Cravings: Bootleg Bar-B-Q and Wolfgang Puck Steak
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.
> Charly Bokatzian, co-proprietor of Bootleg Bar-B-Q in Flat Rock, counts Moro’s in Allen Park as one of his go-to spots for lamb chops and ambience. “[It’s] small, quaint, with all male servers in black-and-white,” he says. “This place knows how to serve you.” Another is Mac’s Acadian Seafood Shack. “We found [it] coming back from the Irish Hills, on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Ann Arbor trail,” Bokatzian says. “This place is a gem, from the fresh-baked house bread — could be the best bread I’ve ever eaten — to the freshest seafood not near an ocean or sea you’ll ever eat.” Rock shrimp is a favorite.
> “There are a few places that I love to frequent on my off days,” says Greg Pawlowski, sous-chef at Wolfgang Puck Steak. “If I’m downtown and looking for a quick delicious meal, I always stop by Bucharest Grill for a chicken shawarma and a side of stuffed grape leaves. It’s simple but the best quick food in Detroit.” He also goes to The Whitney, where his close friend Jason Gardner is the chef, and he usually just asks Jason to cook something for him. “The last time I was there, he made me a perfectly cooked bone-in filet with a morel mushroom gastrique.” Pawlowski says. The Union Woodshop in Clarkston is a favorite for pulled pork with collard greens and baked beans. Pawlowski also appreciates its relaxed atmosphere. “All of the sauces are good,” he says, “but I always ask for the extra-hot sauces they serve only upon request.” Pawlowski can most often be found at Da Nang in Clawson. “I normally get the Bun Bo Hue,” he says. “[It’s] a spicy beef broth with noodles, chucks of braised beef, and pork blood. It’s served with cabbage, sprouts, jalapenos, and lime as garnish.”