Best Of 2016

341 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-769-6700;

Mani Osteria is known for the pizzas it makes in its wood-fired oven, and with good reason: Owner Adam Baru clearly learned a thing or two in his years on the East Coast. The kitchen staff was still experimenting with their pizza dough recipes just days before opening in 2011. The pies have a satisfying crunch on the bottom and a chewiness to the crust, and the toppings show equal attention. It's earned them visits from Mario Batali and Bobby Flay, and our readers' choice for Best Specialty Pizza in their region.

401 S. Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak; 248-542-0082;

Bistro 82 is no stranger to our Best of Detroit honors: Last year, the restaurant earned a staff pick for Best Appetizer Menu. For our readers, that appeal was clearly broader, as it was named the best in its region. Under the guidance of chef Derik Watson, the kitchen churns out excellent mains as well, from a prime 14-ounce rib-eye dry-aged for 28 days to a delightful vegetable risotto accented with cashew cream. Add attentive service and an interior of sleek, clean lines and you have this year's best.

3921 Second Ave., Detroit; 313-438-5055;

The much-lauded Selden Standard scored big time this year, winning Hour Detroit's 2016 restaurant of the year, and chef-owner Andy Hollyday landed a James Beard nomination for best chef in the Great Lakes region. With all that, it's no surprise our readers agreed and have named the Midtown eatery the best Wayne County has to offer. Ingredients are locally sourced, the small plates menu changes with the seasons, and the beverage program is just as respected as the food. Come summer, the outdoor patio ties the experience all together for an unforgettable affair.

216 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-623-2233;

Our readers picked Sava's last year for its breakfast offerings. But the restaurant is great all-around because it does it all: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The dinner menu offers plenty of choices: straight-ahead fine dining (seared Arctic char or braised lamb shank, for instance), as well as burgers and sandwiches; diners can just as easily assemble meals by choosing among the salads, sides, and creative small plates.

39091 Garfield Rd., Clinton Township; 586-263-6540;

Luciano's wrapped up this category last year, and it's easy to see why it's back on top again. Family-owned and -operated, with white linens, soft table lighting, and a menu of old-fashioned Northern and Southern Italian cuisine made with fresh, natural ingredients, and in generous portions at prices a little friendlier than many fine-dining restaurants.

1214 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-306-1954;

Proprietor Tom Brady (no, not that Tom Brady) has seen to the rebirth of a legendary Detroit institution in suburban Royal Oak. Inside the former Oxford Inn, the space has a mid-century "Don Draper" quality, with upholstered barstools, sunburst light fixtures, and a pink payphone in the ladies room. As for the food, it's also a throwback to a time when going out to eat called for a steak, juicy burger, or a sandwich named after a regular. Drinks are equally nostalgic, as is the Motown playlist. With a generous happy hour and a kitchen that stays open late, it's quickly become a favorite neighborhood spot in Oakland County.

1942 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-446-8360;

With its historic setting in the castle-like GAR Building, a kitchen attuned to nose-to-tail meatiness, and a run-up to opening that kept us in anticipation for months, Republic was a runaway smash hit when it opened last year. Sure, you can have satisfying dishes of country-style ham, seafood cassoulet, or grilled lamb, but you may be surprised how much flavor they're able to pack into their shareable Ploughman's plate.

120 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 888-456-3463;

When is an Italian restaurant not an Italian restaurant? When it embraces all the flavors that enliven the Mediterranean coast, from mussels to meatballs, from calamari to couscous. Now there's the sort of restaurant concept where large groups can go to dine and leave nobody unhappy: Even if a diner doesn't like at least one Mediterranean dish, the menu offers steak, lamb chops, and grilled chicken.

52969 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township, 586-580-9382;

Open since last year, the Vast crew wanted to provide a restaurant that was high-end but approachable, sophisticated but not intimidating. That translates into a menu of burgers and sandwiches for lunch, but some pretty high-toned entrees for dinner, including filet mignon, Parmesan-crusted chicken, lamb chops with polenta, and crab cakes. At the corner of Van Dyke and 24 Mile, the business is closed Sundays.

203 Pierce St., Birmingham; 248-258-6278

23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-398-0444;

Often the best isn't anything new at all, but a classic that endures ever-changing trends in the dining scene. That's the case for our readers, who've once again named Toast Best Breakfast in Oakland County. As crowded as it gets during the weekend brunch rush, diners are rewarded with scrumptious breakfast platters like the Bananas Foster buttermilk pancakes, with candied banana, caramel sauce, cinnamon, and Chantilly cream. Then there's also the array of coffees, fresh squeezed juices, Bloodys, and mimosas.

1942 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-446-8370

On the flip side of Republic in the funky, reimagined GAR Building, we have the Wayne County winner for best breakfast. Parks & Rec gives us a chef-inspired breakfast and lunch vibe. Bacon is in a unique lamb form, hash browns are "high end," and sweets like the Dutch Baby popover are freshly baked in-house.