Mario’s & Sze-Chuan

Molly’s Picks: Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
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Eggplant Parmesan is topped with tomato-basil sauce and mozzarella at Mario’s. // Photograph by Joe Vaughn

MARIO’S:

This Midtown Detroit classic, which dates to 1948, is in the midst of a revival as a new audience discovers it and glimpses how restaurants once were. Linen-covered tables, framed paintings on the burnished wood-paneled walls, expert waiters in black tie, and tableside preparation survive here. Full-course Italian dinners still start with an antipasto tray and continue through soup, salad, pasta, and entree. Small plates? Not a chance. This is old-school dining.

4222 Second Ave., Detroit; 313-832-1616. L & D daily. $28. (Handicap Accessible)

SZE-CHUAN:

Well before dishes such as hot-and-sour soup were being served in Chinese restaurants locally, this Canton Township spot was a haven for spicy fare, and it continues as a reliable place for authentic Chinese dishes that offer a kick of heat. An extensive menu includes at least 50 dishes in three ascending spice levels, but there’s also a nod to milder stuff. The handsome setting seats 100.

45188 Ford Rd., Canton Township; 734-459-3960. L & D daily. $15. (Handicap Accessible)

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