Best of Detroit 2008

We all value a good inside tip. And thanks to the readers of Hour Detroit, this issue offers a welcome roster of suggestions on where to go and what to do for a great time in our own hometown. In all, 1,500 reader surveys were tallied. The winning list follows. Enjoy.
Greektown Photograph by Marvin shaouni


Traffic reporter:

Jackie Paige, Fox 2.

Local radio station:

Channel 95.5,

Local radio news:

WWJ 950-AM,

Local news Web site:

Locally generated Web site:

Local TV anchor:

Carmen Harlan, Channel 4 WDIV.

Local TV newscast:

Channel 4 WDIV,

Local TV personality destined for prime time (tie):

Rhonda Walker, Channel 4 WDIV.
Karen Drew, Channel 4 WDIV.

Local talk-radio host (three-way tie):

Drew & Mike, 101.1 WRIF-FM.
Jim Harper, Magic 105.1-FM.
Paul W. Smith, 760 WJR-AM.

Local sportscaster:

Bernie Smilovitz, Channel 4 WDIV.

Local newspaper:

Detroit Free Press,
Local weather forecast:
Chuck Gaidica, Channel 4 WDIV.

Local radio DJ:

Mojo, Channel 95.5.
Radio voice (tie):
Paul W. Smith, WJR 760-AM.
Jim Harper, Magic 105.1-FM.

Local radio station with the best playlist:

93.1 DOUG-FM,

Local newspaper columnist:

Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press.


Jazz club:

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Detroit; 313-345-6300,

Place to hear bands:

The Magic Bag, Ferndale; 248-544-3030,

Used vinyl/CD store:

Record Time, Roseville; 586- 775-1550,

Concert venue:

DTE Music Theatre; Clarkston,



Royal Oak living, Photograph Courtesy of the Fifth, Royal Oak


Ice cream parlor:

Cold Stone Creamery, various locations,

Antiques store: (opposite)

Odd Fellows Antiques, Berkley; 248-399-6098.

Window display:

Anthropologie, various locations,

Freebie (TIE):

Metro Times,
Belle Isle,

Michigan vacation spot (tie):

Mackinac Island,
Traverse City,

Independent hardware store:

Frentz & Sons, Royal Oak; 248-544-8111,

New book selection (independent):

The Book Beat, Oak Park; 248-968-1190,

Independent coffeehouse (three-way TIE):

Bean & Leaf, Royal Oak; 248-586-9602.
Cannella Patisserie & Crêperie, Birmingham; 248-203-9704,
Java House Café, South Lyon; 248-  446-6080,

Place to buy electronics:

Best Buy, various locations,

Magazine selection (tie):

Borders, various locations,
Barnes & Noble, various locations,

Downtown District Shopping:


Place to find a bargain:

T.J. Maxx, various locations,

Gift shop:

Independent: Catching Fireflies, Berkley; 248-336-2030, and Rochester; 248-650-3318,
Chain: Hallmark, various locations,

Optical Shop:

See, Birmingham; 248-723-1900.

New shopping:

The Mall at Partridge Creek, Clinton Township,

Company to work for:


Workplace atmosphere:


City to work in:


Company with the best perks:


Nursery/greenhouse (three-way tie):

Bordine Nursery, various locations,
English Gardens, various locations,
Telly’s Greenhouse, Troy, 248-689-8735,

Place to buy a greeting card:

Independent: Write Impressions, Royal Oak; 248-541-8921,
Chain: Hallmark, various locations,

Used bookstore:

John K. King Used & Rare Books, Detroit; 313-961-0622,

Toy store:

Independent: Adventures in Toys, Birmingham; 248-646-5550. Chain: Toys R Us, various locations,

High-rise living:

Royal Oak

Coveted job:

Mayor of Detroit.



Photograph by Scott Breithaupt



Katerina Bocci; design studio
in Shelby Township; 586-

Gift-wrap services:

Independent: Lisa’s Gift
Wrappers, Royal Oak; 248-547-9094, lisasgift-
Chain: Macy’s, various locations,

Shoe repair:

Frank’s Shoe Service, Birmingham, 248-647-3530.

