Jennifer Stark & Maureen McNamara of Amici's Pizza // Raymond Wong of Shangri-La

CRAVINGS: 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


> JENNIFER STARK and MAUREEN MCNAMARA are the partners behind Berkley’s Amici’s Pizza and its satellite location in Birmingham. One of their favorite spots is The Fly Trap in Ferndale. “We really like Gavin’s [chef/proprietor Gavin McMillian] ability to make great flavors in his breakfast offerings. I like to get the Veggie Rumble with tofu, and Maureen likes to order the Boot Rumble,” says Jennifer. “A mark of a good restaurant for us is flavors we could not do at home easily.” They also like Gavin’s roasted potatoes with rosemary and garlic, and what is usually a mundane item: toast. “The toast is superb and even better with the homemade jam of the day,” Jennifer says. Another favorite is Commonwealth Café in Birmingham “for the house-roasted fresh coffee made to order and quinoa salad with roasted vegetables.”

> RAYMOND WONG keeps busy six days a week managing the Midtown Shangri-La and a seventh day at the West Bloomfield Township original, where he helps out on Sundays. When he gets away, he’s likely to head for Hamtramck (“it’s real close by”) and the Polish Village Café, where he orders the Polish platter or perhaps the boiled ribs. “Boiled, not broiled,” he emphasizes. Howe’s Bayou is also on his itinerary for such Cajun fare as blackened fish and dirty rice. He’s also discovered the happy hour at Roast, where he finds “interesting appetizers for $5,” and he can sometimes be found at Motor City Wine nibbling cheese and sipping a glass of red, “slightly chilled at about 60 degrees, it’s perfect.”

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