Scotty Simpson's Fish & Chips; Critics Love Bistro 82's Sophisticated Cuisine

March 13, 2014 | EATER

'Tis the Lenten season, so the normally forgettable fish & chips meal is back in the spotlight, and Scotty Simpson's simple but just right version is Sylvia Rector's "Great Plate" this week. She adores the history (it's been around since 1950) and the quality of the ingredients, whole cod and cabbage heads prepared fresh every morning by owner Harold (Harry) Barber, age 62, "who began washing dishes there 48 years ago at age 14 and never left." She warns that the Friday lines are awfully long, but notes that it's good enough for the rest of the week too, Lent or no Lent.

Royal Oak's new Bistro 82 is Molly Abraham's review for the week, and she is full of praise for everything from the architecture to the food: the brand new restaurant, which she only grudgingly calls a bistro, "could win an architectural award as well as a culinary one for its clean, contemporary look". She loves the food, the service, the decor, and notes that their oyster selection is particularly impressive. She thinks it has potential to be great, and gives it four out of four stars.

It's definitely still winter, but that didn't stop Noelle Lothamer at The Metro Times from reviewing Birmingham's Try It Raw an (of course) all raw/vegan/organic/gluten free restaurant on Maple. It's best for carry out, but appropriate for a quick lunch, and the staff are knowledgeable but not preachy. She acknowledges that the cold entrees (think zucchini "pasta" or pumpkin seed "tacos") are a little off-putting in this weather, but loved the flavors and felt it was a great alternative for not just vegans and celiacs, but omnivores who wanted something a little healthier.

The brand new Bistro 82 in Royal Oak has swept Sylvia Rector off her feet as well, as she notes right of the bat that "n flavor as well as attitude, executive chef Derik Watson's beautifully executed plates are easily a match for the dining room's sexy good looks." She doesn't stop there, recommending many of the menu options, only stopping to say that the bouillabaisse was one miss, but noting that the restaurant and upstairs club, Sabrage, are well on their way to being a "hot spot" requiring reservations.

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