Molly's Picks: Bistro Joe's and Ottava Via

Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots.


Part of Papa Joe’s Gourmet Market in Birmingham, Bistro Joe’s has its own entrance, with a staircase (and elevator) leading up to the mezzanine level. In addition to the snappy dining room and bar overlooking the open kitchen and market below, there’s seating on the window-walled balcony — designed to be used year-round. Chef/partner Jacques Van Staden and his staff turn out an eclectic list of dishes, such as Black Angus sliders and steamed mussels, plus interesting daily specials like lobster risotto and coq au vin. 34244 Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-594-0984. L & D daily; Br Sat.-Sun. $24 H

(Left) BISTRO JOE’S: Spicy tuna “tacushi.” Photograph by Joe Vaughn

Named for its location on the corner of Michigan and Eighth Street, Ottava Via combines the culinary talents of young chef Ariel Millan with the experience of co-proprietors Dave Steinke (Mercury Burger & Bar) and Tim Springstead (Nemo’s). The appealing main dining room features vintage architectural elements dating from the building’s origins as the Dime Bank, as well as contemporary touches, including communal tables. Neapolitan-style pizzas are prominent, but there’s more, with dishes such as sausage and polenta, penne with spicy tomato sauce, porchetta, and farmhouse chicken. The menu will expand as Ottava Via settles in. 1400 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-5500. L & D daily. $14 H

Symbol: H Handicap accessible.
Note: Dollar amount is the average entree price
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