Molly's Picks: The Imperial and Santorini Estiatorio
Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
>CHIPS AND SALSA FLIGHT Imperial's salsa verda, chipotle, roasted red pepper, fresh fried tortilla chips, and guacamole.
The brief, but focused menu offers California-style tacos on soft tortillas in several varieties, including lime-grilled chicken, carnitas, and marinated pork, as well as slow-roasted pork tortas, guacamole, and grilled sweet corn, all served on metal trays communal style. That suits the spirit of Imperial’s wood-embellished rooms, with their mostly communal seating and a convivial atmosphere. The bar turns out house drinks made with infusions including habanero/orange, pineapple/ginger, and rosemary/mango, as well as extensive beer and liquor choices. Wine drinkers will have to look elsewhere. A winner from the moment it threw open its garage-style windows last May.
22828 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 248-850-8060; facebook.com/imperialonwoodward. L&D daily, BR Sun. $12
The highly visible location on the corner of Monroe and Beaubien is even more so since the handsome redo of Mosaic inside and out into a blue-and-white Greek island-themed restaurant. Santorini serves an extensive menu of dishes, including appetizers of tzatziki and marinated octopus, plates of whole fish baked in sea salt, lamb chops, and lemon chicken, bringing more Greek to a Greektown that seemed to have lost touch with its traditional roots of late.
501 Monroe St., Detroit, 313-962-9366; facebook.com/Santorinidetroit. L&D daily. $20