Cravings: Mike’s On The Water & Small Plates

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


Mike Lefevre’s waterfront spot on St. Clair Shores’ Nautical Mile closed for three months during the winter, so he had plenty of time to visit his favorite restaurants before re-opening Mike’s On The Water  this spring. “I go first for atmosphere, then food, then service. I like cozy and quaint.” His favorites all fit that description. Take Café Nini in Grosse Pointe Farms, which he says is “like something you’d find on a side street in New York or Chicago,” and where he appreciates the $39 dinner for two with wine. Da Edoardo in Grosse Pointe Woods, Luigi’s in Harrison Township, and Streetside Seafood in Birmingham are also on his list. He especially likes the calamari with spicy arrabbiata sauce at Da Edoardo. His top favorite restaurant in Michigan is something of a hike: Rowe Inn in Ellsworth, Up North.


“Nothing amazes me more than food that speaks of culture and passion,” says Theo Oresky, general manager of the newly revived Small Plates downtown. “One restaurant I feel encapsulates this is Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine in downtown Detroit.” A dish he especially enjoys is shrimp enchiladas, “with a sauce with just enough heat and spice, and a side of avocado salad. The effort to keep the atmosphere and food authentic should not be missed,” he says. Another fave is 24grille at the Westin Book Cadillac. “If I said something stupid to my beautiful wife, Cynthia, nothing warms her heart more than a visit to 24grille.” She loves the poached-pear and goat-cheese salad; he goes for the Georges Bank diver scallops with ruby-red grapefruit and white-cocoa butter sauce. Sterling’s Bistro in Sterling Heights is another spot the couple recently discovered.

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