Molly Abraham Picks Ten Tempting Appetizers


Toasted Oak Grill & Market

Mussels from Maine’s Blue Hill Bay, steamed in a choice of white wine, herbs, shallots, and butter; or mustard cream and tarragon; or tomato, bacon, Maytag blue cheese, and Basque pepper, are what’s in the pot at Toasted Oak Grill & Market. Slices of toasted baguette and hand-cut frites finish the dish.

27790 Novi Rd., Novi; 248-277-6000.


Assaggi Mediterranean Bistro

The meze plate, a staple of the Middle East, is served all
over metro Detroit. Hard to top is the array at Assaggi Mediterranean Bistro, where roasted beets, marinated olives, yogurt cheese rolled in za’atar spice, stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, and hummus are presented handsomely.

330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-584-3499.




Angelina Italian Bistro

Charcuterie has come into its own, and it’s shown off beautifully
by the salumi plate (Genoa salami, soppresseta,
mortadella, Pecorino Romano cheese, arugula, olives, and
stone-ground mustard) at Angelina Italian Bistro.

1565 Broadway, Detroit; 313-962-1355.



Streetside Seafood

Streetside Seafood goes Asian with its seared-rare
peppered tuna with wonton chips, pickled onion, and
cucumber garnish, wasabi mayonnaise, and a side
of soy sauce. Arigato!

273 Pierce St., Birmingham; 248-645-9123.



Rochester Chop House

Silver-dollar size panko-coated crab cakes made with red peppers, green onions, and jumbo-lump Maryland crab, set off by roasted red-pepper mayonnaise (rouille) and corn relish are winners at the Rochester Chop House — no surprise, given that co-proprietor Vince Clark is from Maryland.

306 Main St., Rochester; 248-651-2266.




Rojo Mexican Bistro

Chef Luis Garza’s guacamole at Rojo Mexican Bistro is something special. It’s made with a mocajete y tejolete (mortar and pestle), and includes onions, chopped serrano peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, and a pinch of salt, but no garlic. The avocados are added last, as is a splash of orange juice rather than lime or lemon.

44375 12 Mile Rd. (Fountain Walk), Novi; 248-374-4600.




Quattro Pizzeria & Wine Bar

Sure, you can find calamari all over town. But it’s not all created equal.
The flash-fried calamari, teamed with a sprinkling of
hot and sweet peppers and finished with a splash of balsamic reduction,
is something special at Quattro Pizzeria & Wine Bar.

201 Hamilton Row, Birmingham; 248-593-6060.



Royal Kubo

Lumpia, the tiny Filipino egg rolls filled with finely chopped beef and pork and accented by a spicy-sweet dipping sauce, start things off right at Royal Kubo.

27 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-588-2300.







City Kitchen

Cajun tenderloin tips sautéed with peppers, garlic, and red onions — hot, hot, hot —
get the soothing touch of béarnaise sauce to cool its fire at City Kitchen.

16844 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe; 313-882-6667.


Bucci Ristorante

Bucci Ristorante has been serving artichoke
hearts dusted in Parmesan-accented flour and
sautéed with capers, garlic, and lemon since it first opened. Bujar “Bucci” Mamuslari
calls the dish Artichoke Tosca, and its classic simplicity is notable.

20217 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods; 313-882-1044.