Tracy Parlangeli and Frank Grippi

Their stylish menus are enticing enough to attract a loyal clientele of discriminating diners, but no matter how expert they are, restaurant people like to take a break from their own kitchens for a taste of someone else’s cooking
Tracy Parlangeli and Frank Grippi
Tracy Parlangeli likes the burgers at Red Coat Tavern. Photograph by Joe Vaughn

Tracy Parlangeli is about to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Frittata, the breakfast/lunch spot in Clawson she runs with Jerry Widman. Parlangeli says she loves the “great Vietnamese place on John R near 13 Mile,” Thuy Tran, where she often orders shrimp and pork summer rolls and a vermicelli noodle and chicken dish — “Number 75 on the menu.” She’s also a fan of Priya Indian Cuisine’s eggplant bajji and navratan korma — mixed vegetables in a sauce of cashews, raisins, and spices. When not going ethnic, she loves the Red Coat Tavern burgers and the escargot-and-potato appetizer at Josephine in Ferndale.

Frank Grippi, chef/proprietor of Tirami Su in downtown Northville, likes to get away every couple of weeks to the MGM Grand Detroit or Windsor casinos. “I like Bourbon Steak a lot,” he says of the restaurant at the MGM. Because he likes seafood as well as steak, his choice is surf ’n’ turf, a combination of filet mignon and lobster. Although he loves pastas, he finds most local Italian restaurants overcook the noodles. One place where he will eat pasta is at chef Michael Bondi’s new Michelangelo’s Italian Bistro in Wyandotte. “They do good pasta; they cook it al dente,” he says.