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.
Ryan Porter directs the kitchen at Socialight, the bistro and cigar bar in West Bloomfield. And like many chefs, his tastes vary between down-to-earth and upscale, as in a good burger and seared foie gras. “I love One-Eyed Betty’s in Ferndale,” he says. “It’s a great place to get appetizers, perfectly poured beer, and their delicious homemade doughnuts to finish a wonderful meal. Although I don’t find time to get to Iridescence at Motor City Casino very often, the food is impeccable and mouth-watering. One of my favorite dishes is the foie gras tostada. It contains cinnamon-scented black beans, avocado purée with a hint of jalapeños, and a beautiful seared foie.” A burger destination is Vinsetta Garage in Berkley. “It never disappoints.”
Andrew Alcid, the chef de cuisine at the Townsend Hotel’s Rugby Grille, is among many professionals who love the chicken shawarma at the Bucharest Grill in Detroit. He says when “hanging out with my family on my days off, I look for something that is quick, economical, and something to look forward to for lunch. The sandwich is loaded with chicken and pungent garlic sauce all wrapped up in glorious pita. There is a lot of value in the menu and a fun vibe in the restaurant.” He and his wife try to explore as many eateries in the city as possible. “Seeing business thrive in Detroit is always an inspiration as well as seeing creative and inspiring dishes close to people’s roots. I think in order to make it in this business a restaurant has to show a lot of passion, and this location has tons of it.”
— Molly Abraham