Royal Oak Restaurants

D’Amato’s Italian

Located on Sherman Dr. in Downtown Royal Oak, MI is D’Amato’s Italian restaurant. D’Amato’s is dishing out authentic Italian classics including pasta, pizza, entrees, and charcuterie (meat board). D’Amato’s also offers daily specials including dinner and drink specials. They offer a full bar including craft cocktails and an extensive wine list. Josh and I came here to celebrate my new position. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites (menu and drinks)

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The bread was really tasty: Fresh, buttery, and warm. The balsamic dipping oil was good, but the first time I think we added a little too much balsamic because it was strong. Next time, I won’t let Josh do the pouring (wink, wink).

Moscow Mule (Blueberry): House Blueberry Infused Vodka, Ginger Beer and Fresh Lemon Juice. The blueberry added a nice brightness to this classic cocktail. It was refreshing and light, but I was definitely feeling buzzed off just one! Ha.

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Minestrone Soup: Traditional Italian vegetable soup with pasta and beans. Nice hearty soup with a rich broth. Minestrone is Josh’s favorite and he always orders it when we get Italian. This was one of the better minestrone’s I’ve had.

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Italian Chili: This was the soup of the day. It was rich, hearty, with a little spice. If I remember correctly, it had pieces of short rib in it which made it extra decadent. The onion straws and sour cream on top added a little extra.

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Beef Short Rib & Butternut Squash Pasta: Tender, beef short rib meat, piled on top of fettucine in a butternut squash sauce. This was the special recommended by our service so I went with it. It was amazing! The butternut squash was sweet and creamy. The beef was so tender that it melted in my mouth. If given the opportunity, order this dish!

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Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Shells: Spinach stuffed shells covered with a rich Alfredo sauce. The sauce was creamy and delicious. The stuffed shells were good, but the spinach to cheese ratio was off. I would have liked more cheese and a little less spinach.

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The service was good and I really liked the feel of the dining room. There was enough natural light to brighten things up, but at night, D’Amato’s has a sort of sexy ambience. The upscale Italian restaurant shares the space with it’s neighbor, Goodnight Gracie Martini bar. At night, this bar doubles as a club, with live entertainment, dancing, DJ’s, and even Jazz music. D’Amato’s has what seems like a never ending Whiskey menu. They are offering bourbon, scotch, Irish whiskey, Rye, you name it! I thought this was really impressive for an Italian restaurant. The food was pretty good and the prices are pretty reasonable. You can’t beat $5 Cosmo’s and half off pizza/pasta for the ladies on Friday nights. D’Amato’s also offers brunch including bottomless Mimosa’s and a Bloody Mary bar. If you haven’t tried D’Amato’s, stop in and try out the Prime Rib!

D'Amato's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Nello’s

Today on the Bite Tonight: Nello’s Family Restaurant.

Located on Woodward Ave in Royal Oak, MI is a tasty local restaurant with really good food. Nello’s menu consists of Greek classics, breakfast, pasta, sandwiches, and everyday diner favorites. I really like Nello’s because it has that welcoming diner feel, only with a sophisticated family restaurant menu.  Josh and I actually got up early enough for breakfast. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Josh’s pick

Western Omelet: Ham, green pepper, onions, and cheese with hash browns. Everything you want in an omelet. Classic and satisfying.

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My pick

Southern Omelet: Sausage, onions, and cheese topped with sausage gravy with hash browns. Oh goodness! The gravy was the right thing to take this omelet over the edge. Decadent, but not too rich, the saltiness from the sausage offset the creamy cheese and silky sausage gravy. Extra crispy hash browns added a nice crunch!

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Nello’s always has people to fill it’s restaurant and there’s a reason why, good food + good service. You always know what to expect at Nello’s and your experience will be consistently good every time. The food portions are huge and definitely worth the money. Next time you want good home cooking, try Nello’s.

 

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Bd's Mongolian Grill

Today on the Bite Tonight: Bd’s Mongolian Grill

Creating your own bowl of stirfry and watching as it’s grilled up right in front of you is a blast. What’s even more fun is that Bd’s offers more than just stirfry including a variety of appetizers, Create Your Own lemonade, specialty drinks, fried rice bowls, soup and salad and desserts. We visited our favorite location on Main St. in Royal Oak. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Strawberry Lemonade

CYO lemonade

Plum Crazy Queso Dip: Queso dip with a hint of Plum Sauce. Served with handmade, seasoned tortilla wedges. The tortillas were delicious (thick and crunchy) and the queso dip was good, also. Cheesy, with slight sweetness from the plum sauce. The only thing I didn’t like was that the queso wasn’t hot, but that’s probably because we ordered it and then headed to make our stirfry.

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My creation: Fajita chicken, broccoli, rotini pasta, 2 eggs, carrots, onions, edamame, red skin potatoes, pineapple and a couple pieces of sausage with Mongolian Ginger sauce. Nothing is better than getting a huge piece of a fried egg. The only thing that was a bummer was that our food was burnt and had little black burnt pieces in it.

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Lettuce wraps are a nice change from rice and tortilla’s.