Divorce Lawyer:

Jessica Woll, Woll & Woll, P.C., Southfield; 248-354-6070,

Veterinarian (tie):

Gibraltar Veterinary Hospital, Gibraltar; 734-675-5020,
DePorre Veterinary Hospital, Bloomfield Hills; 248-646-1669,

Car repair:

Collex Collision, various locations,


The Birmingham Tailor, Birmingham; 248-433-3703.

Limo service:

Metro Car; 734-946-5700,


Blossoms, Birmingham; 248-644-4411,

Gift registry:

Macy’s, various locations,


Spa Julianna, Plymouth; 734- 455-4445,


Forte Belanger, Troy; 248-288-3300,

Personalized service (three-way tie):

Neiman Marcus, Troy; 248-643- 3300,
Todd’s Room, Birmingham; 248-594-0003,
Nordstrom, various locations,

Dry cleaner:

Somerset Cleaners, Troy; 248- 643-0807,



The Lark
The Lark, West Bloomfield Township, Photograph by Joe Vaughn


Wine list:

Vinotecca, Royal Oak; 248-544-6256,

Beer selection:

The Berkley Front, Berkley; 248-547-3331.


Xochimilco, Detroit; 313-843-0179.


Goodnite Gracie Jazz & Martini Bar, various locations,

Creative cocktails:

Goodnite Gracie Jazz & Martini Bar, various locations,

Michigan winery:

Leelanau Cellars, Omena; 231-386-5201,

Microbrewery (tie):

Woodward Avenue Brewery, Ferndale; 248- 546-3696.
Royal Oak Brewery, Royal Oak; 248-544-1141,

Happy hour:

Kona Grill, Troy; 248-619-9060,

Smoke-free restaurant/bar:

Crave Lounge, Dearborn; 313-277-7283,

Wine bar:

Vinotecca, Royal Oak; 248-544-6256,

Place for nightcaps after a show:

The Whitney, Detroit; 313-832-5700,


Restaurant for general excellence:

The Lark, West Bloomfield Township; 248-661-4466,

Restaurant ambience:

Iridescence, Detroit; 313-237-6732,


Pegasus Taverna, Detroit; 313-964-6800,

View from a restaurant:

Coach Insignia, Detroit; 313-567-2622,


The Whitney, Detroit; 313-832-5700,

Sunday brunch:

Beverly Hills Grill, Beverly Hills; 248-642-2355.


The Original Pancake House, various locations,

Window seat:

Coach Insignia, Detroit; 313-567-2622,


Sy Thai, Birmingham; 248-258-9830.

Attentive service:

The Lark, West Bloomfield Township; 248-661-4466,


Independent: Mon Jin Lau Nu Asian Cuisine, Troy; 248-689-2332,
Chain: P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, various locations,


Small Plates, Detroit; 313-963-0497, and Royal Oak; 248-543-3300,

Place for late-night dining:

Como’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Ferndale; 248-548-5005.


The Original Pancake House, various locations;

Pizza (deep dish):

Buddy’s Pizza, various locations,

Middle Eastern:

Phoenicia, Birmingham; 248-644-3122.


Priya Indian Cuisine, Troy; 248-269-0100;

Barbecue ribs:

Slows Bar BQ, Detroit; 313-962-9828,


Noble Fish, Clawson; 248-585-2314.


Shilla, Clawson; 248-655-0120.

Romantic restaurant:

The Lark, West Bloomfield Township; 248-661-4466,


Independent: Bacco Ristorante, Southfield; 248-356-6600,
Multiple locations: Andiamo, various locations,

Place to have dinner before a show:

Small Plates, Detroit; 313-963-0497, and Royal Oak; 248-543-3300,


Independent: Musashi Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Bar, Southfield; 248-358-1911,
Chain: Benihana, various locations,


Steve’s Deli, Bloomfield Township; 248-932-0800;


Zoup!, various locations,


Mitchell’s Fish Market, various locations,

Pizza (classic round):

Jet’s Pizza, area locations,

Casino restaurant:

SaltWater (inside the MGM Grand Detroit), Detroit; 877-888-2121,

24-hour restaurant:

National Coney Island, various locations,

Coney Island:

Lafayette Coney Island, Detroit; 313-964-8198.

