Union Woodshop and Gim Ling
Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots.
Union Woodshop: The former Clarkston Café has a completely new persona as a self-described wood-fired joint, where pulled pork, ribs, chicken, and beef brisket come from the smoker, and Neapolitan-style crisp-crusted pizzas from the stone-floored, wood-burning oven in the bar, which sports an eye-catching Art Deco mahogany back bar. 18 S. Main St., Clarkston; 248-625-5660. D Mon.-Fri., L & D Sat.-Sun. $16 Smoking (in the bar only). H
Gim Ling: Chef/proprietor Paul Yan transformed a neighborhood Chinese restaurant with distinctive changes in the menu and an all-new serene, pastel décor. He offers many familiar-sounding Cantonese dishes, from egg-drop soup and spring rolls to pepper steak and sweet-and-sour pork, but the execution, fresh ingredients, and light sauces make them new again. This is a surprising find in a modest strip-mall setting. 31402 Harper, St. Clair Shores; 586-296-0070. L & D daily. $10 S H