Torya Blanchard, the energetic “girl” behind the Detroit crêperie Good Girls Go to Paris C, admits to a passion for the seafood soup at El Barzon. “It’s to die for,” she says. Next on her list of faves is 24grille, which she likes “even more now that Christian [Borden] is there.”
She has eaten her way through the entire appetizer list, and especially enjoys the tuna tartare. She also goes to the restaurant in the Westin Book Cadillac when “I want a nice drink at a bar.” A longtime favorite is Taqueria Lupita’s in Mexicantown. “I’ve been going there since I was a teacher,” she says. “It’s delicious, quick, and inexpensive.” Chicken soup is a favorite dish there.
Blanchard says she isn’t a huge meat eater, but when in the mood for a steak, she heads for La Bistecca Italian Grille in Plymouth. “I’m blown away by the filet,” she says. The Hill in Grosse Pointe Farms “is where I meet my girlfriends for drinks and appetizers in the bar.”
When dining close to home, Doug Hewitt, executive chef at Terry B’s in Dexter, likes Pacific Rim in Ann Arbor.
“The unagi terrine and the Japanese-style sablefish are both appealing to my tastes,” he says. Evans Street Station in Tecumseh gets his nod for the appetizers of watermelon and seared halloumi cheese, and grilled shrimp and chorizo. For the entree, “I have a tendency to lean toward the char-crusted, aged beef tenderloin.” Another favorite is downtown Detroit’s Angelina Italian Bistro.
“What a great space they have there,” he says. “Mike Viviano, the owner, is a personal friend and mentor of mine. I always enjoy starting with La Angelina, a tasting of salumi and cured and smoked fish. I have a passion for pork and like to order the braised-pork ravioli.” Sushi Zen in Brighton and Shiro in Novi are his sushi destinations.
When dining a little farther from home, “I love the Cook’s House in Traverse City. The fact that he uses all local and sustainable ingredients is right up my alley.”