Cravings: May 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.

Matthew Kouri, executive chef at City Kitchen in Grosse Pointe, says when it comes to choosing a restaurant, “most of my adventures lead me to the city where I frequent Joe Muer’s for the best sushi around (and darn good lobster bisque, too). Before Tigers and Wings games it’s always Bucharest Grill for their irresistible shawarma, or Mudgie’s infamous Gutty sandwich (salami, pastrami, corned beef, bacon, beef brisket, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and garlic mayo on kaiser roll)!” When he wants “tablecloth service,” he goes to Roast in the Westin Book Cadillac. “(Chef/proprietor Michael) Symon’s bright, simple approach to food hits the mark,” he says. And when in Detroit “you can’t forget to stop at Nancy Whiskey’s for Jameson and picklebacks!” Another Symon restaurant, B Spot in Royal Oak, is also on his list. “The man behind the bar, Jeff Kramer, makes a mean Old Fashioned. And who doesn’t love a good pickle bar? La Saj Bistro in Sterling Heights is my go-to for a Lebanese fix.”


Jody Brunori is the executive chef at The Laundry in Fenton (formerly The French Laundry), but she doesn’t always stay in home territory when she goes out. One spot on her list is Union Woodshop in Clarkston. “I create my own pizza and I love their smoked chicken wings followed up by the butterscotch pudding,” she says. She also has favorites farther afield. “I try to get downtown when possible,” she says, ”When I do, I visit Two James Distillery for cocktails, and Johnny Noodle King is a must for their pork gyoza and red curry noodle bowl. I am also a fan of The Sardine Room in Plymouth; their shrimp and grits are so satisfying, the oysters are the freshest around, and the scallops with pork belly are delish!”