I would be remiss if I flew to Michigan, indulged in some of my favorite dining, and then failed to share the experience with you. So here are some brief highlights regarding two of my favorite places to eat. They are quite the opposite in both location, decor and atmosphere, yet I love them both equally. I feel they are a small representation of the two sides of my personality.
We'll start in the Detroit area. North and slightly west of the downtown area is the fabulously hip little town of Birmingham. I LOVE Birmingham! Birmingham is home to a one-of-a-kind culinary delight known as the Big Rock Chop House. The Big Rock Chop House has an atmosphere of class and fine dining, from the valet service, to the extensive gourmet menu and lounge-like decor. It truly is a delight. What did enjoy while I was there? A shrimp appetizer, followed by an entire half of an organic chicken, herbed and roasted to perfection, with flavor filled steamed vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes on the side. My shrimp appetizer was served in an eye-appealing manner, arranged artfully in a martini glass, almost too pretty to eat...somehow, I managed to polish it off! Words cannot describe how tender, juicy and delicious this chicken was - I regret that I could not finish it!
We move westward across the state and find ourselves at Cugino's - a small operation located in the Lansing suburb of Grand Ledge. Cugino's is family oriented with fabulous Italian food that rivals that of vendors on the streets in Rome. When I first heard, after a two-year separation, that I would have the opportunity to return to this venue, I knew immediately what I would order: their Calamari appetizer followed by a Spinach Calzone. Countless travels followed by numerous attempts, has yet to find a calamari that measures up to that of Cugino's. The same can be said of their calzones. The herbs and spices are perfectly proportioned with spinach and ricotta. My mouth is watering in remembrance of the delight!
So, if you find yourself traveling through Michigan, be sure to plan a stop at one (or both!) of these great restaurants - I'm certain you'll have no regrets.