Chef William Quasarano of Tom's Oyster Bar // Larry and Eunice Bongiovanni of Salvatore Scallopini and Luxe Bar & Grill
CRAVINGS: Their stylish menus are enticing enough to attract a loyal clientele of discriminating diners, but no matter how expert they are, restaurant people like to take a break from their own kitchens for a taste of someone else’s cooking
> CHEF WILLIAM QUASARANO (better known as Quas) of Tom’s Oyster Bar in Royal Oak became a fan of Thai food when he worked for a restaurateur whose wife prepared fare for him from her native Thailand. “Thai Orchid [in Mount Clemens] is the closest to that,” Quasarano says. “I’m there every other Monday.” He also enjoys the Blue Nile in Ferndale for “great food, simple,” he says. “I love peasant food. All my grandparents were straight off the boat from Sicily, so it’s all I ate growing up.” At the breakfast hour, he favors Coco’s, a coney island in Mount Clemens. “Great service, great eggs,” he says.
> LARRY and EUNICE BONGIOVANNI of the Salvatore Scallopini restaurants and Luxe Bar & Grill are regulars at their own restaurants, and they also like to cook at home. Other favorites include Redsmoke Barbeque in Greektown for ribs and pulled pork on a brioche bun and J. Baldwin’s Restaurant in Clinton Township, where they like several dishes, Eunice says, “especially the pear-cheese flatbread pizza. It’s great.” Early in the day, they like to stop by the Fly Trap in Ferndale and the Beverly Hills Grill for breakfast. At the Fly Trap, it’s steak and eggs for Larry, pancakes for Eunice. At the Grill, Larry orders eggs, potatoes, and bacon; Eunice gets bananas Foster French toast. Although they prefer patronizing locally owned spots, they also admit to liking such chains as Brio Tuscan Grille and the Outback Steakhouse for its coconut shrimp.