Against vibrant red walls, a large mural paints a scene of two young lovers embracing beneath the glow of stars and streetlights on an Italian boulevard. It's an ideal evocation of Rossini Cucina Italiana's private dining nooks, where couples can retreat to enjoy an authentic Italian meal bathed in soft, romantic light from a wall-hung lantern. Of course, guests can also reserve a table in the brightly lit dining area, grab a seat on the outdoor patio, or initiate a massage train with all of the other patrons to experience a more communal vibe. As patrons relax in the elegant eatery, chef Tony whips up traditional handmade pastas, hand-cuts tender beef fillets, and drapes seafood entrees in subtle wine sauces. He also offers the Feed Me Tony option, where he'll personally customize feasts from start to finish and pair the appropriate wines to each course.
Amid a modern, sunlit space, the Blue Moon Cafe's extensive menu populates plates with more than 30 creative sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and more alongside fresh salads and daily soup selections. Standard sandwiches such as the turkey swiss ($6.25) and the B.L.T. ($6) satisfy cravings for the classics, and innovative eats enchant palates with such exotic fare as the spicy pork sandwich, draping apple-smoked pork loin in spicy pepper-jack cheese beneath chipotle mayo and creamy barbecue ranch sauce ($6.25). Like an indecisive Broadway star, sandwich savants customize each creation to customers' whims, serving sandwiches grilled or cold on an array of bread and wrap options. More than 20 bottled beers from Bud Light to Sierra Nevada balance meals with bubbly refreshment and a daily rotation of desserts thank taste buds for their steadfast savoring and stamp-licking prowess.
From an English-style cottage nestled in the Jackson Street Historic District, The Parker House offers a savory haven for home-style eaters with a menu of aged steaks and simple Southern comfort food. Lavish starters tempt eager stomachs with rich mouthfuls of duck quesadilla, served with gouda, roasted corn salsa, and spiced sour cream ($9), or grit fries, crusted in herbs and bread crumbs topped with a smoky honey-chipotle aioli ($8). The Catfish Katherine astounds palates with a fresh Mississippi catfish blanketed with a sizzling sauté of crab, mushrooms, and green onions alongside edible islands of mashed potatoes and turnip greens ($24). With only certified Hereford and USDA prime beef, rehabilitated werebears can stymie carnivorous pangs with a marbled ribeye ($32) or an aged six-ounce tenderloin fillet ($25).
More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.
Mazzio's Italian Eatery's staff rolls out a buffet for lunch and dinner populated with tasty Italian cuisine that they also serve à la carte. The restaurant's staff has been perfecting its culinary modus operandi for more than 50 years, long enough to evolve the pizza selection to include three levels of thickness. Chefs bake standard, deep-dish, and thin crusts—available in gluten-free form—and load each with toppings such as caramelized onions and giant pepperoni. The kitchen makes pasta plates to order, some baked in the oven, such as lasagna, and some tossed in sauce, such as the mainstay spaghetti and meatballs. The signature calzone radiates the ambrosial scent of pizza dough stuffed with meat and cheese, and it's meant to be shared, unlike a pogo stick.
Gourmet southern eatery Mint challenges palates with Wine Me Dine Me, a weekly event centered around a prix fixe menu of wines playing off of dishes crafted from fresh local ingredients. While the offerings rotate each week, a recent first-course choice of "broken caesar" salad sprinkled with boiled egg and crispy anchovy or seared foie gras got diners reminiscing about their many other firsts, including first dates or first transatlantic balloon rides. For the entrées, they deliberated between seared Copper River salmon nestled alongside roasted garlic onion confit or a wood-grilled strip loin, served amidst mushroom risotto and a pickled blueberry gastrique. Afterward, dining couples can fed each other spoonfuls of strawberry crumble cake. Complementary wine accompanies each dish, ranging from a complex pinot noir to a bubbly cava and turning each course into a master course on culinary pairings, much like a job interview at a disorganized shoe store.
Sombra Mexican Kitchen’s chefs take pride in the methods they use to arrive at their contemporary take on Mexican cuisine. Though they pickle their jalapeño peppers and stir their enchilada sauces back in the kitchen, they can’t resist allowing guests a peek at the creative process. So, under the twinkling lights of the multihued dining room, they craft their flour or corn tortillas from scratch. While the flavorful disks are still hot, they proceed to blanket each with homemade guacamole and salsa brimming with Mexican oregano and epazote. They also slow-roast whole chickens and sizzle USDA Choice skirt steaks for meals that can be enjoyed on one of two outdoor patios or amid the dining room’s eclectic collection of cow skulls, Mexican blankets, and foliage teeming with wild piñatas.