Stepping into this cozy neighborhood ristorante with its wooden bar, linoleum floors, and menu of pizza, pasta, and assorted parmigianas, cacciatores, and marsalas is like traveling back in time to the days when Italian restaurateurs baked their own breads, made their own pastas, and served it all in charming, intimate spaces. Almost everything on the full-meal deal menu is delish. But when it comes to fried calamari and baked lasagna, Brunos scores among the very best.
A hip hangout near the Gordon Square Arts District, this noisy wine bar offers grape-friendly snacks, starters, and sharable items. Instead of full-size entrees, diners can expect meat-and-cheese boards, Mediterranean flatbreads, and a host of creative tapas-size dishes. Some 150 wines are sold by the bottle, all priced just $12 over retail; good deals on glass pours, too. $$$
No pricey destination restaurant, Clifton attracts crowds with simple, appealing American fare, much of it served in large, sharable portions, along with craft beers, creative martinis, and fine wines.
An Irish bar on steroids, the Harp isn’t just your corner joint with a few shamrocks on the wall. It boasts a large Irish-influenced menu and a spacious patio with a view of the lake. The music’s as likely to be rootsy rock or blues as Irish.
Heading into its fourth decade, this charming Ohio City café remains a reliable, if non-trendy, refuge for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch, best enjoyed in the airy garden room, a mug of cinnamon-scented coffee at hand. While gourmet burgers are the specialty of the house, other options abound, including salads, wraps, steaks, and pastas.
This welcoming bistro brings approachable, affordable, and delicious Mediterranean-inspired food to the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. Shabby-chic with a farmhouse twist, the restaurant features mix-and-match plates, kitchen-towel napkins, and repurposed fixtures. With a host of small plates, shared plates, pastas, pizzas, and prix fixe dinners, the menu has options for every mood and budget.
This massive Ohio City brewpub seats well over 300 guests in multiple dining rooms, at various bars, and in a gem-like beer garden. Upscale pub grub joins an ever-evolving list of world-class suds, cooked up by an award-winning brewmaster. Don't miss the house chips, meat boards, Cubano, and ridiculously delicious southern fried chicken.
Short for Southern hospitality, SoHo serves fresh takes on Low Country, Cajun, and Creole cuisine. On the snappy and cohesive menu are classic Southern staples like shrimp and grits, catfish Po' Boys, and chicken and waffles, all dressed up for a more demanding modern audience. Even the cocktails scream Deep South, with bourbon, rye and moonshine-fueled bevies going down like sweet tea on a sticky summer day.
Approachable, seasonal, and expertly crafted, the food at chef Ben Bebenroth's restaurant is a locavore's dream, with the concise menu getting frequent tweaks. Polenta fries combine the crunch of a fry with the creaminess of soft polenta; flatbread is layered with house-smoked trout; soups swing from potato and sunchoke to chilled beet and pickled squash. While treatments change, diners can count on dishes built around flavorful local pork, chicken, and beef.
Don't let the plain decor fool you: All the excitement you need waits on your plate at this no-nonsense Mexican restaurant, starting with the first tongue-tingling taste of the table salsa and ending with the last bite of the soft, caramely cajeta for dessert. Other faves include homemade guacamole and some of the best chiles rellenos north of the Rio Grande. Full bar, good selection of Mexican beers and tequilas.
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