George Hamiel & Diane Kubany

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.
Broiled Australian lobster tail from Coach Insignia, a favorite spot of George Hamiel. // Photograph by Joe Vaughn

George Hamiel, executive chef at the Gem Theatre’s Century Club, also keeps an eye on other Forbes Management-operated restaurants, including the Elwood Bar & Grill. He says he and his wife, who also has a restaurant background, are “not easily impressed.” But greatly impressed they were with the food and service at Coach Insignia, where they went on their 20th anniversary. “The lobster corn dogs are great, and the ambience of the room, with its great view of the city, is outstanding,” he says. Another favorite is The Deli on Middlebelt Road in Livonia. “It’s just a little hole in the wall, but they serve homemade soups, a good variety of deli-style sandwiches, and freshly made cookies, brownies, and mini-cakes. It’s truly a diamond in the rough.”

Diane Kubany, the first female executive chef to head the kitchen at the NM Café inside Neiman Marcus, still enjoys going to a restaurant she’s loved since childhood. At the family-run Mexican Fiesta on Ford Road in Dearborn Heights, she orders beef and cheese enchiladas with beans and coleslaw. “I love their Mexican food,” she says. Kubany is also partial to the filet mignon at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Troy, not far from her own home base at Somerset Collection.

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