Cravings: November 2014

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.

Grace Keros, third-generation owner of American Coney Island, doesn’t have to venture far from her restaurant on Lafayette Boulevard to enjoy her favorite dining spot. It’s just down the street at Michael Symon’s Roast. “Roast’s great service, seasonal farm-to-table menu, and the fact that Michael Symon really supports local makes it my go-to restaurant, always,” says Keros. “My favorites are the heirloom tomato and feta salad, crispy pork belly, the Beast of the Day, which can vary from lamb, goat, or pork, and the signature Brussels sprouts are a must.” Another restaurant high on her list is Café Via in Birmingham, where she chooses  “the courtyard seating with the outdoor fireplace, European-café style — it’s elegant and cozy even on cold winter nights. They enclose the courtyard patio, and it’s like you’re still outside.” Her choices there are wine and appetizers, especially the crispy crabcake with remoulade and corn salsa and the meat and cheese plate with house-made jams and honey — “amazing and great with wine.”


Rattlesnake Club founder Jimmy Schmidt is involved in more than one enterprise. He’s executive chef for Moo Cluck Moo and also rides herd on Morgan’s in the Desert in La Quinta, Calif. He is the founder of the FoodShed Exchange that brings together sustainable farmers and chefs. When dining out locally, he says his cravings are “on a couple of levels.” He appreciates Marais in Grosse Pointe. “David Gilbert’s technique is solid, and his taste quite enjoyable and consistent. Love the custard in the eggshell, Joseph Decuis (U.S.-raised Waygu) beef with salt-roasted beets, poulet with truffles, and spinach and quinoa risotto. The charred octopus starter is delightful.” For casual cravings, it’s Craft Work on Agnes Street in Detroit, where he likes the hot garbanzo beans and crab dip, baby back ribs, tempura chicken salad, and “the great retro and nouveau cocktails. Fun happy hour.”