Molly’s Picks: Savannahblue and Osteria 222
Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
SAVANNAHBLUE: Motor City Boil: Mussels steamed in Cajun broth, with corn on the cob, red potato, shrimp, and sausage.
Photograph by Joe Vaughn
SAVANNAHBLUE /// This hideaway tucked upstairs in small building on Times Square is deep south-inspired with a big-city spin. The brief menu offers dishes such as braised oxtail, seared salmon, and twice-dredged fried chicken. Accompaniments include yam and arugula salad, flatbreads, and garlic-infused spinach. There’s lots of soul, but not traditional soul food, from young chef Christopher McClendon, a product of the culinary arts program at Schoolcraft College. Correct service is emphasized. The setting of scrubbed old brick, parquet floors, and soft lighting is sophisticated and romantic. 1431 Times Square, Detroit; 313-926-0783. D Tues.-Sat. $16 Note: not wheelchair accessible.
OSTERIA 222 /// Founded as Bistro 222 by the late Michael Chamas, who passed away last year, it is now reborn as Osteria 222 with a new concept, identity, and menu (mainly Italian) to reconnect with the community. It manages to have a hideaway feeling despite its location on Dearborn’s main drag. There’s a well-edited list of classic Italian dishes — fresh pastas, seafood risotto, sturdy beef rib-eye, and lamb shanks — from the scratch kitchen headed by chef Christopher Thompson, whose resume includes the Money Tree and Joe Muer’s. The setting of soft light, linens, flowers, and Riedel stemware is serene. 22266 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-792-7500. L Mon.-Fri, D Mon.-Sat. $24