Steakhouse (TIE):

The Capital Grille, Troy; 248-649-5300;
Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Troy; 248-269-8424,


The Lark, West Bloomfield Township; 248-661-4466,


Xochimilco, Detroit; 313-843-0179.


Red Coat Tavern, Royal Oak; 248-549-0300.


Independent: Steve’s Deli, Bloomfield Hills; 248-932-0800,
Chain: P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, various locations,

Stop for lunch while shopping (tie):

P.F. Chang’s, various locations,
Olga’s Kitchen; various locations,

Place for a business lunch:

The Capital Grille, Troy; 248-649-5300,

Soul food:

Beans & Cornbread, Southfield; 248-208-1680,


Best Pickup Bar, 220 Merrill, Birmingham
Best Pickup Bar, 220 Merrill, Birmingham, Photograph by Joe Vaughn


Estate jewelry:

Legacy, Birmingham; 248-723-9975, legacy-


Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, West Bloomfield Township; 248-932-7700, and Novi; 248-465-2800,

Place to by a wedding ring:

Independent: Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, West Bloomfield Township; 248-932-7700, and Novi; 248-465-2800,
Chain: Tiffany & Co., Troy; 248-637-2800,


Neon sign:

MotorCity Casino, Detroit,

Historically significant building:

Guardian Building, Detroit;

Scenic drive:

Lake Shore Drive, the Grosse Pointes.

Annual sporting event:

Tigers Opening Day.

Contemporary building (tie):

Renaissance Center; Detroit,
Compuware; Detroit,


Place to learn to dance:

Sky Bar, Royal Oak; 248-543-1964.

Charity event:

NAIAS Charity Preview; Cobo Hall,


Gusoline Alley, Royal Oak; 248-545-2235.

Dance club:

Boogie Fever Café, Ferndale; 248-541-1600,

New bar (tie):

Chen Chow Brasserie, Birmingham; 248-594-2469,
V, MGM Grand Detroit; 313-465-1661,

Neighborhood bar:

Dick O’Dow’s, Birmingham; 248-652-1135.
Mt. Chalet, Royal Oak; 248-549-2929.

Bar for business deals:

The Capital Grille, Troy; 248- 649-5300,

Male gay bar:

Pronto!, Royal Oak; 248-544-7900.

Lesbian bar:

Como’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, Ferndale; 248-548-5005.


Royal Kubo, Clawson; 248-588-2300.

Pickup bar:

220 Merrill, Birmingham; 248-645-2150.

Place to people-watch:

Somerset Collection, Troy.

Place to see a first-run movie:

The Palladium 12, Birmingham; 248-644-FILM,


MGM Grand Detroit, Detroit; 800-646-3387,



Painting at C-Pop Gallery
Painting at C-Pop Gallery, Photograph by Miguel linares



Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; 313-833-7900,

Art Gallery:

C-Pop, Detroit,

Place to see an art film:

Main Art Theatre, Royal Oak; 248-263-2111,


Athletic wear:

Dick’s Sporting Goods, various locations,

Place to buy sports equipment:

Dick’s Sporting Goods, various locations,


Lifetime Fitness, various locations,

Pool hall:

Snookers Pool & Pub, various locations,

Yoga studio:

Yoga Shelter, various locations,

Outdoor tennis court:

The Sports Club of West Bloomfield, West Bloomfield Township; 248-626-9880,

Rink for pickup hockey:

Troy Sports Center, Troy; 248-689-6600,

Court for pickup basketball:

Joe Dumars’ Fieldhouse, various locations,

Public golf course (tie):

Rackham (above), Huntington Woods; 248-543-4040,
Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club, Clarkston; 248-922-0300,

Indoor driving range:

Carl’s Golfland, various locations;

Outdoor driving range:

Carl’s Golfland, various locations,

Indoor Tennis Court (tie):

Franklin Athletic Club, Southfield; 248-352-8000,
Beverly Hills Club, Beverly Hills; 248-642-8500,

Bowling alley (tie):

The Garden Bowl (opposite), Detroit; 313- 833-9850,
Lucky Strike Lanes, Novi; 248- 374-3420,

Baseball diamond (amateur):

Liberty Park, Sterling Heights; 586-978-9070,


Women’s clothing:

Independent: Tender, Birmingham; 248-258-0212,
Chain: Nordstrom, various locations;

Women’s evening wear (tie):

Saks Fifth Avenue, Troy; 248-643-9000,
Nicole Miller, Birmingham; 248-433-0393,

One-of-a-kind dresses (tie):

Linda Dresner, Birmingham; 248-642-4999,
Tender, Birmingham; 248-258-0212,

Vintage clothing (three-way tie):

Paris, Royal Oak; 248-542-9594.
Bellocchio, Royal Oak; 248-541-8025,
Lost and Found Vintage, Royal Oak; 248-548-6154.


