THE HUDSON CAFE:
With a location directly across Woodward from where the downtown Hudson’s store once stood, it was pretty logical for the three partners to name their breakfast/lunch spot after the beloved store. And they’ve done justice to the grand old name. The fresh, well-prepared fare coming from the kitchen headed by chef/proprietor Tom Teknos, who graduated from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, is getting the attention of downtowners, with creative takes on the eggs Benedict theme, pecan-banana pancakes, and apple-walnut stuffed French toast, as well as lunchtime sandwiches and salads. The airy, renovated space is on the ground floor of the Lofts at Merchants Row.
1241 Woodward, Detroit; 313-237-1000, hudson-cafe.com. B & L daily. $12 H
Rustic Italian food — from an array of cured meats sliced at the appetizer bar in the center of the room — to pastas, distinctive side dishes, and entrees from the wood-fired grill combine with a convivial atmosphere to make an evening here a party-like event. Although there’s seating at individual tables, much of it is at the appetizer bar, the U-shaped cocktail bar, and at a large communal table that’s the first thing you see when entering the art-filled former gallery. All-Italian wine and beer lists emphasize the direction.
167 Townsend, Birmingham; 248-494-7110, bellapiattirestaurant.com. D Tue.-Sat. $24 H