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Antica Pizzeria Fellini and 28 other restaurants reviewed in our pages
Published: November 9, 2011
Taqueria El Nacimiento 7400 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-554-1790: Salsa music is pumped through the speakers and the tables are adorned with Mexican-themed decorations. The salsa tray ($1 to $3) is served with a basket of corn chips and options of Pico de gallo, guacamole or brick-red salsa. Inexpensive tacos ($1.25 to $1.75) and burritos ($4) are available with similar fillings. Dessert choices include such classics as flan ($2) and a dense tres leches ($3), the well-known sponge cake soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream.
The Ravens Club 207 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-214-0400; theravensclub.com: A detailed, hand-carved bar is illumined by old iron lamp posts. This restaurant combines the ornate aesthetics of the pre-Prohibition United States with a contemporary flair. Confit of Rabbit. Savory Chicken Pastry. Prairie Game Chili. These are not standard menu items in most of today's restaurants. Nearly everything on the menu plays with one's entire palate — sweet and salty, savory and sour. Among the desserts, the flourless chocolate cake has perfect texture, and the carrot cake has a deliciously dense, abundant frosting.
Torino Espresso + Bar 201 E. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-247-1370; torinoespressobar.com: This friendly, casual restaurant is a trendy lunch stop and a vibrant nightspot. The staff is fun and chatty, their food offerings have a Mediterranean influence. Among the starters are a small bruschetta plate ($10), and a serving of hummus ($8). Torino aims to use local vegetables and meats, a principle illustrated in the apple and manchego salad ($10), which utilizes Royal Oak spinach along with apples, cheese and walnuts. They make their own pineapple- and jalapeño-infused tequila, delicious on its own and dangerous in their oversized margarita.
The Treehouse for Earth's Children Health and Holistic Center 22906 Mooney St., Farmington; 248-473-0624: Despite its shabby appearance, the Treehouse is a good place for some tasty, inexpensive, organic meals. It's known for its Sunday all-you-can-eat, which involves a movie, short lecture or live music. Weekdays soups, salads, sandwiches, mixed juices or smoothies, and raw dishes such as spinach lasagna, nori rolls or lentils are served. A bestseller is the Avocado Delight sandwich, served on various sautéed Avalon breads with cream cheese or zucchini hummus or cilantro pesto. House-grown wheat grass is pulped into juice.
Tria Inside the Henry Hotel, 300 Town Center Dr., Dearborn; 313-253-4475: The Tria staff aims to please. Elegant, yet approachable, Tria serves affordable small plates. The food is amazingly good. Try the lardio cheese, an Italian cured fatback — the creaminess melts into the warm toast underneath. Luscious lamb tacos were dressed up with pickled squash. Larger plates include the scallops, braised lamb and fried chicken — how often do you see that on a fancy menu? Desserts come as "small bites" or "big bites," and include a Key lime tart and a coffee-soaked tiramisu.
Sheeba Restaurant 8752 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-874-0299: Sheeba prepares Yemeni cuisine in a small building where little English is spoken. You may not receive what you ordered, but the food is good. Order the lamb Haneeth, which is succulent, deeply flavored and falling apart. The tannour is an excellent flat bread — chewy and crisp with pockets of roasted dough, excellent for dipping into a bowl of seltah, a traditional Yemeni dish of mixed vegetables topped with a fenugreek froth and a medium-hot sauce. Desserts are baklava, cream pudding and fattah with bananas or honey.
Square Lake Diner 6024 Rochester Rd., Troy; 248-720-2000; squarelakediner.com: Situated in the middle of a strip mall, Square Lake Diner features an elegant, dimly lit interior with a modest bar. The menu features many of the typical diner dishes: a hani pita, Greek salads, and saganaki. A few varieties are broiled seafood, such as salmon and whitefish, and they also serve stir-fry options and cuts of beef, including a 12-ounce strip steak. For breakfast, early bird specials starts at $2.99, where homemade red velvet pancakes and sinful cinnamon raisin French toast don the menu.
Wolfgang Puck Grille Inside the MGM Grand Casino, 1777 Third St., Detroit; 313-465-1648: Wolfgang Puck is the most downscale of the MGM Grand's three upscale restaurants. You can get a good meal while listening to Led Zeppelin, seated within eyeshot of the slots. Calamari circles have just the right consistency and crisp — their mild flavor is overwhelmed by a tasty hot-and-sweet Thai chili sauce. Crabcakes are small but mouth-watering. The tender almond-crusted salmon with horseradish potato purée and Port wine sauce is sweet and flecked with potatoes. The dessert menu reads like a dream.
Yemen Café 8731 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-871-4349: Yemen Café is a no-frills restaurant where little English is spoken. For $1, a flatbread round called malooga is less floury than most fresh-baked pita, and tastier. Break off a piece to scoop up your lamb, vegetables and rice. Also $1 is maraq, a dark brown lamb broth with onions and spices. Favorites include agaddah, in which pieces of fatty lamb are cooked with tomatoes, zucchini and onions and served with a Yemeni spice mix.
Zingerman's Roadhouse 2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3663; zingermansroadhouse.com: The Roadhouse is a sprawling place with a semi-open kitchen, full bar, two dining rooms and outdoor seating. The steaks are dry-aged for five weeks, then grilled over oak (for a hot fire) and served with Tellicherry pepper jus. The beef has a depth of flavor that you'll want to savor, and not a hint of fat. Macaroni, ham and goat cheese included a taste of aged Monterey Jack cheese topped with a tomato sauce. The staff is attentive, and samples are always encouraged. The white chocolate bread pudding with Jack Daniels sauce is delicious.
Special thanks to editorial intern Rachelle Damico for her assistance compiling this column.
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