167 Townsend St., Birmingham; 248-494-7110; bellapiattirestaurant.com
Far too many restaurants lose sight of the complete dining experience. Not Bella Piatti, this year's clear standout among newcomers. The shareable plates and upbeat space are fun, the food is consistently delicious, the wine, beer and cocktails are thoughtfully selected, and the servers are knowledgeable. It's pricey, but it's superb. And though it would be easy to write an entire paragraph just on the handmade pasta, if we had one piece of advice for first-timers, it would be to take advantage of the offerings that are otherwise uncommon to southeast Michigan: The grilled fresh sardine, the Kobe rib cap, and the perfectly executed honey and pine nut tart among them.
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