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Bistro in Detroit

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    220 Merrill Street
    The bar is one of Birmingham's favorite watering holes, the dining room in the back slightly less frantic at this brightly reworked circa-1932 building where chef Jack Leone has done wonders for the menu. Now colorful contemporary dishes, typified by angelhair pasta with chicken, tomatoes, white beans and artichokes, stuffed tenderloin and linguine with shrimp, spinach and lemon, and some great Italian salads make the food live up to the witty decor which pays homage to the light bulb. A separate, downstairs room called Edison's offers live jazz, its own menu of light dishes, and upscale drinks like martinis and champagne in the evening, Thursday through Saturday.
    227 Bistro
    Enjoy casual dining and creative cuisine such as steak, seafood and pasta in a relaxed atmosphere. Includes an extensive wine list, upstairs balcony dining, and vegetarian friendly selections.
    Angelo's Bistro
    Our philosophy is simple -- graciously serve outstanding Italian cuisine in a comfortable, relaxing environment. Our promise is to use only the finest, freshest ingredients available, to offer prompt, courteous service and deliver high value for our guests' dollar. You will find traditional Italian and light Continental specialties on the Angelo's Bistro menu. If there is something you'd like, but don't see, let us know. Maybe we would like it too! While we are a moderately priced restaurant, we will never stint on quality, quantity or service. We want all of our guests to feel comfortable and at home. We encourage you to use our service, either from your server or by telephone. You will find the food to be the same level of quality as served in the restaurant. We will be delighted to cater your birthday party, bridal shower -- almost any occasion -- just ask our manager for further information. Enjoy your food and let us know how you feel about our restaurant.
    Assaggi Mediterranean Bistro
    Known for its attractive atmosphere and creative menu, Assaggi's menu skips along the northern coast of the Mediterranean from Spain to Lebanon. There's seating for 80 in the al fresco patio, where a garden of tomatoes, peppers, basil, flowers and other herbs — and statuary including reproductions of the "Venus de Milo" and Michelangelo's "David" — conjure the atmosphere of Tuscany. And, happily, the sound of the fountain drowns out the traffic on Nine Mile Road.
    Atlas Global Bistro
    At Atlas, you’ll find Carolina catfish, pork taquitos, short ribs, ravioli and polenta, Hawaiian shrimp and Moroccan beef. Ingredients — which don’t necessarily remain with their cuisine-of-origin — include lemongrass, cactus, Gorgonzola, wasabi, coconut, pancetta, caviar and black-eyed peas. It may sound like the chef is confused, but even if he were, open-minded taste buds should not quibble with the results.
    Balkan Bistro
    Highlighting Turkish fare, diners should find plenty of new choices in this underrepresented cuisine. Try the “mixed Turkish plate,” which includes kadinbudu köfte, hunkar begendi, eggplant kebab and chicken shish. Hunkar begendi is described as “veal stew on a bed of mashed grilled eggplant with béchamel sauce and mozzarella” is smoky and creamy. Kadinbudu köfte, a beef and rice meatball in a soft shell of beaten eggs, is drier by comparison, but the eggplant kebab, which is ground beef wrapped in eggplant, and chicken shish are both appropriately succulent. Even the sole kebabs burst with their flavor.
    Bath City Bistro
    A recently completed renovation has brought the Bath City Bistro back to its original turn-of-the-century glory. The walls are decorated with historical photographs of Mt. Clemens from its heyday as "Bath City, USA" The Bistro's main attraction is its three lanes of trough bowling, a traditional Belgian sport that could be described as a cross between boccie ball and shuffleboard. You can enjoy your favorite beverage while trough bowling with new friends, or sit back and watch others play from the main dining room. The Bistro is open for lunch and dinner, with a menu that includes a wide variety of appetizers, steaks, calzones and seafood (the mussels are a Belgian favorite).
    Bistro 222
    Mediterranean-inspired menu including: main course salads, gourmet pizzas, pastas, gourmet signature sandwiches and Bistro Favorites.
    Executive chef Kipp Bourdeau cooks up innovative bistro-style cuisine, including dishes such as crab-and Asiago-crusted whitefish with sautéed spinach and grain mustard vinaigrette as well as maple-and-pecan-cured salmon. The decor is inviting, and the circle-in-a-square dining room offers many opportunities for privacy. No smoking.
    Bon Vie
    Bon Vie certainly scores with its crispy Tomato Provencal Flatbread appetizer ($9), which surpasses most of the thin designer pizzas offered for firsts elsewhere. And the roasted beets, accompanied by green beans, cheese and almonds ($7) compete easily with many of the recently trendy beet salads I have had. I wish I could say the same about the immense but just OK Salad Nicoise ($13), where the seemingly unmarinated potato and tuna cubes and minuscule egg bits were slightly off-key. Although a few of the 15 entrées soar into the 20s, most fall comfortably within the mid-to high-teens, such as, for example, Atlantic salmon, presented somewhat unusually with mushrooms and capers in a lemon sauce. It was a tad salty, perhaps because of the caper brine, but French cuisine often is a tad salty for some American tastes. Bon Vie’s hefty portions of deftly seasoned, marbled beef easily meet the authenticity test, although those with tender palates should steer clear of the incendiary pepper steak. Steak plates come with a choice of one of the bistro’s several outstanding side salads. As befits a respectable bistro, Bon Vie has an interesting global wine list with one-third of the two dozen bottles under $30. Deserts ($5-$6) are French traditional with the dreamy lemon tart a fine choice among the crème brûlée, chocolate mousse, profiteroles, and cherry clafouti.
    Boodles
