Cravings: February 2015

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.

Emily Davis is the pastry chef at The Root Restaurant & Bar, whipping up dessert confections in the kitchen of the White Lake restaurant. When she has a chance, she likes to get off the beaten track to such places as Noble Fish in Clawson, Loui’s Pizza in Hazel Park, and Rock City Eatery in Hamtramck. “I don’t think I can pick any favorite at Noble Fish — it’s the best sushi I’ve had in Michigan,” she says. “The pizza is obviously the reason to go to Loui’s. Ridiculously cheesy with a perfectly crunchy crust. Their Greek salad is really good too.” She also recommends the spicy roasted Brussels sprouts and the spiced garbanzo beans at Rock City. “Nikita’s (chef/proprietor Nikita Sanches) food is so well balanced and seasoned, and those two dishes are perfect examples of that, and his style,” she notes.

Executive chef James Hayes of Bistro 222 in Dearborn says while he’s working in his own kitchen he enjoys noodle dishes or breakfast-style meals of oats and fruits, and “homemade granola I crave this time of year.” But that changes when he goes out. “I like to spoil myself and eat foods that I don’t have time to prepare normally,” he says. “Foie gras and organ meats come to mind as comfort foods for me. Working in Portland I used to try and catch at least one meal a month at Le Pigeon where the chef was an expert preparing those items. Locally I enjoy going to Pho Lucky in Dearborn Heights or Frita Batidos in Ann Arbor, my two current faves, but any well-tiled hamburger shop like Carter’s in Dearborn will satisfy a real craving when I’m out and hungry.”

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