Mercury Burger Bar's Dave Steinke & Crispelli's Mark Artinian

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.


> Mercury Burger & Bar co-proprietor DAVE STEINKE knows a good burger when he finds one. “My wife, Susan Sherer, and I think that Nemo’s has what might be the second-best burger in town, and often we’ll start our downtown evening there.” If the occasion calls for more, they head to Roast at the Westin Book Cadillac. “We usually share items starting with a chopped salad, fried Brussels sprouts, the trout offering, or pan-seared bone-in chicken and Lola fries.” Much of their dining out lately involves sampling pizzas at such hot spots as Supino’s in the Eastern Market, Crispelli’s in Berkley, and Pizzeria Biga in Royal Oak, since Steinke and his partner, Tim Springstead, are preparing to open a rustic Italian spot in Corktown called Ottava Via (Eighth Street) featuring stone-fired Neapolitan-style pizza and small plates of grilled vegetables, cured meats, and cheeses.

> “When it comes to pizza, I really do like to try everyone’s. I just love pizza,” says MARK ARTINIAN, of Crispelli’s Pizzeria & Bakery in Berkley and Bosco’s Pizza Co. “Some of my favorites in the Detroit area would certainly be Buddy’s, for thick crust, and Tomatoes Apizza in Farmington Hills, for thin. One of the most memorable pizzas I’ve ever eaten was at a little place called The Upper Crust in Boston many years ago.” Aside from pizza, when he and his wife go out for dinner, the lamb chops at Big Rock Chop House in Birmingham call out to them; they also love the atmosphere at the former train station. For breakfast or brunch, they like Zola’s in Ann Arbor. “For a pub atmosphere with really good food,” Artinian says, “I like to go to Dino’s in Ferndale and Willson’s Pub in Commerce Township.”

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