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.
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Greektown
Greektown Photograph by Marvin shaouni

MEDIA

Traffic reporter:

Jackie Paige, Fox 2.

Local radio station:

Channel 95.5, channel955.com.

Local radio news:

WWJ 950-AM, wwj.com.

Local news Web site:

Clickondetroit.com.

Locally generated Web site:

Clickondetroit.com.

Local TV anchor:

Carmen Harlan, Channel 4 WDIV.

Local TV newscast:

Channel 4 WDIV,
clickondetroit.com.

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, freep.com.
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, 931dougfm.com.

Local newspaper columnist:

Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press.

MUSIC

Jazz club:

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

Place to hear bands:

The Magic Bag, Ferndale; 248-544-3030, themagicbag.com.

Used vinyl/CD store:

Record Time, Roseville; 586- 775-1550, recordtime.com.

Concert venue:

DTE Music Theatre; Clarkston, palace.net.

 


 

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

ETC.

Ice cream parlor:

Cold Stone Creamery, various locations, coldstonecreamery.com.

Antiques store: (opposite)

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

Window display:

Anthropologie, various locations, anthropologie.com.

Freebie (TIE):

Metro Times, metrotimes.com.
Belle Isle, fobi.org.

Michigan vacation spot (tie):

Mackinac Island, mackinac.com.
Traverse City, visittraversecity.com.

Independent hardware store:

Frentz & Sons, Royal Oak; 248-544-8111, frentzandsons.com.

New book selection (independent):

The Book Beat, Oak Park; 248-968-1190, thebookbeat.com.

Independent coffeehouse (three-way TIE):

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

Place to buy electronics:

Best Buy, various locations, bestbuy.com.

Magazine selection (tie):

Borders, various locations, borders.com.
Barnes & Noble, various locations, barnesandnoble.com.

Downtown District Shopping:

Birmingham, enjoybirmimgham.com

Place to find a bargain:

T.J. Maxx, various locations, tjmaxx.com.

Gift shop:

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

Optical Shop:

See, Birmingham; 248-723-1900.

New shopping:

The Mall at Partridge Creek, Clinton Township, shoppartridgecreek.com.

Company to work for:

Google

Workplace atmosphere:

Google

City to work in:

Birmingham, enjoybirmingham.com.

Company with the best perks:

Google

Nursery/greenhouse (three-way tie):

Bordine Nursery, various locations, bordine.com.
English Gardens, various locations, englishgardens.com.
Telly’s Greenhouse, Troy, 248-689-8735, tellys.com.

Place to buy a greeting card:

Independent: Write Impressions, Royal Oak; 248-541-8921, writeimpressions-mi.com.
Chain: Hallmark, various locations, hallmark.com.

Used bookstore:

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

Toy store:

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

High-rise living:

Royal Oak

Coveted job:

Mayor of Detroit.

 


 

Iris
Photograph by Scott Breithaupt

SERVICES

Dressmaker:

Katerina Bocci; design studio
in Shelby Township; 586-
247-3622, katerina-bocci.com

Gift-wrap services:

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

Shoe repair:

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

Divorce Lawyer:

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

Veterinarian (tie):

Gibraltar Veterinary Hospital, Gibraltar; 734-675-5020, gibraltarvet.com.
DePorre Veterinary Hospital, Bloomfield Hills; 248-646-1669, deporrevet.com.

Car repair:

Collex Collision, various locations, collexcollision.com.

Tailoring/alterations:

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

Limo service:

Metro Car; 734-946-5700, metrocars.com.

Florist:

Blossoms, Birmingham; 248-644-4411, blossomsbirmingham.com.

Gift registry:

Macy’s, various locations, macys.com.

Massage:

Spa Julianna, Plymouth; 734- 455-4445, juliannaonline.com.

Caterer:

Forte Belanger, Troy; 248-288-3300, fortebelanger.com.

Personalized service (three-way tie):

Neiman Marcus, Troy; 248-643- 3300, neimanmarcus.com.
Todd’s Room, Birmingham; 248-594-0003, toddsroombirmingham.com.
Nordstrom, various locations, nordstrom.com.

Dry cleaner:

Somerset Cleaners, Troy; 248- 643-0807, somersetcleaners.com.

 


 

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

COCKTAILS

Wine list:

Vinotecca, Royal Oak; 248-544-6256, vinotecca.com.

Beer selection:

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

Margarita:

Xochimilco, Detroit; 313-843-0179.

Martini:

Goodnite Gracie Jazz & Martini Bar, various locations, goodnitegracie.com.

Creative cocktails:

Goodnite Gracie Jazz & Martini Bar, various locations, goodnitegracie.com.

Michigan winery:

Leelanau Cellars, Omena; 231-386-5201, leelanaucellars.com.

Microbrewery (tie):

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

Happy hour:

Kona Grill, Troy; 248-619-9060, konagrill.com.