    Steak dominates the fare and there’s nothing on the menu that would make a meat-and-potatoes lover squirm. Six dishes under the heading “VIP” are flambéed at two stations in the dining room. All of the entrées we tried were very good: seafood strudel ($16.95), fettuccine carbonara (prepared with chicken), veal Marsala, seafood marinara ($17.95). Sides are predictable, such as green beans. Soup or salad comes with entrees; the clam chowder, which we had in both the New England and Manhattan variations, is terrific. Service is a serious issue that needs attention from management.
    Canton Village Grill
    "Canton Village Grill is a neighborhood bar and bistro featuring American cuisine including high quality sandwiches, salads, pastas and dinner. The warm, upscale décor accents the contemporary feel of the open ceiling as well as the large, bright windows across the front of the restaurant. The dining room features a full view of the open kitchen and culinary production. The Grills American cuisine features regionally available ingredients and ethnic influences from all over the world. Traditional flavor and ingredient combinations are served along side the newer cuisines and flavors now entering our collective palate. Try the bar for a wide selection of domestic and imported beers while taking in your favorite sports team on our many flat screen TVs. The combination of classic elegance and sporty flair make this a great meet-and-greet space. Weekday service is fast casual lunch, while evenings and weekends are full service in the bar and dining room."
    Specializing in fresh seafood, pasta and grilled meats. Bistro-type atmosphere; small town but cutting edge.
    More than just pastries, this Crispelli's offers pizzas, salads, wine and beer.
    Pastries, salads and sandwiches for afternoon and early evening.
    Forest Grill
    Brian Polcyn’s stylish bistro, situated on the unlikely east side of Woodward Avenue, is on the ground floor of a new multi-use, especially “green,” three-story building created by prize-winning architect Victor Saroki. The handsome, long, narrow room, with huge windows and a bustling open kitchen, seats only 65 at its white-clothed tables and lively bar. Starters include a hearty bowl of French onion soup ($8), thick with onions and melted cheese, and the charcuterie du jour platter ($18), with exquisite smoked meats, sturdy housemade mustard, and three choice mini-salads. The mains, most of which hover around $28, are anchored by an admirable steak-frites platter, with a thick strip rather than hanger or flat-iron steak, plus abundant skinny, crunchy fries. Another pleasing dish is the Berkshire pork loin, thin slices of meat, perhaps a little fatty, but nicely adorned with warm green apples and red cabbage, along with a cippolini onion, all of which rests gently in a subtle port-wine reduction. A mecca for oenophiles, almost all of the wines are not only available by the 5-ounce glass but also by the 2-ounce taste, which permits a good deal of experimentation, even for those doing the driving. As for dessert, it is difficult to pass up the warm chocolate cake, stuffed with chocolate mousse, which comes with contrapuntally cool vanilla-bean ice cream, pistachios and cherries.
    Variety of sandwiches, soups, baked goods, salads and smoothies.
    Gala (closed)
    The concept is "a new American bistro" — cutting-edge food served tapas-style, for sharing and grazing. It’s a good idea, one used more or less successfully elsewhere, but what makes this restaurant work so well is creative flair.
    Exceptional regional cuisine prepared with the freshest locally obtained products available. The Grill presents handcrafted dishes created on a foundation of organic and sustainably farmed local produce. The menu features all-natural ranched meats and responsibly harvested seafood; all paired with a magnificent wine collection inclusive of bio-dynamically conceived varietals. Simply put, it's food the way nature intended.
    The perfect place to join your friends for a night out on the town, to watch the game, or to grab a bite to eat. The Hub features a modern decor of slate and hardwood with a casual atmosphere. We have 20 different flavors of beers on tap and 20 HD televisions to watch your favorite team. Stop in to check out our custom keg cooler and great meals. You will quickly understand why many of our customers think our burger is the best on the East Side.
    Josephine Creperie and Bistro
    If you want it done right, do it yourself. At Josephine, the patés and the wines are all made on the premises. Co-owners Jeanine Henson and Bob Zagar work the floor themselves, resulting in professional, knowledgeable, and caring service. They’re serving a short menu of French or French-inspired dishes that begins and ends with crêpes, but also includes onion soup, coq au vin, and beef bourguignon. Forget preconceptions about puny crêpes. At Josephine, an entreé crêpe is both filled and topped with goodies, and, with its sides, it's plenty for a meal.

    At Kitchen Sync, the dining manifestation of the wine retail store, Wine Sync, a variety of wines is matched with small plates of fruits and cheeses, with a parade of daily specials.  Saturday nights, by reservation only, herald $30 three-course dinners featuring three wines matched by an expert.  The wine, from Mauritson Estate Wines, goes for $25 a bottle.  Saturday diners get a 10% discount on bottles of wine.

    La Dolce Vita
    Bringing Tuscany to Detroit, La Dolce Vita's classic Italian cuisine will have a fresher taste and be lighter for the summertime according to new Executive Chef, Matt Baldridge. Their menu will still include old favorites like classic pastas, chicken, veal and beef, but new to the menu is the stuffed trout, which will be served with chili, a hint of lime and olives. The dessert tray has some creative chocolate gems, but sorbets are also available if you're looking for something lighter. An inviting courtyard awaits behind a wrought-iron fence to offer al fresco dining. Hit the patio on Tuesdays to dance to live a DJ or for cocktails during their weekly patio parties that last until 2:30 a.m.

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