Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer breeze

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

The main reason to visit Portofino is the water, which looks inviting as you gaze at the wooded tip of Grosse Ile, watching the boats slip by. In fine weather, some of them even tie up at Portofino’s dock, which makes sense, considering that the real Portofino is an Italian resort town on the Mediterranean. Dinner starts with hot bread and a generous dish of olive oil loaded with Parmesan and cracked pepper. Appetizers are mostly from the sea, side salads are nicely composed, and the mix of mains is ambitious enough to range from ribs and lamb chops to po’ boy sandwiches to Italian or seafood mainstays. The pasta choices are consistently excellent.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Neighborhood treat

Posted By on Wed, Jul 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

This neighborhood restaurant has been quietly turning out respectable meals for a generation or so from a prosaic strip mall on Rochester Road. In a simply decorated, dimly-lit room that seats 120, you can enjoy heavy red-sauced dishes with the pastas averaging around $13 and the other entrées around $18 including soup and salad. Franco’s hearty pastas, which include such familiar preparations as ravioli, spaghetti carbonara, fettucine Alfredo and linguini with clam sauce. Among the pesce, the crisp and tender sautéed shrimp scampi over rice laced with olive oil and just the right amount of garlic is a well-executed dish. You can wash all of this down with reasonably priced wines, with the house pours, some Californian some Italian, going for $24 a liter.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wine is fine

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Stocking more than 100 bottles, 50 of them for sale by the glass, and serving Italian- and Spanish-influenced small plates designed by chef Nina Scott. The choices range from fresh and chunky gazpacho to the "Cutting Board," an assortment of salami, prosciutto, chorizo, olives, roasted peppers and cheeses.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Old German

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Haute cuisine grabs headlines, but it’s also the myriad small workaday eateries that help to make a city breathe with gastronomic life. One of these little gems is Jacoby’s German Biergarten, a narrow downtown building on Brush Street and one of the oldest continuously named establishments in Detroit. It’s unlikely that everyone is going to love Jacoby’s as a dining spot. Some might never even order a bite as they spend a Friday or Saturday night upstairs at 313.jac where the local music scene is very much alive. But if you go expecting good food and good beer in an historic though sometimes raucous atmosphere, you’re sure to leave content. Smoking permitted. Kitchen open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. Bar open until 11 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, until 2 a.m. Thursday-Sat, and until 6 p.m. Sunday.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Desert menu

Posted By on Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 12:00 AM

How is a Chaldean restaurant different from the more familiar Lebanese? Many dishes are the same, but owners Saad and Zeana Attisha add, for example, pickled cabbage, purshee, that’s served to everyone as a starter, plus some tomato-based stews. And their daily specials are Iraqi favorites: burgul (bulgur wheat) on Tuesdays; biryani on Wednesdays (like Indian biryani but less spicy, with rice, chicken, beef and potatoes); pacha on weekends. New Sahara does better on the traditional side dishes than on the meat and poultry entrées. Grape leaves, fattoush, kibbeh and tabbouleh are available — as well as cheese sticks, fried mushrooms and wings.

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