Smoke-free restaurant/bar:

Crave Lounge, Dearborn; 313-277-7283, cravelounge.com.

Wine bar:

Vinotecca, Royal Oak; 248-544-6256, vinotecca.com.

Place for nightcaps after a show:

The Whitney, Detroit; 313-832-5700, thewhitney.com.

DINING

Restaurant for general excellence:

The Lark, West Bloomfield Township; 248-661-4466, thelark.com.

Restaurant ambience:

Iridescence, Detroit; 313-237-6732, motorcitycasino.com.

Greek:

Pegasus Taverna, Detroit; 313-964-6800, pegasustaverna.com.

View from a restaurant:

Coach Insignia, Detroit; 313-567-2622, mattprenticerg.com.

Dessert:

The Whitney, Detroit; 313-832-5700, thewhitney.com.

Sunday brunch:

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

Pancakes:

The Original Pancake House, various locations, originalpancakehouse.com.

Window seat:

Coach Insignia, Detroit; 313-567-2622, mattprenticerg.com.

Thai:

Sy Thai, Birmingham; 248-258-9830.

Attentive service:

The Lark, West Bloomfield Township; 248-661-4466, thelark.com.

Chinese:

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

Appetizers:

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

Place for late-night dining:

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

Breakfast:

The Original Pancake House, various locations; originalpancakehouse.com.

Pizza (deep dish):

Buddy’s Pizza, various locations, buddyspizza.com.

Middle Eastern:

Phoenicia, Birmingham; 248-644-3122.

Indian:

Priya Indian Cuisine, Troy; 248-269-0100; priyarestaurant.com.

Barbecue ribs:

Slows Bar BQ, Detroit; 313-962-9828, slowsbarbq.com.

Sushi:

Noble Fish, Clawson; 248-585-2314.

Korean:

Shilla, Clawson; 248-655-0120.

Romantic restaurant:

The Lark, West Bloomfield Township; 248-661-4466, thelark.com.

Italian:

Independent: Bacco Ristorante, Southfield; 248-356-6600, baccoristorante.com.
Multiple locations: Andiamo, various locations, andiamoitalia.com.

Place to have dinner before a show:

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

Japanese:

Independent: Musashi Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Bar, Southfield; 248-358-1911, musashi-intl.com.
Chain: Benihana, various locations, benihana.com.

Deli:

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

Soup:

Zoup!, various locations, zoup.com.

Seafood:

Mitchell’s Fish Market, various locations, mitchellsfishmarket.com.

Pizza (classic round):

Jet’s Pizza, area locations, jetspizza.net.

Casino restaurant:

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

24-hour restaurant:

National Coney Island, various locations, nationalconeyisland.com.

Coney Island:

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

Steakhouse (TIE):

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

French:

The Lark, West Bloomfield Township; 248-661-4466, thelark.com.

Mexican:

Xochimilco, Detroit; 313-843-0179.

Burger:

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

Carryout:

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

Stop for lunch while shopping (tie):

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

Place for a business lunch:

The Capital Grille, Troy; 248-649-5300, thecapitalgrille.com.

Soul food:

Beans & Cornbread, Southfield; 248-208-1680, beanscornbread.com.


 

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

SPARKLE

Estate jewelry:

Legacy, Birmingham; 248-723-9975, legacy-
estatejewelry.com.

Jeweler:

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

Place to by a wedding ring:

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

METROPOLIS

Neon sign:

MotorCity Casino, Detroit, motorcitycasino.com.

Historically significant building:

Guardian Building, Detroit; guardianbuilding.com.

Scenic drive:

Lake Shore Drive, the Grosse Pointes.

Annual sporting event:

Tigers Opening Day.

Contemporary building (tie):

Renaissance Center; Detroit, gmrencen.com.
Compuware; Detroit, compuware.com.

SOCIAL LIFE

Place to learn to dance:

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

Charity event:

NAIAS Charity Preview; Cobo Hall, naias.com.

Jukebox:

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

Dance club:

Boogie Fever Café, Ferndale; 248-541-1600, boogiefevercafe.com.

New bar (tie):

Chen Chow Brasserie, Birmingham; 248-594-2469, chenchow.com.
V, MGM Grand Detroit; 313-465-1661, mgmgranddetroit.com/nightlife/v.

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, thecapitalgrille.com.

Male gay bar:

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

Lesbian bar:

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

Karaoke:

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, uptownpalladium12.com.

Casino:

MGM Grand Detroit, Detroit; 800-646-3387, mgmgranddetroit.com.

 


 

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

CULTURE

Museum:

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; 313-833-7900, dia.org.

Art Gallery:

C-Pop, Detroit, cpop.com.

Place to see an art film:

Main Art Theatre, Royal Oak; 248-263-2111, landmarktheatres.com.

PHYS ED

Athletic wear:

Dick’s Sporting Goods, various locations, dickssportinggoods.com.

