Drawing from family recipes and culinary know-how refined while working in a military mess hall during World War II, Italian native Edoardo Barbieri founded the first Da Edoardo restaurant in 1978 with help from his son. Three generations later, the chef's family carries on the epicurean legacy at Da Edoardo's four locations across the Detroit area, earning the 2012 Restaurateur of the Year Award from the Michigan Food and Beverage Association.
At each eatery, chefs follow the Barbieri family's guidance, authentic recipes, and instructional shadow puppets while assembling fresh, elegant entrees inspired by Northern Italian cuisine. They complement pastas and steaks with a convoy of wines from Italy, California, and Oregon and regularly dole out their creations for catered events amid the restaurants' chic, upscale environs.
The chefs at JB's Pizza Parlor, which was praised for its pies in a 2008 issue of the Grand Rapids Press, toss gourmet disks strewn with innovative toppings and plate an eclectic lineup of oven-baked pastas and sandwiches. Fourteen specialty pizzas ($13.49 for 12"; $15.99 for 14") don tailored selections of delectable add-ons, including the creamy garlic-chicken pizza's roasted red peppers, artichoke, and chicken, and The Godfather pizza's meatballs stake out turf on pepper jack cheese, unleashing gangs of capicola and roma tomatoes to ensure the pepperoncinis don't leak the location of their latest basil score. Guests can festoon a custom pan-style pie ($7–$10 for 10"–16") with such toppings as mandarin oranges, broccoli, and pineapple (+$0.75–$1.50/topping). For 3-D edibles, diners can sink their teeth into the ravioli, which encases portobello mushrooms and ricotta cheese ($6.99), or grab a french dip sandwich ($6), which high-dives off patrons' palms into a side of au jus. Guests can take their meals to go, or chew in-house while surfing JB's WiFi network to order pepper flakes in gallon buckets.
Every morning, the chefs at Sopranos Pizzeria lay the groundwork for their delicious pizzas, slicing fresh tomatoes, dicing spinach leaves, and kneading a new batch of dough. A steadfast commitment to this daily ritual has made Sopranos the go-to place for pizza in Warren. It doesn't hurt that the restaurant's pizza varieties appeal to just about everyone; regular, deep-dish, and gluten-free crusts are all on the menu. Of course, you can't eat or nap on a bed of pizza every day, so Sopranos also serves grinders, salads, ribs, and chicken wings.
The cooks at Coach's Pub and Grill fuel jovial cheers and good-natured billiard games with a menu of pizzas, burgers, and Mexican fare washed down with refreshing cocktails and microbrews. Foursomes silence hungry stomach solos with openers such as saucy pulled-pork sliders and cream-cheese-stuffed jalapeño poppers more smooth and spicy than a love letter written in Tabasco sauce. Entrees such as the half rack of Coach's carolina spice-rubbed, slow-roasted, and smoked baby-back ribs strike tangy chords on taste buds. All-you-can-eat Friday-night fish fries sate oceanic appetites with endless portions of Alaskan walleye, and diners toast birthdays or successfully foiled surprise parties by hoisting cocktails or glasses of one of the 12 beers and rotating local microbrews on tap.
Authentic firehouse doors flank the front entrance to The Engine House and, while no fire trucks ever come racing out, the firefighter motif continues inside with memorabilia such as two fiery cauldrons hanging above the bar. Wednesdays are Firefighter Days, when The Engine House feels even more like a proper fire station as local personnel stop by to socialize and hose down patrons who are speaking too heatedly. Together, firefighters and their fellow diners can also play tunes on the digital jukebox or catch a game on the bar’s large projection screen and copious plasma and flat-screen TVs.
While the restaurant’s two founding Detroit firefighters—John Gusumano and Greg Sisoy—authenticate the decor, Executive Chef Dennis Capozzoli focuses on the bar’s extensive menu. He exhibits his culinary range with sandwiches, salads, specialty pizzas, and pub staples including mini-burgers and ribs slathered with homemade barbecue sauce.
The chefs at Gus's Original use flours imported from Italy and premium toppings such as fresh basil to craft the restaurant's pizzas before baking them in a stone oven. Gourmet sandwiches are baked in the stone oven, too, with fillings such as rosemary-seasoned ham and cherry chicken salad. To wash it all down, Gus's carries ice cream from MOO-ville Creamery, a west Michigan staple.