Tracing its lineage back to 1939, Lelli’s remains in the hands of its original founders, the Lelli family, and continues its culinary tradition of rich, Northern Italian steak-house fare. Skilled chefs and servers prepare and present à la carte dishes such as juicy filet mignon, fresh seafood, and house-made egg pastas draped with rich tomato and cream-based sauces, or bookend European-style six-course meals with antipasto and palate-cleansing spumoni. The dimly lit dining room plays host to private events, corporate dinners, and family meals, and frames feasts with light that glints from candles and crystal chandeliers, reflecting off of cherry-wood furnishings and roosting in the folds of alabaster tablecloths.
Inside Kyoto Japanese Steak House, guests sit at large hibachi tables with a close-up view of chefs cooking scallops, filet mignon, chicken, and lobster. More than 80 traditional Japanese and Thai dishes are grilled up by hibachi chefs, and 25 specialty rolls take shape in the hands of sushi chefs, who combine ingredients such as soft-shell-crab tempura, flounder, and submarine meat. Above the dark-wood floor of the dining room, a curved bar serves up sake and fruit-infused cocktails.
It’s no easy task, but somehow Duo Restaurant & Lounge manages to meld elegant dining and a sophisticated Manhattan-inspired lounge experience all under one roof. The duality also applies to the cuisine, an artfully plated cross between upscale bar food and classic steak-house items. Toasted cheese-stuffed ravioli and burgers crowned with white cheddar and bacon represent the former, and the latter includes potato-crusted yukon salmon and 10-ounce new york strips served with whipped potatoes and house zip sauce.
The theme is also evident in a cocktail menu divided between classics such as pomegranate martinis and inventive signatures such as the plum sake and the Taste of Asia’s elderflower blend. Visitors can also peruse a wine list that groups selections around flavor categories such as Light, White & Interesting and Lots of Pinot Noir.
For such a decadent culinary tradition, churrasco comes from humble origins. Gauchos in the southernmost region of Brazil would typically end their long days of cattle ranching by meeting around a roaring fire pit, where they prepared family-style meals and roasted skewered meats over the open flames. This tradition lives on in churrascarias throughout the world, allowing diners to experience this rustic style of home cooking in a more formal atmosphere.
At Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse, the chefs remain faithful to the flavors of those countryside meals. Skewers of as many as 16 different meats—including rib-eye steak, lamb chops, and pork tenderloin—slowly rotate above the grill's flames or a handful of fire-breathing dragons, imbuing the hearty proteins with an unmistakably smoky tenderness.
As servers travel throughout the dining area with skewers hot off the flames, diners can catch the staff's attention by flipping their coasters from red to green. This signals the servers to approach and carve tableside servings directly off the skewer. Although the savory meats are the main attraction, even earning the eatery WDIV's Vote 4 the Best award for Detroit's Best Steakhouse in 2012, a salad bar also tempts diners with more than 40 hot and cold side dishes, including everything from fresh spring mix to mushroom risotto.
The dining room's mural of a Brazilian gaucho herding cattle nods to the cuisine's rustic roots, but its earthenware floor tiles and cherry-wood columns ensure a refined ambiance. The tables, draped with crisp white linens and flanked by red-cushioned chairs, are well spaced so as to allow for intimate family dinners and the regular plate-patrol rounds made by the vigilant servers.
With its ledge rock walls, burnished wood accents, and life-size horse sculpture perched at the wraparound bar, The Stillwater Grill hearkens back to a frontier lodge. Chefs reinforce the rustic ambiance with a menu of hearty American fare: they grill USDA Choice beef and inspected seafood, and then drizzle their flame-licked exteriors with homemade sauces.
Owner Jerry Costanza and his culinary crew create Northern Italy–styled dishes, including seasonal recipes. Their extensive wine list features vinos from Italy's major wine regions, along with organic and vintage-tiered selections from everywhere from Australia to Michigan. The staff pours these to complement the eatery's signature USDA–certified Piedmontese beef dishes, the lean, juicy, tender meat of which comes from cattle that originated in the foothills of the Italian Alps—also where Ducatis graze until they become Ferraris. Along with beef dishes, the chefs dish up sautéed shrimp, grilled sea bass, and italian truffle mac 'n' cheese.