Novi, Mich. ?????...........
I am a Baltimore Foodie and now travel to Novi area for business every month for a few days. I am looking for great food in all price ranges and types of cuisine. I did find a very very good restaurant in Wixom called Volare that is what I would call a "high-end Italian Steakhouse". Really very good and family owned and worthy of special occcasions. I know I am basically in a suburban strip-mall chain restaurant place but there must be some great chow not too far away. I am looking for business dinners, great pizza, BBQ?, Thai/Chinese, Middle Eastern, etc. Bring on the recs and I will post my results. If anyone needs more info on Volare, please let me know.... Thanks. JCK
For good Thai food - there's Siam Spicy in West Oaks, which is the same shopping center as Cherry Blossom. Fantastic Gang Panang, in fact their rendition with chicken is one of my favorite dishes anywhere in the city. Plus the Pad Bai ka Praw and the barbeque beef salad (can't remember the name) are also very good.
But for GREAT Thai food, you'll have to go a little farther - Pi's Thai at 10 Mile and John R in Hazel Park. It's about a 25 to 30 minute drive from Novi, but well worth it if you are looking for authentic Thai, and especially if you like it hot. I mean really hot. I've never in my life gotten Thai food anywhere else as hot as Pi makes it when I've asked for "Extra Hot", and rarely does anyone else's "Extra Hot" or "On Fire" approach the burn from Pi's "Hot". But they'll also make it any spice level you want. We've often dined with small kids and friends who don't do spicy, and they're very accomodating to anyone's preference.
You can't really go wrong with either place. One is a lot closer and very good, the other is more of a drive but the best in town.
Good luck wherever you end up eating. I read the other reviews and you've gotten some very solid leads. I can personally vouch for Tomatoes Apizza, which in one sitting transformed me from a lifelong deep-dish lover to an avowed thin-crust fanatic. Yes, it's that good!
p.s...Please excuse my spelling, its been a very long day.
On the low end of the price scale , I would humbly recommend the Asian Buffet ( I actually think that is it's real name ) at Five Mile and Beck Rd. Most of the asian buffet places around town can be , well , pedestrian at best , but this place , in a strip mall , of course , actually consistently turns out flavorful , well seasoned food at rock bottom prices ( like $ 6.95 for lunch ) . Any place that has house made kimchee on the salad buffet is ok by me . Cheap , working man's food , but the best of it's class around here I've yet found . Oh , and if you can spare the time to drive across town , pretty much any Vietnamese place on John R between about 11 Mile and 17 Mile , they all rock .
You might want to seach guidetodetroit.com for restaurants in the area.
Sushi-- I like Shiro on 9 Mile. Very cool mansion with some european food (great rack of lamb) as well, it is one of our fave restaurants in entire area. Despite the high dollar digs, the prices are verry reasonable. The people that work there are fantastic.
Sharaku -- (WB) THe best sushi (hope you have expense account) Where the true sushi lovers and Japanese tourists go.
Korean, I like New Seoul Garden in Southfield- you can bar be que at the table.
Millions of side dishes come with entree.
NOVI's Italian Steakhouse is now Mezza-- incredible middle eastern food and lots more like duck l'orange. Italian dishes too. It is more of a mediteranean than middle eastern.
Lark and Tribute are best high dollar places. The prices will seem dirt cheap to east coasters (well NYers at least). Lark was named best restaurant in America by Conde Nast.
Chinese has got to be Shangri-La in West Bloomfield. Authentic. Dim Sum until 2am, This is where restaurant people go after work. Raymond Wong was the reason people from Detroit used to drive to Windsor Canada for chinese works here now.
Zinc (great contemp euro and now has best burger- Red Coat)
A very favorite of all is Kitchen Hanzo in W. Bloomfield. Amazing every day japenese food. This is FOODIE HEAVEN! Owned by Sharku i think. Very cool. Tiny. Not pricey. Like japanese tapas.
I am a big time foodie living in Novi - here are my faves:
Bi Bim Bap - FANTASTIC Korean restaurant in "downtown" Novi - 43155 Main St., Novi, (248) 348-6800 - I really enjoy lunch there, they always have some very interesting specials.
