Due Venti and Smoke & Spice

Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
Due Venti and Smoke & Spice
Zeppole (fritters of ricotta, eggs, spices, and flour), served with espresso and dark chocolate sauce, at Clawson’s Due Venti.

Due Venti: This L-shaped room seating just 50 and done up in sunny colors is the domain of the husband-wife team of David Seals and Nicole Pichan-Seals, who present a northern Italian menu refreshingly free of clichés, as the appetizer list quickly affirms with its cauliflower fritters and savory basil-scented ricotta cheesecake. Main dishes are typified by chicken simmered in Marsala and olives, and braised veal shank with pan-fried polenta. Accompanying the fare is a small list of house wines from Michigan’s Fenn Valley winery. 220 S. Main St., Clawson; 248-288-0220. D Tue.-Sun. $20 H

Smoke & Spice: The space that had been the wine-centered Bin 151 has taken a completely new direction with proprietors Ryan and Tina Odette serving pulled pork, beef brisket, and ribs from the massive Southern Pride smoker, along with house-made sides of potato salad, greens, and macaroni and cheese. The woodsy feeling of the room, with its uncovered windows framing the street scene, adapts well to the new approach, which includes the caring service typical of Windsor. 1515 Ottawa St., Windsor; 519-252-4999. L & D Mon.-Sat. $15 H