47 Watson St., Midtown
Most of the great food in Detroit is pretty casual, so the opening of Grey Ghost, a more dressed-up spot in Brush Park, was a welcome addition to the restaurant scene here. The owners (who just relocated from Chicago) specialize in forward-thinking takes on unusual meats, like grilled shishito peppers with candied oxtail, fried quail with pepper jelly and corn flakes, and fried bologna on a waffle with cheddar and jalapeño. The cocktail program, executed behind a stunning bar made from salvaged bowling alley wood, is helmed by Will Lee, who's got a formidable Detroit resume that includes both Standby and Selden Standard. The name, Grey Ghost, refers to a pirate who ran rum on the Detroit River during prohibition.
3921 2nd Ave., Midtown
Ask anyone about the more sophisticated menus in Detroit, and Selden Standard comes up again and again. Named Restaurant of the Year by the Detroit Free Press, the restaurant is a collaboration between Andy Hollyday (a Toledo native who grew up cooking in his family's restaurant) and Evan Hansen (a local businessman with a major passion for wine and beer). Hollyday's menu is all about locally sourced food and shared plates, with an emphasis on cooking from scratch—pasta is all handmade, butter is churned in the back of house, and ricotta and pickling are done on-site. It's close to Comerica Park, so it's a great place to go before Tigers games if you're driving in from the suburbs.
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