Oliver’s Trendz, various locations,

Men’s clothing:

Nordstrom, area locations,

Place to be fitted for a suit:

Independent: Carl Sterr, Birmingham; 248-645-6675.
Chain: Nordstrom, various locations,

Cutting-edge fashion:

Tender, Birmingham; 248-258-0212,


Harp’s, Birmingham; 248-642-2555.

Place to buy jeans:

Caruso Caruso, Birmingham; 248-645-5151,

Place to buy a bridal gown:

Roma Sposa, Birmingham; 248-723-4300,

Children’s clothing:

Independent: Sprout, Royal Oak; 248-399-5560,
Chain: GapKids, area locations;



Best Place to Buy Jeans: Caruso, Caruso, Birmingham
Best Place to Buy Jeans: Caruso, Caruso Birmingham, Photograph by Cybelle Codish


Locally produced food brand (tie):

Better Made Snack Foods, Detroit,
Garden Fresh Gourmet,

Place to shop for local crafts:

Pewabic Pottery, Detroit; 313-822-0954,

Best automaker:

General Motors.

Best car model (tie):

Ford Mustang.
Chevrolet Corvette.

Best automaker division:


Detroit souvenir:

Made in Detroit (apparel),


Bartender (tie):

Carl (The Lark, West Bloomfield; 248-661-4466,
Kimmy (Dick O’Dow’s, Birmingham; 248-642-1135.)

Local band (tie):

Killer Flamingos,
Kid Rock,

Future Michigan governor:

Dennis Archer Sr.

Local political dinner companion:

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Colorful character:

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Sports star:

Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons.


DJ Powdrblu,
Stacey Pullen,

Best-dressed woman:

Rhonda Walker, Channel 4 WDIV.

Best-dressed man:

Carl Sterr (Carl Sterr Men’s Wear, Birmingham.)

Maitre d’:

Jim Lark (The Lark, West Bloomfield; 248-661-4466,

Future Detroit mayor:

Roger Penske

Former Detroiter:


Publicity hound:

Geoffrey Fieger.


John Somerville (The Lark, West Bloomfield; 248-661-4466,

Local celebrity dinner companion:

Kid Rock.

Personal trainer:

Jennifer Gray; 248-761-2321,


Madeline Triffon, Coach Insignia and others,


Cosmetic counter:

Todd’s Room, Birmingham; 248-594- 0003,

Place for a makeover:

Todd’s Room, Birmingham; 248-594- 0003,

Hair salon:

Figo Salon, Birmingham; 248-723-7990,


Figo Salon, Birmingham; 248-723-7990,


Margot’s European Day Spa, Birmingham; 248-642-3770,

Makeup artist:

Todd Skog, Todd’s Room, Birmingham; 248-594-0003,

Manicure (tie):

Diva Nails, Bloomfield Hills; 248-593-8181.
Luigi Bruini, Birmingham; 248-723-1500.


Nordstrom, Somerset Collection North, Troy; 248-816-7502,


Margot’s European Day Spa, Birmingham; 248-642-3770,


Fish market:

Superior Fish Company, Royal Oak; 248-541-5220,

Fine spirits shop:

The Red Wagon Wine Shoppe, various locations,

Place to buy a birthday cake:

Holiday Market, Royal Oak; 248-541-1414,

Place to buy produce:

Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace, various locations,

Gourmet market:

Papa Joe’s, Birmingham; 248-853-6263, and Rochester; 248-723-9400,

Wine store (tie):

Papa Joe’s, Birmingham; 248-853-6263, and Rochester; 248-723-9400,
Holiday Market, Royal Oak; 248-541-1414,