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Bistro Joe's #3, Plus BBQ Rundown and Ravens Club

Ravens Club

Like most new and buzzy restaurants in the metro Detroit area, Birmingham's Bistro Joe's has now received the coveted triple crown award: extensive coverage in the Freep, the News and Crain's. In her happy but server-concious review of the new Papa Joe's restaurant, the News' Molly Abraham has kind words to say about the "casually elegant" dining experience.

She raves about the clever fish options — and the tiny glass pots of ketchup set aside for the fries — but cautions that the newness of the restaurant (and the fact that it's inside of grocery store, of course) makes for a rather uneven level of service. Still, Abraham seems to think pretty highly of chef Jacques Van Staden's first (but not last) Michigan restaurant.

The Metro Times this week includes a great rundown of the area's best barbecue establishments, including a surprise review of downtown's popular Sweetwater Tavern by Katherine Montalto. She raves about the Cajun steak bites and cole slaw and calls herself a "chicken wing convert" after ordering a platter of Sweetwater's savory-yet-spicy wings.

Montalto notes that Sweetwater has been around for decades and isn't about to move anytime soon, but her recent full scale conversion should be enough to convince any reluctant tavern-goer to give it up and go all in.


A bit farther afield and slightly jazzier, Hour Detroit's Chris Cook

He reserves special praise for chef Frank Fejeran creative appetizers, charcuterie plate and Bolognese, and doesn't even seem to mind when a dish at the ">offers his hearty endorsement of Ann Arbor's Raven's Club in the July issue

of the magazine. Noting that "restaurants in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Royal Oak, and Detroit have always been more sophisticated and adventurous," Cook paints himself pleasantly surprised by the "daringly experimental" menu and classically jazzy interior of the very un-college town hot spot.

He reserves special praise for chef Frank Fejeran creative appetizers, staggering charcuterie plate and Bolognese, and doesn't even seem to mind when a dish disappoints. The restaurant's good service and attention to detail also pleases Cook in ways that many other Ann Arbor restaurants (read: college town hangouts) really can't. He even gives a level of almost-praise to the neighboring Vellum, another new and, in his words, "potentially great" new restaurant.

Sweetwater Tavern

400 East Congress Street, , MI 48226 (313) 962-2210 Visit Website

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