Small Plates and Tom's Oyster Bar
Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
SMALL PLATES: The concept of offering appetizer portions, rather than full dinner plates, has really taken off since the first edition of this restaurant opened in downtown Detroit five years ago. The second location is larger, but retains the spirit of the first in its handsomely renovated vintage building with exposed windows and paper-covered tables. The menu, under chefs Aaron True and Jay Gundy, includes thin-crust pizzas, panko-crusted shrimp, bite-size lamb chops, and old-fashioned desserts. 310 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-543-3300. L & D daily. $12. Handicapped accessible.
TOM’S OYSTER BAR: The seafood-saloon approach received a slightly more upscale treatment at this expanded version of the familiar oyster havens. Although it’s still comfortably informal, the recently unveiled spot with a balcony dining room overlooking the high-ceilinged main floor has a Mediterranean-influenced menu as well as a list of fresh fish and sushi. Service is emphasized. Partners with founder Tom Brandel are Cheryl Kotlarz and Jon DeAngelis. 6570 Rochester Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-601-8888.L & D daily. $20. Handicapped accessible.