Molly’s Picks: River Bistro and Ford’s Garage

Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots
Ford’s Garage: The Estate Burger: Black Angus with smoked gouda and sweet red onion marmalade.

RIVER BISTRO /// The one-story building is eye-catching with its cobblestone façade. The surprising kitchen is headed by Max Hardy, who returned to his place of birth after a career in which he was personal chef for NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire, among other posts. The 16-seat spot features jerk ribs and chicken wings, rock shrimp fritters, and maple and garlic salmon served to communal tables. There’s also carry-out. Mango lemonade and ginger beer are the drinks. This is the first of three restaurant concepts planned by Hardy. 18456 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-953-2225; L & D Tues.-Sat., Br. and D Sun. $14

FORD’S GARAGE /// Henry Ford’s legacy is celebrated on Dearborn’s main thoroughfare with a colorful spot harking back to the company’s early days of the Model T and the Model A. No less than 12 variations on the classic American burger come from the kitchen of chef Darin Thompson, whose resume includes a number of well-known local restaurants. Other appealing dishes include lobster mac and cheese, chicken wings with a choice of 10 sauces, and Black Angus filet mignon. More than 100 craft beers are ready. Automotive details at every turn add to the experience. 21367 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn; 313-752-3673; L & D daily. $14

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