Place to buy sports equipment:

Dick’s Sporting Goods, various locations, dickssportinggoods.com.

Gym:

Lifetime Fitness, various locations, lifetimefitness.com.

Pool hall:

Snookers Pool & Pub, various locations, snookerspool.com.

Yoga studio:

Yoga Shelter, various locations, yogashelter.com.

Outdoor tennis court:

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

Rink for pickup hockey:

Troy Sports Center, Troy; 248-689-6600, troysports.com.

Court for pickup basketball:

Joe Dumars’ Fieldhouse, various locations, joedumarsfieldhouse.com.

Public golf course (tie):

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

Indoor driving range:

Carl’s Golfland, various locations; carlsgolfland.com.

Outdoor driving range:

Carl’s Golfland, various locations, carlsgolfland.com.

Indoor Tennis Court (tie):

Franklin Athletic Club, Southfield; 248-352-8000, franklinclub.com.
Beverly Hills Club, Beverly Hills; 248-642-8500, beverlyhillsclub.net.

Bowling alley (tie):

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

Baseball diamond (amateur):

Liberty Park, Sterling Heights; 586-978-9070, libertyparkofamerica.com.

FASHION

Women’s clothing:

Independent: Tender, Birmingham; 248-258-0212, tenderbirmingham.com.
Chain: Nordstrom, various locations; nordstrom.com.

Women’s evening wear (tie):

Saks Fifth Avenue, Troy; 248-643-9000, saksfifthavenue.com.
Nicole Miller, Birmingham; 248-433-0393, nicolemiller.com.

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

Linda Dresner, Birmingham; 248-642-4999, lindadresner.com.
Tender, Birmingham; 248-258-0212, tenderbirmingham.com.

Vintage clothing (three-way tie):

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

Accessories:

Oliver’s Trendz, various locations, oliverstrendz.com.

Men’s clothing:

Nordstrom, area locations, nordstrom.com.

Place to be fitted for a suit:

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

Cutting-edge fashion:

Tender, Birmingham; 248-258-0212, tenderbirmingham.com.

Lingerie:

Harp’s, Birmingham; 248-642-2555.

Place to buy jeans:

Caruso Caruso, Birmingham; 248-645-5151, carusocaruso.net.

Place to buy a bridal gown:

Roma Sposa, Birmingham; 248-723-4300, romasposa.com

Children’s clothing:

Independent: Sprout, Royal Oak; 248-399-5560, sproutchild.com.
Chain: GapKids, area locations; gap.com.

 


 

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

LOCAL PRIDE

Locally produced food brand (tie):

Better Made Snack Foods, Detroit, bmchips.com.
Garden Fresh Gourmet,
gardenfreshsalsa.com.

Place to shop for local crafts:

Pewabic Pottery, Detroit; 313-822-0954, pewabic.org.

Best automaker:

General Motors.

Best car model (tie):

Ford Mustang.
Chevrolet Corvette.

Best automaker division:

Cadillac.

Detroit souvenir:

Made in Detroit (apparel), madeindetroit.com.

PEOPLE

Bartender (tie):

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

Local band (tie):

Killer Flamingos, killerflamingos.com.
Kid Rock, kidrock.com.

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:

DJ Powdrblu, myspace.com/powdrblu.
Stacey Pullen, staceypullen.com.

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, thelark.com.)

Future Detroit mayor:

Roger Penske

Former Detroiter:

Madonna.

Publicity hound:

Geoffrey Fieger.

Chef:

John Somerville (The Lark, West Bloomfield; 248-661-4466, thelark.com.)

Local celebrity dinner companion:

Kid Rock.

Personal trainer:

Jennifer Gray; 248-761-2321, bodybyjenn.com.

Sommelier:

Madeline Triffon, Coach Insignia and others, mattprenticerg.com.

BEAUTY

Cosmetic counter:

Todd’s Room, Birmingham; 248-594- 0003, toddsroombirmingham.com.

Place for a makeover:

Todd’s Room, Birmingham; 248-594- 0003, toddsroombirmingham.com.

Hair salon:

Figo Salon, Birmingham; 248-723-7990, figo-salon.com.

Blowout:

Figo Salon, Birmingham; 248-723-7990, figo-salon.com.

Spa:

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

Makeup artist:

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

Manicure (tie):

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

Pedicure:

Nordstrom, Somerset Collection North, Troy; 248-816-7502, nordstrom.com.

Facial:

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

GROCERIES

Fish market:

Superior Fish Company, Royal Oak; 248-541-5220, superiorfish.com.

Fine spirits shop:

The Red Wagon Wine Shoppe, various locations, redwagonshoppe.com.

Place to buy a birthday cake:

Holiday Market, Royal Oak; 248-541-1414, holiday-market.com.

Place to buy produce:

Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace, various locations, ninosalvaggio.com.

Gourmet market:

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

Wine store (tie):

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

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