Diamond Jim Brady's - http://www.djbistro.com/ A "legend" in Novi...fantastic service...good bistro food.
Godiako - 44175 12 Mile Road, Novi, (248) 465-7777 in the Fountain Walk complex...really, really good sushi. (I think better than cherry blossom) Service is so so, but the sushi keeps me coming back.
If you want to venture out a bit -
Milford - Gravity - http://www.gravityrestaurant.com/
Five Lakes used to be our "special place" but it has been quickly replaced by Gravity
West Bloomfield - The Lark (super high end) - http://www.thelark.com/
If you want to venture further for really good, authentic, chinese - Golden Harvest - 6880 E 12 Mile Rd in Warren - off of Mound Rd.
Hope this helps!
p.s. maybe Volare has gotten better...but I went there when it first opened and it was really, really bad!!
Best place for pizza in the whole Detroit area is Tomatoes Apizza, two Farmington Hills locations, which is just a short drive from Novi. Check out a post I made a few months ago on Chowhounds (do search for Best Pizza in Detroit). The closest location of theirs is on Halstead at Grand River which is just about 10 mins from Novi. The other location at 14 Mile and Middlebelt has more atmosphere. Both have a lunch buffet all you can eat kind of thing every day and I think also a dinner buffet now. Mike Weinstein who owns and runs Tomatoes actually went to Pepe's in New Haven CT (which many consider the best pizza in the country) for training and uses their recipes (I don't know how he was able to "get in" like that, but he was). When you are there, read the framed articles on the walls to see the history of how Tomatoes came to be and also the outstanding critical reviews.
I will come back and recommend other places in the Novi area for different kinds of foods, I don't have time now to post but wanted to make the quick note about pizza and Tomatoes. I grew up in Farmington/Farmington Hills, so I'm very familiar with the whole area.
I think both Hong Hua and Bacco are excellent, based on multiple meals at both places. Hong Hua is a classy Chinese place, while I find Bacco much better than other well known Italian places like Cafe Cortina.
I also second the recommendation above for Shiro. Went there a month ago with friends. We ordered a bunch of appetizers/small plates and were very impressed with the quality, and of course, the ambience.
Thanks everyone.I will have to try Steve & Rocky's and Cherry Blossom. I went to Volare again last night and it was once again fantastic. I had Minestrone and Penne Pasta w/ Prisciotto and peas......yum. I must admit that I am not a big fan of Five Lakes despite all the acclaim. Been twice and my thoughts afterward both times was: small drinks, uncomfortable seating, spacing between tables was too close, average food preparation w/ small portions. Trendy place...yes. Foodie place...no OK...so where is the best pizza around? I have also been referred to Bacco and a Asian place named Hung Hua (SP??) Any comments???
volare is very good. big fan of five lakes, too.
i am have a meeting in wixom tomorrow followed by lunch. we typically go go to steve and rocky's on grand river about a quarter/half mile east of novi road. owned by two top notch chefs with excellent credentials. very good food. excellent service. never had a bead meal there.
let me know what you think.
Cherry Blossom is an above-average Japanese restaurant *in* Novi. It is right in the middle of strip-mall madness across Novi Rd. from Twelve Oaks Mall, just north of I-96. Their sushi is decent, but if you aren't a sushi lover, they also have other kinds of Japanese food including yakitori--grilled meat and veggies on skewers. Good-sized sushi bar for lone diners.
It really depends on how far you're willing to travel. Novi is another compound of chain restaurants galore, so in order to get away from that, it may take some driving.
Two good suggestions: for fish and chips, Scotty Simpson's in Detroit isn't that far from Novi, maybe about 20 minutes' drive at most. It is really, *really* great fish and chips. Inexpensive, with great quality food.
For great BBQ, there's Slows BBQ in Detroit, but that's really more like 40 minutes away from you if you're actually staying in the city of Novi. Still, it's worth the trip, as Slows has quickly become *the* place for BBQ in the area.
That's their website, and you can mapquest it from there.
We really do know how to eat in this area, and eat well.