Built in 1938 as an homage to traditional German biergartens, Terry's Terrace was originally known as Terrace Gardens and served patrons frog legs and burgers from out a window. The eatery grew up and out from these modest beginnings, changing its name and spawning a pub room, a patio, 20 plasma TVs, and a beer list with more than 24 draft brews and 99 bottled beers. The fare still draws customers, who can snag classic comforts such as slow-roasted prime rib or fish 'n' chips made with Atlantic cod, though these days patrons can enjoy their menu selections from a table instead of a window frame. Drinks range from local craft beers to the flaming Spanish coffee, whose cinnamon-and-sugar rim is carefully caramelized by the breath of a newborn dragon.
Every morning at Tom’s Oyster Bar, chefs scrawl the day’s battered and grilled seafood specials on chalkboard menus suspended from the ceiling. In addition to that list of freshly caught fish, the chefs tout their commitment to fresh seafood by stocking their raw bar with oysters that are shucked to order and then gently scolded for hording pearls.
In the wood-accented dining room, companions can sip from dozens of draft and bottled brews and bask in the glow of flat-screen TVs, or retreat to the outdoor patio and take in views of downtown Royal Oak.
A mermaid basks in the warm glow of track lighting, reaching to embrace a starfish as onlookers point and stare. This maritime beauty lives on a large mural inside Northern Lakes Seafood Company. She’s just one way the restaurant celebrates the ocean’s many wonders. Fresh fish and shellfish arrive daily from Boston, Hawaii, Florida, and the Great Lakes each day, landing in the kitchen, where chefs broil, grill, and sauté them and drizzle on gourmet sauces such as beurre blanc and béarnaise. To ensure that the fish is fresher than a mint-flavored iceberg, the chefs revise the menu each day, highlighting the newest catch available. In the lounge, guests can sip signature martinis and explore an oyster bar brimming with specimens from the East and West Coasts. The dining room teems with elegant decor such as ornate chandeliers, old-fashioned ceiling tiles, and burgundy carpet that matches the cabernets in the eatery’s wine library, which has won an award from Wine Spectator. In addition to helming more than six restaurants, The Epicurean Group, Northern Lakes Seafood Company’s parent company, has launched a wellness program that helps local organizations prepare nutritious, organic meals filled with fresh ingredients. To do so, they’ve partnered with Dr. Heather Annatoyn Dickson, a physician who specializes in wellness and longevity.
When it comes to the Fratello's heaping portions of lasagna and chicken piccata, you'll want to do some sharing of your own. That's doubly true on Sundays, when the restaurant loads their brunch buffet with custom omelets, belgian waffles, and biscuits with made-from-scratch gravy.
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.
Carrying on the tradition of his father Labib Hajjar, a restaurateur who opened the original Poco Piatti location on Monroe Street, Elias Hajjar and his wife Joy have created a welcoming new space where locals can experience Mediterranean cuisine. Diners choose from Greek classics including moussaka, Italian-inspired dishes such as prosciutto crepes with basil and homemade sundried-tomato sauce, or Middle Eastern-style kabobs with swordfish or beef tenderloin. The owners have designed the interior to resemble a Spanish villa—the mural above the bar colorfully depicts rolling Mediterranean hills, and a stone oven churns out freshly baked pita bread or lights the miniature Olympic torches of waiters jogging by.
Since 1996, Labib has given back to the community as the co-chairperson of Share our Strength's Taste of the Nation Toledo, an annual food and wine event that, according to The Toledo Blade, raised more than $100,000 to help fight childhood hunger in 2011. Elias also follows in his father's community-minded footsteps by electing to source his ingredients from local suppliers.