Dale Daniel and Joe & Jennifer Wegrzyn

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
The dessert tray from La Dolce Vita. Joe and Jennifer Wegrzyn like the restaurant’s romantic atmosphere. // Photograph by Joe Vaughn

Dale Daniel, co-proprietor and pizza maker at Taste, a Pizza Bar in downtown Detroit, dines out regularly and alternates between new spots and old favorites. One frequent haunt is Silvio’s in Ann Arbor, where he goes for the gnocchi and tiramisu. “He makes the best gnocchi you can find, made with organic potatoes and a rosemary béchamel sauce. The smell of it when the plates hit your table!” Mosaic in Greektown is also a haunt. “I love the atmosphere, real romantic, intimate, very sexy. And the lamb chops are amazing.” He stops by 24grille in the Westin Book Cadillac for carryouts of pistachio ice cream (“the best $9 I ever spent on dessert.”)

Joe and Jennifer Wegrzyn of Anita’s Kitchen in Ferndale don’t get out much since opening the restaurant early in 2008 for Jennifer’s mother, Anita Farah. When they do, it’s a special occasion, such as their wedding anniversary, when they chose La Dolce Vita for its romantic atmosphere, made even more so when Joe presented Jennifer with a card that included airline tickets to London. On Joe’s birthday, they headed to Slows Bar BQ in Detroit. “It was terrific,” he says. “We ordered the combo and split it.” With Jennifer’s birthday coming up, they’ve already chosen Streetside Seafood in Birmingham as their destination. “We like to go to the small independents,” Joe says.