Each week, pre-booked tours take kids into Mary Denning's kitchen, where they learn about the creation of various cakes, pies, cookies, and baked goods. In one corner of the bakery, they might see the baker using Mary's mother's recipe to stuff pasties with ground sirloin and veggies. In another, owner Mary Denning creates custom cakes for weddings and special occasions, using icing to sculpt intricate floral designs or replicas of the edible baseball caps worn by famous gingerbread athletes.
But the cake shop doesn’t just accommodate kids. Mary and her team want to share their sweet creations with as many people as possible, so they make sugar and gluten free desserts and—on select days—host baking classes.
For almost 30 years, the Costanza family has chaperoned a troop of juicy steaks and steaming pasta dishes through Station 885's warren of dining rooms, fireplaces, and the long, burnished-wood bar. Thick, broiled filet mignon and jambalayas enriched with andouille sausage and shrimp represent the menu's hearty steak-house-style fare, which is offset by stone-fired pizzas, and gluten-free and wheat pastas. Diners can cozy up in the fireplace dining room or twirl up a spiral staircase to a dining area above the bar. Throughout the restaurant, bowl-shaped art-deco lamps cast pools of light over white-linen tablecloths, recalling the site's origins as the Chesapeake freight house with its utilitarian elegance and penchant for trains.
The medical aestheticians at Milla's Beauty Center help clients attain juvenescent skin without surgery. Professional body and facial treatments get an indulgent twist from ingredients such as organic ginger and 24-karat gold, and instant beautification comes in the form of eyelash extensions and makeup applications—services that Milla's artists also extend to bridal parties and those prepping for special occasions. A waiting room outfitted in plush lime-green chairs hosts patrons before trained technicians tend to clients' exteriors and swap favorite lasagna recipes in comfortable, secluded treatment rooms.
When Santa Toarmina arrived in Detroit from Italy, she discovered that Americans seemed to prefer a sweeter pizza sauce and started adapting her pies to better fit the American palate. Generations later, Toarmina?s Pizza still uses Grandma Toarmina?s recipes, topping crusts?which can come in flavors such as garlic and Cajun?with a sweet pizza sauce and such ingredients as house-smoked ham, fresh veggies, and a heap of Wisconsin mozzarella cheese.
And the chefs take time to really stretch out the mounds of dough into 24-inch crusts that can feed the entire family or one hungry, hungry hippo. The pizzeria also offers oven-baked subs, fresh salads, wings, and ribs blanketed in barbecue sauce.
Owner Jerry Costanza and his culinary crew create Northern Italy–styled dishes, including seasonal recipes. Their extensive wine list features vinos from Italy's major wine regions, along with organic and vintage-tiered selections from everywhere from Australia to Michigan. The staff pours these to complement the eatery's signature USDA–certified Piedmontese beef dishes, the lean, juicy, tender meat of which comes from cattle that originated in the foothills of the Italian Alps—also where Ducatis graze until they become Ferraris. Along with beef dishes, the chefs dish up sautéed shrimp, grilled sea bass, and italian truffle mac 'n' cheese.
Formerly Ernesto’s Country Italian Inn, The Courthouse Grille overhauled its name, menu, and interior to become the intimate Italian-American eatery it is today. While still featuring a selection of Chef Ernesto’s best-loved dishes, the menu has expanded to include eclectic cuisine such as seafood-stuffed crêpes and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese.
The restaurant's façade remains as formidable as ever, with white columns supporting porches in front of the yellow, clapboard siding. The peaks of pediments rise above arched, floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the dining room with the natural light craved by potted plants and solar-powered chefs.