At Ristorante Ciao, the aromas of cheesy baked pastas and pizzas waft from a stone oven to mingle with the scent of steaks, seafood, and chicken sizzling beneath the broiler. Amid this scintillating perfume, chefs concoct hearty Italian fare infused with imported cheeses, fresh produce, and rich sauces.
Inside the dining area, Roman-style frescos adorn stonewalls and exposed bricks. Burgundy drapes seclude leather chairs and upholstered booths, creating an intimate atmosphere for dinner dates or clandestine meetings about overthrowing a caesar salad. From behind the full bar, bartenders pour cocktails and glasses of wine from an extensive list culled from Italy, France, Chile, and California. Two private banquet areas house seating for up to 100 guests, and the restaurant’s catering crew also eagerly scurries to offsite celebrations.
Sam Alvarado’s passion and respect for handcrafted Mexican food started at a young age. He grew up watching his family cook at home and in the kitchens of Detroit’s popular Mexican Fiesta restaurant chain, which his grandfather founded. Today, as the co-owner and head chef of Fuego Grill, Alvarado draws from that early culinary foundation to craft his own menu of fresh, made-from-scratch dishes that “more than impressed” a food writer for the Dearborn Free Press. He assembles traditional entrees such as carne asada, milanesa sandwiches, and fish tacos with halal meats and locally grown vegetables, creating cuisine that’s as flavorful and conscientious as a chocolate-covered Jiminy Cricket.
Upon entering Ollie's Lebanese Cuisine, the aromas of roasting Lebanese sausage, spices, olive oil, and garlic evoke an eatery in the Middle East. In addition to baking pillowy flatbread, the chefs make tomato sauces in-house, charbroil marinated morsels of beef tenderloin and chicken breast, and sauté shrimp in a fragrant mixture of cilantro and lemon. The restaurant's vegetarian-friendly selections include steamed lentils and sandwiches with crispy falafel. Happy chatter drifts into the dining room from a partially covered patio, which shelters diners from the hot sun and overly familiar nicknames from fighter pilots.
Inside Game Time Bar and Grill, bartenders kick open the kegs and let loose a torrent of beer to wash down 12 gourmet burgers and just as many HD TVs. The menu brims with hearty pub fare, such as the Italian, a sub stuffed with a trio of meats, provolone, veggies, and Italian dressing, or The Firecracker, an angus patty topped with fried jalapeño rings, chipotle mayo, and live ammunition. For dinner, servers haul out rib eye steaks and chicken parmesan, preceded by smaller plates of chili-cheese fries and beer-battered shrimp to stoke hunger flames. Throughout the restaurant, a jukebox cranks out tunes that cease only for a live DJ on weekends and karaoke renditions of the drink menu on Thursday night. While the music plays, pool balls clack on several pool tables, and 12 HD TVs display a steady stream of sports.
Head chef and Lebanon native Hassan Awada helms the kitchen at Deliziosa Bistro, packing fresh Mediterranean flavors onto varied lunch and dinner plates. Diners can determine their friends' levels of selfishness by first sharing appetizers, such as the gambari risso, a mishmash of rock shrimp, portabello mushrooms, and zucchini sautéed in marinara cream sauce and seductively laid out over risotto ($8.50). Midday munchers can welcome bready beasts into their toothed caverns; the Bellisimo burger paints pesto cream onto a shrimp-and-veggie patty before hiding the resulting presidential portrait in a sliced pita ($7.50). Evening options range from fresh salads to protein-centric entrees, such as the baked almond chicken ($14.95), which wears an almond-and-bread-crumb gown into a sun-dried-tomato-cream-sauce pool.