Molly’s Picks: Republica and 220

Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots.
Republica: The Revolution — prime burger topped with smoked gouda, bacon, tomato, fried egg, house onion ring, arugula, and srirachannaise on a brioche bun. 

REPUBLICA /// The accent is on pub at this unpretentious Berkley spot where part of the menu harks back to the popular Mitch’s on Cass Lake. The rest is modern gastropub, with creative sliders, burgers, and salads. Those who remember Mitch’s will recognize the meaty ribs and the Greek salads. Proprietors include the family of the late Bill Mitchell, founder of Mitch’s. The setting, just one small room seating 55, is comfortably casual. 1999 Coolidge Hwy., Berkley; 248-268-3175. L & D Mon.-Sat., Br. Sun. $14 H


220 /// The 1932 building in the heart of downtown Birmingham has a new identity if not a new name under proprietors Denise Ilitch and Zaid Elia. They’ve hired a young Culinary Institute of America-trained chef, Scott Garthwaite, to handle the contemporary American menu. The premises have been renovated from stem to stern, for a lighter, brighter setting, but it still revolves around the lively bar. The menu includes a number of appetizers and small plates typified by the Detroit Sports Platter (wings, pigs in a blanket, fried risotto balls, and Cracker Jack) as well as beer-steamed mussels, grilled prawns, and fried calamari. Diners may choose more solid entrees like the braised beef short ribs or the Colorado lamb chops. The well-stocked bar includes an impressive wine list. 220 Merrill St., Birmingham; 248-646-2220. L & D Mon.-Sat. $25 H

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

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