Artie Oliverio and Gretchen Valade

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
Artie Oliverio and Gretchen Valade
Artie Oliverio is fond of the fish at 220, such as these sea scallops with three-cheese ravioli and tomato-basil sauce. Photograph by Joe Vaughn

Artie Oliverio, of Maria’s by Oliverio in West Bloomfield Township, is outspoken in his admiration for 220 in Birmingham, not just the good food from chef Luis Reyes’ kitchen, like the “great fish dishes,” but also “the on-top-of-its-game management making sure everything is OK.” If Oliverio doesn’t order fish, he goes for 220’s “plain, roasted half chicken.” For pizza, he heads to Tomatoes Apizza in Farmington Hills for “the basic classic, just tomato sauce and cheese on super-thin crust; the sauce is a lot like the sauce on my menu.”

Gretchen Valade, proprietor of the Dirty Dog Jazz Café in Grosse Pointe Farms, pretty much stays in the neighborhood for her dining-out experiences. “When I’m not enjoying myself at the Dirty Dog, I usually end up at The Hill Restaurant just down the street. My favorite dish is usually something that includes salmon.” Another favorite spot is “Da Edoardo on Mack Avenue, especially if Ed [Barbieri] is cooking his twice-baked pasta Bolognese. And, of course, his minestrone soup is the best. In fact, people have told me that Ed’s food is better than some of the restaurants they have gone to in Italy.”