French Laundry and Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse

Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots


French Laundry: No relation to the Napa Valley spot, this is a rarity in that it’s open every day for all three meals. Its two rooms include a casual market setting, with Zingerman’s breads and pastries piled high atop a counter, and a high-ceilinged dining room/bar with ’50s kitchen tables. Breakfast choices range from eggs Benedict to housemade corned beef hash and blueberry pancakes. Sandwiches run the gamut from deli-style corned beef to grilled chicken breast. Dinnertime brings more sophisticated entrees, such as pan-seared scallops atop pasta, and pork tenderloin with roasted red pepper and chorizo sauce, except on Tuesdays, when the menu differs. 125 W. Shiawassee Ave., Fenton; 810-629-8852. $15 B, L & D daily. Handicap accessible. No cigars.
Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse: The rooms gleam with Brazilian cherrywood and the brilliant white gaucho shirts of the staff at this authentic rodizio restaurant owned and operated by Brazilians. Eliane Carvalho Colho Turner, and her partner, Neto Fernandez, have brought a real touch of Rio to the free-standing building where an array of broiled meats from filet mignon to pork tenderloin are brought to the tables on long skewers, one after the other, until diners call a halt. A buffet table offers well-prepared relishes, salads, cheeses, and of course, black beans and rice, to be self-served. 39550 Seven Mile at Haggerty roads, Northville Township; 248-380-7770. $40 L & D Mon.-Fri., D Sat.-Sun. Handicap accessible. No cigars.

Note: Dollar amount is the average entree price.

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