A bright neon sign greets diners as they enter Elite Pizzeria, where pizzas rise within brick ovens and sandwiches swell with certified Saad Halal meats. Chefs adorn burgers with hearty toppings of grilled mushrooms, bacon, and eggs, while whipping up a menu of traditional Mediterranean gyros and shawarma. Upon request, the dexterous bakers can sculpt their brick-oven pizzas into the shape of a heart, the silhouette of a kitty cat, or the profile of Susan B. Anthony.
Further cultivating Elite's fun, whimsical reputation, the restaurant's burger challenge has enticed nearly 150 intrepid contestants with a lofty tower of beef patties, mushrooms, bacon, onion rings, and sauerkraut. This surfeit of merriment all occurs within the warm embrace of red walls that shine down onto the restaurant's casual, WiFi-saturated dining area and tabletops that bask beneath the sun on an outdoor patio.
Jungle Java was designed to create a space where parents could enjoy a good cup of coffee while watching their children play in a safe and soft environment where tykes traipse through a well-padded multilevel maze of forest huts and treehouses. Toddlers can take time away from the fray in a separate safari area equipped with soft tunnels, slides, and age-appropriate cryptograms. As children romp, parents plunk themselves in the soft folds of a leather couch or power through some work on the free WiFi network. Jungle Java's caf? carries a menu of coffee drinks, smoothies, and snacks that include all-beef hot dogs and turkey and avocado sandwiches on eight-grain bread.
Fiamma Grille elevates the local dining scene with elegant takes on a steak house's bill of fare. Like a slice of bread nibbled into the shape of a mitten, the menu is a testament to state pride, with chefs striving to source each tasting plate of Leelanau cheese, dish of Maple Leaf Farms roasted duck, and platter of handmade pasta from Michigan producers whenever possible. Fiamma Grille's dedication to whipping up consistently pleasing tapas, aged steaks, and seafood earned it a spot on Gayot's Top 10 Steak Houses in Detroit list. In addition, its litany of fine California vinos won an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
Peals of laughter rise from families around the granite tabletops at which hibachi chefs crack jokes and flip shrimp over the grill. At Ichiban Steakhouse, expert grillers don black chef suits and show off their skill at slicing and searing chicken, steak, and seafood. Flanked by dark wood walls, nearby sushi chefs slice fresh fish to wrap tightly in specialty rolls. Five tatami rooms provide semiprivate spaces for business meals, romantic outings, or discreet transformations into a werewolf.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
Red Dragon's swift chefs whip together speedy entrees culled from a menu of Chinese standards. Set the spread with the toothsome fried tofu, crispy seasoned pockets calibrated to whet appetites or serve as stand-in game balls during paper-football matches ($3.50). Diners maximize supper possibilities with one of Red Dragon’s numerous combo specials, with more than two dozen entrees, such as the coconut shrimp ($5.75 at lunch, $6.75 at dinner) or almond chicken, joined by sidekicks that include egg rolls and chicken fried rice. Split a family-sized entree such as pepper steak ($9) or vegetable lo mein ($7.75) with hungry friends or hungrier strangers before chilling out with a fresh smoothie, crafted with such fruits as mango, pineapple, watermelon, and more ($3).