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The Root's James Rigato Hits Loui's Pizza for Detroit Squares and Chianti

Chef James Rigato shares his top three restaurants in Metro Detroit.

Loui's Pizza in Hazel Park.
Loui's Pizza in Hazel Park.
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Detroit is home to tons of restaurants, some in plain sight and some hidden gems. To help guide us through the Motor City food world, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share with us their recommendations for Dining Confidential.

Chef James Rigato is perhaps Southeast Michigan's highest profile chef right now having recently done a stint on Top Chef Season 12. Here in Detroit, he's known for his outstanding restaurant The Root and his high profile Young Guns pop-ups that attract the best of both regional and out of town chefs for one-night-only dining experiences. When he's not tending the kitchens in White Lake, Rigato is a frequent flyer at Hazel Park's Loui's Pizza, Hamtramck's Rock City Eatery, and Bacco Ristorante in Southfield.

What's special to you about Loui's Pizza?

Loui's is the best place by a fuckin' mile. They're like the best place, top five. It's by far the best Detroit square ... All the staff has been the same since I've been going there. Show me a better square, that's Detroit square with the crunchy bottom.

What do you order?

I would suggest pepperoni, jalapeno, and feta [pizza]. I get a Greek salad, which is more feta, and I get the baked capelletti, and then I get a bottle of chianti because you know you've got to sign it and hang it up and two MGD's ... Then I sit at the bar and watch the fish tank.

What do you order at Bacco and Rock City Eatery?

I never order at Bacco or Rock City Eatery. I sit at the bar at Bacco probably once a week. Everyone knows me there and I know everyone's name ... I literally feel like I'm at my family's house. I just sit down and tell them to feed me. Anything pasta is outrageous and the menu changes frequently.

Rock City Eatery, they're kind of the opposite of Bacco in that everything is crazy and you can cuss and swear. I love Nikita's vegetables and green beans. I could eat those all day. Pretty much anything Nikita does is probably the best thing in the city ... I don't get it. He's a silly guy. He's usually in sweatpants sucking on a Hamm's beer, but his food is out of control.


29410 Northwestern Highway, , MI 48034 (248) 356-6600 Visit Website

Rock City Eatery

4216 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 265-3729 Visit Website

Loui's Pizza

23141 Dequindre Road, , MI 48030 (248) 547-1711