Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots.
Triple Nickel /// The signature restaurant at the 555 building in downtown Birmingham offers seating in a handsome first-floor space and in two second-floor rooms overlooking the two Woodwards respectively. The vintage buffalo nickel theme represents the purely American slant of the menu and also the wine list chosen by partner Zoran Smolcic. Proprietors include Marc and Trina Blancke of Sindbad’s and their longtime chef, John Fleming. Notable dishes include an array of seafood such as lake perch, whitefish, shrimp, and halibut. The burger list includes a buffalo burger and a quinoa version. Service is emphasized. 555 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-480-4951. L & D daily. $20
Rochester Tap Room /// Sixty craft beers – and one Michigan wine – on tap aren’t the only things this upbeat spot has to offer. It has a comfortable setting, done up with Prohibition-era photographs and memorabilia and a menu that pays homage to bar food but goes well beyond it under chef/partner Travis Waynick. Burgers and sandwiches, sure, but also some dishes as diverse as crispy Brussels poutine made with cheddar cheese curds and mushroom gravy, smoked salmon, and maple-glazed duck breast. The big room has many seating arrangements, including some on the patio. 6870 N. Rochester Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-650-2500. L & D daily. Br. Sun. $15