Molly’s Picks: Market North End & Mex

Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshed around town, tracking down some top spots
Market North End: Italian Chop – chopped romaine mix, salami, roasted vegetables, grape tomatoes, cici beans, black olives, fresh mozzarella, romano, and crispy croutons. // Photograph by Joe Vaughn

Joe and Kristin Bongiovanni didn’t have to look far for a location for their restaurant. It’s right across the street from the Bongiovanni family’s Salvatore Scallopini and Luxe Bar & Grill. The new spot, however, represents just the younger Bongiovannis. It’s casual, but with a serious kitchen, offering an array of American dishes with plenty of international touches, including lentil and garlic soups, bulgur salad, and Moroccan spiced ribs. And pizzas, of course. The single room is done up with Kristin Bongiovanni’s and designer Ron Rea’s vintage finds. 474 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-712-4953. L and D Tues.-Sun.  $18 H

MEX ///
To say you can’t miss this place is an understatement. Bursting with eye-popping color outside and throughout the fanciful two-story interior, it offers a riff on popular Mexican dishes, including an array of tacos and tamales as well as less expected offerings such as Mexican street corn salad and tres leches cake. Tequila flows, of course, but there is also a decent beer/wine list. Zack Sklar of Social Kitchen in Birmingham has spun off this restaurant-as-carnival, and it’s a winner. 6675 Telegraph Rd., Bloomfield Hills; 248-723-0800; L Mon.-Fri. D daily $15 H

Symbol: H Handicap accessible.
Note: Dollar amount is the average entree price