Molly’s Picks: Cantoro Italian Trattoria & Vinotecca

Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
Vinotecca: Fire Roasted Artichokes served with charred lemon, basil, and tarragon.

CANTORO ITALIAN TRATTORIA /// Ensconced in the former Tre Monti location in Troy, the remodeled setting is less imposing now that the Plymouth restaurant has taken over. The casual setting offers seating indoors and out, and a wide-ranging Italian menu that extends from pizza and housemade pastas to veal chops and grilled Mediterranean sea bass. 1695 E. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-817-2424. L & D daily. $24

VINOTECCA /// Birmingham’s main drag boasts a sophisticated restaurant in the contemporary quarters that formerly housed The Bird & the Bread. Proprietors John and Kristin Jonna, the father and daughter duo who also collaborate on Vinology in Ann Arbor, have come up with an eclectic contemporary menu, including such dishes as ponzu-glazed salmon and Kona coffee-rubbed filet, to partner with a changing international wine selection presented on a tablet for easy browsing and live music. 210 Old S. Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-203-6600. D except Mon., BR Sat. and Sun. $20