Peng Lai Pan Asian Cuisine & Mancuso's Trattoria
Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
Peng Lai Pan Asian Cuisine: This low-lit, L-shaped space in Papa Joe’s Plaza is done up in sophisticated style with large, enveloping booths and granite-topped tables, with great attention to detail paid in every aspect. The menu includes sushi (prepared in the kitchen, rather than at a sushi bar) and an interesting array of dishes, from Thai curried mussels and clams to Vietnamese pork loin, Korean barbecued beef, and Chinese honey-glazed shrimp. 6830 Rochester Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-656-3800. L & D daily. $18 H Smoking in one small section of the bar.
Mancuso's Trattoria: Built around a wood-burning brick oven, this unpretentious spot on Windsor’s Via Italia sets a cozy scene with faux-stone floors and walls and a friendly demeanor. The thin-crust pizzas and flatbreads, as well as lasagna, manicotti, cannelloni, and veal Parmesan, are all are finished in the oven for a rustic touch. Proprietor Enzo Mancuso formerly ran the now-shuttered Tutto Ristorante. 555 Erie St. East, Windsor; 519-254-6213. L & D Tue.-Fri., D Fri.-Sat.-Sun. $14 H