Molly’s Picks: Culantro and SheWolf Pastificio & Bar

Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
SheWolf: Diners can enjoy servings of gelato in Pistachio, Dark Chocolate, or Tutto due – A Swirl of Both Flavors. // Photograph Courtesy of SheWolf

CULANTRO /// When a storefront space opened in Ferndale in May, native Peruvian, Betty Shuell, jumped at the chance to bring a spot that reflected her heritage to the area. Culantro, named after an herb that is often used in preparation with the more familiar cilantro, is a casual place where diners can check the menu chalked on a blackboard behind the counter, make their choices, and then take a table. An especially notable dish is Pollo a la Brasa, marinated chicken cooked in a charcoal rotisserie oven brought from Peru and served in whole, half, and quarter portions. No bar, but a standout drink is the chicha morada, a sangria-like mix of pineapple, apple, cinnamon, and cloves. An interesting addition to the local scene. 22939 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-632-1055. L & D daily. $14

SHEWOLF PASTIFICIO & Bar /// Chef Anthony Lombardo takes house-made to a new level with this Midtown restaurant that serves only dinner from a Rome-inspired menu. He goes so far as to mill his own flour for the pastas. The sophisticated menu also includes regional Italian dishes. Lombardo is well-known locally, especially after his time as executive chef at Bacco, and heading the distinctive wine program is Mindy Lopus — former owner of Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro in Birmingham, who has put together a compatible wine list. 438 Selden St., Detroit; 313-315-3992. D Tues.-Sun. $17