First of all, thanks to the Detroit area hounds who provided so many suggestions for our anniversary dinner. We couldn’t decide on just one of the places suggested, and we were in town for five days, so we ended up eating at all three of our top choices; Bacco Ristorante in Southfield, Forest Grill in Birmingham, and Giovanni’s in Detroit. Giovanni’s was far and away our favorite. Bacco was good, not great and we had a disappointing lunch at Forest Grill. But Giovanni’s was really all that and more! Fabulous pasta (he got some kind of handkerchief pasta, I did the gnocchi), and the calamari was wonderful as well. Portions were large, and we brought back enough food to feed a friend. I also visited Shatila and brought back pastries for a crowd; they were quite good. Had breakfast twice at Tim’s Coney Island and was impressed with the food. Had brunch at the Dearborn Inn, which is a gorgeous hotel (National Historic Landmark), but honestly, the food was just as good and just as fresh at the Coney Island diner, and about half as expensive as well. Thanks again, Detroit hounds!
Forest Grill Restaurant
735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009
Isn't Giovanni's amazing? I cannot put into words how good their pasta is, as there's no higher bar to set. They've singlehandedly *redefined* pasta for me, in the best way possible. Couple that with the fantastic bread, tiramisu, the spectacular/sincere service...I really can't imagine a better example of the way to run a place that both gets you in the door and makes you want to come back.
That pasta, though...how do they *do* that?
BTW, so glad you enjoyed yourself, and thank you so much for letting us know what worked and what didn't. It's always nice to hear back from people.
I forgot to add Miller's Bar to the list. We got a cheesburger there, as DH is a true burger fan. Wish we would have had time to hit Red Coat Tavern in order to compare (as those two seem to be the Detroit area contenders) but we did really like the burger at Millers. DH says it's not in the same class as the Lola burger he had at Bar Symon a few weeks ago, but is definitely chow-worthy. It was cooked perfectly (medium rare), and we liked the no-nonsense service and ambience at Millers, although neither the fries nor the onion rings were noteworthy.
Red Coat Tavern
31542 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48073