or a fried doughnut bread pudding with a butter-rum sauce.
City Wings 2896 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-871-2489; citywingsinc.com: City Wings is the opposite of a fast-food restaurant, though decor is minimal and the interior brightly lit. All the offerings except fries, onion rings and fried okra are made in-house, even the sweet potato pie. There are 14 versions of Amish wing — the mild and medium Buffalo wings are among the most-ordered — along with lemon pepper, Parmesan-garlic and varying heat levels of BBQ. Other flavors are teriyaki, teri-que, Cajun, honey mustard and curry. The staff was super-friendly.
Commonwealth 300 Hamilton Row, Birmingham; 248-792-9766: Commonwealth is a hip addition to Birmingham's dining scene. The coffee ranks among the best in the area, the decor is handsome, and the food is prepared well to delicious results. For breakfast, consider the fried egg sandwich, featuring eggs from the local dairy farms, guacamole, and locally made whole-grain bread. Lunchgoers may want to try the tomato soup and grilled cheese ($9), which combines salty Manchego, tangy boursin and meaty haloumi cheeses on fluffy, lightly grilled ciabatta.
Fou d'Amour 15110 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-823-8425: Fou d'Amour is a sweet little shop with a pillow-strewn, coral-colored banquette. Dinners cost $11.50 and are served on Wednesdays only. The menu is always changing. Examples include: eggplant Parmesan, seafood crêpes, and orange-glazed chicken all served with a salad or a dessert with a side dish, such as cranberry rice or roasted zucchini chips. Fresh desserts include cookies, cupcakes, scones, croissants, palmiers, brownies or raspberry bars. Sugar-glazed scones are among the most popular.
Fountain Bistro Campus Martius, Detroit; 313-237-7778; fountainbistro.com: Fountain Bistro is an indoor-outdoor restaurant with a fountain view, affordable prices, and an expansive happy hour. The sorrel salmon is cooked to perfection — served with buttery haricots verts (skinny green beans) and grilled cherry tomatoes. The "BLTA" is so overstuffed it has applewood-smoked bacon falling out the sides, complemented by avocado aioli. The Bistro's extra-long happy hour is 2-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, when appetizers are half-off, domestic beers are $2.50 and the house wine goes for $3.
Fresco Wood Oven Pizzeria 1218 Walton Blvd., Rochester Hills; 248-841-1606; frescowoodoven.com: Fresco takes inspiration from Italy's Napoletana-style pizza, serving up thin, crispy pies in a cozy space. Pies start at $7, and customers can build their own pizzas, adding up to three typical toppings. Or they might be interested in the Margherita or salciccia; the latter comes covered in sausage, roasted pepper, onion and tomato. Hot sandwiches include prosciutto and pickled pepper, meatballs with tomato and cheese, and chicken Parmesan. The staff was prompt and polite.
Harmonie Garden 4704 Third St., Detroit; 313-638-2345; harmoniegarden.com: Low prices, huge servings, a Wayne State-area location, and top-notch falafel. Falafel stir-fry, fala-melt, falafel with Parmesan, falamankoush (za'ater pie stuffed with veggies and falafel), barbecue falafel — there's no reason to restrict yourself. The Bamya, okra stewed with peppers and onions, is rich, spicy, and satisfying — served with salad, rice and mujadra (lentils cooked with wheat and topped with caramelized onions). The Sunday buffet is $9.99 for all you can eat plus coffee — and includes a number of meat dishes.
Iridescence 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-237-7711: With entrées priced as much as $60 each, Iridescence is the MotorCity Casino's top-of-the-line restaurant. The duck is excellent, prepared boneless in a glazed ginger-orange sauce, accompanied by a slice of candied orange and mild ginger. The menu emphasizes game and fish, which change monthly. For desserts, Key lime Florentine is recommend, in which tangy lime mousse alternates with sweet, crunchy hazelnut florentines that are like a lacy peanut brittle. The atmosphere is comfortable, dark and elegant. The service was above reproach.
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