Lisa Jackman, co-proprietor of D’Amato’s in Royal Oak, says she always wants to go to the newest restaurants “for both personal and professional reasons. I’m also making a real effort to dine out at only locally owned restaurants. One such place is El Barzon, where I love the Camarones a la Diabla, shrimp in a delicious spicy sauce. Spice of Thai Express in Royal Oak has some of the best tom yum soup among many other terrific items, and I order two to go almost every week,” she says. Mon Jin Lau is also on her culinary itinerary. “Their menu has so many selections that I never get tired of it.” Another favorite is Cuisine in Detroit’s New Center, where she orders a charcuterie plate and tuna tartare. “One other place I have to say is Anita’s Kitchen in Ferndale. Everything is so fresh. We had a party where we carried out a ton of food and everyone went crazy for it.”
Like many who work in fine-dining establishments, Jeffrey Lanctot, the executive chef at the Rattlesnake Club, tends to go for rustic places. Favorites include Taqueria Mi Pueblo on Dix, where he orders the burrito el pastor. Dim sum at Midtown Shangri-La is another must, and so is Arabic fare at a Al Ajami and Country Chicken Restaurant, where he enjoys kafta and kibbee nyee. “I love Slows Bar BQ, but I’ll bet everyone says that,” he says, where his favorite dish is smoked and dry-rubbed half chicken. “I feel bad for not getting anything else, but I get it every time.” For a more upscale night out, his longtime favorite is Moro’s Dining in his hometown of Allen Park, where he orders minestrone (“the best”) and lamb chops with garlic green beans.
— Molly Abraham