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Critic: Central Kitchen + Bar 'Took Me By Surprise'

Eater reads the reviews so you don't have to.

Central Kitchen + Bar.
Central Kitchen + Bar.
Michelle and Chris Gerard
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.
Sylvia Rector raves about Central Kitchen: Like many of us, Rector was slightly wary of the early descriptions of Central as a accessible, "which can be code for ‘keep it safe and simple,'" but she was proven wrong. "I expected to like the eclectic look and vibrant scene," Rector writes, "...But what took me by surprise — and keeps me coming back — is executive chef Christina Stanco's modern American food." The Detroit Burger and calamari are particular hits with the critic's palate, though she hasn't found a disappointing dish yet. "The well-balanced menu does, as [owner Dennis] Archer promised, offer something for every taste." Rector also counts the Ahi tuna salad among her "favorite dishes this summer." [Freep]

Molly Abraham dines out at Mimi's Bistro in Grosse Pointe Park: Owner Mel Schridde recently expanded Mimi's, adding a gallery and 20 more seats, the critic reports. "It stands to reason that if the art is the real thing — and it is — the accompanying fare should be handcrafted too. And the kitchen responds, with from-scratch cooking that includes some of the signature dishes of Schridde's family, including German potato pancakes from her great-grandmother's collection and housemade gnocchi and linguine with Mel's own sauce, a creamy tomato with a touch of port and Gorgonzola cheese, one of five sauces including classic marinara and mushroom cream," writes Abraham. Three stars. [Detroit News]

Serena Maria Daniels visits Ali Baba Shish Kabob: Hamtramck has a great range of world cuisine including plenty of Middle Eastern options. "What sets this place apart, though, is the menu ties several regions of Arabic cuisine together, and does it without overloading your senses," Daniels remarks. Iraqi-style kabob is the dish that truly shines: "Mixed with a blend of beef and lamb, parsley, and onions, your senses are pleasantly awakened when you taste the spice sprinkled on top — sumac, which is native to the Middle East, produces a subtle tangy, lemony flavor. The meat is grilled, pretty much medium-rare (a tad pink in the middle) and sits atop a bright yellow bed of rice seasoned with saffron, raisins, and almond slivers. On the side are pickled beets, grilled tomatoes, and onions." She suggests splitting entrees with a friend and ordering sides and a fruit smoothie. [Metro Times]

Mimi's Bistro

15318 E Jefferson Ave, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230 (313) 922-4085

Ali Baba Shish Kabob

, Hamtramck, MI (313) 265-3701

Central Kitchen + Bar

660 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48226 (313) 963-9000 Visit Website