Gemmayze & La Shish
MOLLY'S PICKS: Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
This is a Lebanese restaurant with a difference. In addition to the expected raw kibbee, lamb chops, hummus, and tabbouleh, several American dishes broaden the menu’s appeal. The name (it’s a busy section of present-day Beirut) adds a bit of mystery. The two-story space, which formerly housed Small Plates’ short-lived second location, has been given a smart update, with the bar up front and the dining room in back near the oven that turns out hot rounds of pita.
310 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-399-4900. L & D daily $20 (Handicap Accessible)
The original is back, its name no longer sullied by scandal. The space has been polished by a new owner, and the Lebanese menu — from marinated and charbroiled deboned chicken with memorable garlic dip, stuffed grape leaves, and crushed lentil soup to shishes from kabobs to kaftas — lives up to expectations. The setting of mirrored walls, padded booths, and beaded, pierced brass lamps that were a La Shish signature, looks fresh. The location, just off I-94 at the Michigan Avenue exit, makes it easy to get to.