Luxe Bar & Grill & Lockhart's BBQ

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



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Luxe Bar & Grill: Good neighborhood spots reflect the neighborhood they’re in, and this snappy one certainly does. It’s stylish and upbeat, with a skylit dining room seating just 52 in a mirrored black-and-brown setting by designer Ron Rea, who happens to be a neighbor. The simple paper menu offers plenty of choices, from prime burgers on brioche buns to interesting salads and sides, as well as entrees typified by wild-caught salmon, prime filet, and Greek-style lamb chops.

525 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham; 248-792-6051. L & D daily. $17

Lockhart's BBQ: The smoker where the dry-rubbed meats are low-temperature smoked for eight hours is the heart of this operation, which stays true to its focus on authentic barbecue. Choices from pork ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, burnt ends, and chicken are served atop butcher paper on metal trays. Each includes a slice of white bread to soak up the juices. No fewer than 14 sides — from sweet-potato fries to fried okra — are offered. The big, high-ceilinged room with old brick walls and uncovered windows hits just the right casual note.

202 E. Third St., Royal Oak; 248-584-4227. L & D daily. $15

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