Mario's & Sze-Chuan
Molly's Picks: Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
This Midtown Detroit classic, which dates to 1948, is in the midst of a revival as a new audience discovers it and glimpses how restaurants once were. Linen-covered tables, framed paintings on the burnished wood-paneled walls, expert waiters in black tie, and tableside preparation survive here. Full-course Italian dinners still start with an antipasto tray and continue through soup, salad, pasta, and entree. Small plates? Not a chance. This is old-school dining.
4222 Second Ave., Detroit; 313-832-1616. L & D daily. $28. (Handicap Accessible)
Well before dishes such as hot-and-sour soup were being served in Chinese restaurants locally, this Canton Township spot was a haven for spicy fare, and it continues as a reliable place for authentic Chinese dishes that offer a kick of heat. An extensive menu includes at least 50 dishes in three ascending spice levels, but there’s also a nod to milder stuff. The handsome setting seats 100.