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Bd’s Mongolian Grill offers a lot of ways to save including Club Mongo, rewards cards, buying gift cards and various contests.  While Josh and I were enjoying our creations we downloaded their app and won a free fountain beverage. Service was good and at 7 pm on a Saturday, we were seated right away. Stop in and check out Bd’s Bacon Fried Rice and Chicken Sriracha Bites. Unfortunately, we were too stuffed to try the Fried Oreo’s, but they are next on my list!

BD's Mongolian Grill on Urbanspoon

Monterrey Cantina

Today on the Bite Tonight: Monterrey Cantina

Located on Main St. in Downtown Royal Oak is Monterrey Cantina. Opened in 1992, Monterrey Cantina prides themselves in serving authentic Mexican cuisine. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 2 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 2 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 0 out of 5 bites

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Chili Con Queso: Jalapeno peppers and a blend of melted cheeses. First, the chips seemed very much like store bought, although I could be wrong. Second, the dip came out right after we ordered it which also leads me to believe that it was also store bought. It looked and tasted like it came out of a jar in the grocery aisle. It had some heat, and was just OK. I don’t think it was worth $9 for the small amount we got. The salsa tasted fresh and was very good.

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Cheese and Onion Enchilada: Rolled in a corn tortilla and topped with Mexican sauce, cheese, and sour cream. We ordered this a la carte and apparently it lacks sour cream when you order a single enchilada. It also cost $4 for what tasted like a corn tortilla saturated in cheese. This also came out immediately after we ordered it and it wasn’t even warm in the middle. We politely informed our server who was very professional and sent it back to get reheated. Unfortunately, reheating it, didn’t make it taste better. The Mexican sauce was OK and tasted like an ordinary red sauce, but after ordering this I am glad we didn’t opt for a whole dinner.

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Fajita Salad: Charbroiled chicken breast on top of fresh greens, sauteed peppers and onions, sour cream, and Mexican cheese mix. Served in a crispy flour tortilla shell. The chicken was juicy, but lacked flavor. There were only a few julienned peppers and onions (cut into long thin strips) which I didn’t like because it they were not bite sized. The “fresh greens” were huge chunks of romaine lettuce. I really prefer that a salad comes in bite sized pieces. When I cut up the ingredients, I had difficulty because the salad was inside the tortilla shell. For $11.99, this salad was not worth it and hardly had any toppings other than the chicken.

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Although our servers did a good job and the food was served quickly, it lacked quality. We arrived @ 6 pm on a Saturday and there were only a handful of tables in the dining room. I don’t mind waiting for my food to arrive if it means a little more love will be added. Sometimes I think that mediocre restaurants get away with overcharging for their dishes because of the location. If you’re looking for good Mexican food in Royal Oak, opt for Cantina Diablos down the street. Their prices are better and the food is fresher and made in house.
Monterrey Cantina on Urbanspoon

Bd's Mongolian Grill

Since working at the Dearborn Bd’s Mongolian Grill, when I’m craving stir fry I prefer the Royal Oak location. It seems to be better and I don’t feel obligated to talk to my old teammates (I take dinner very seriously and like to have a little privacy). Josh and I wanted to check out Slows BBQ (stay tuned) but there’s always a wait on a Friday night. So we opted for stir fry instead.

Josh’s creation: Marinated chicken, edamame, onions, red pepper, zucchini, pineapple, egg, and long noodles with a mix of Cayenne seasoning, seasoned salt, Mongolian Ginger and Teriyaki sauces.

Tip: Fill two sauce cups for an extra saucy bowl.

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My creation: Marinated chicken, red skin potato, zucchini, edamame, sausage, carrots, onions, mushrooms, pineapple, egg, a surprise piece of Crab and rotini noodles with a mix of Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic, Mongolian Ginger and Teriyaki sauces. Our creations are similar, but still unique to each of us (I like more veggies).  I was really excited to order lettuce wraps instead of the usual “rice and torts” with our meal. The sauce adds sweetness and the lettuce wraps add coolness and crunch to the spicy, hot stir fry.

Tip: Don’t be afraid of adding an egg. It’s delicious, goes with any combination, and a is good source of protein. Josh and I each add two.

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Bd’s Mongolian Grill has come a long way from it’s opening in 1994. The menu now consists of a laundry list of appetizers ranging from pot stickers to fried zucchini, fried rice bowls, signature drinks, beer and wine, and decadent desserts (Try the deep fried Oreo)! Each location also has slightly different items to choose from: The Okemos location had coconut and bow tie pasta once upon a time. The website is also very interactive and informational: you can create your own bowl prior to visiting the restaurant and view nutrition information. Join Club Mongo for great perks and free meals!

If you haven’t been here in a while (or never been here) check it out. It’s a fun experience (especially for the picky eater: cough, Josh, cough) and you get to eat whatever you want!

B.D.'S Mongolian Barbeque on Urbanspoon

Hamlin Corner

The girls at work decided to get together for dinner and Nina suggested Hamlin Corner. Located on Main in Downtown Royal Oak, Hamlin Corner is described as a sophisticated Sports Bar and Restaurant that recently opened a few months ago. What I liked about this place was it’s decor (black leather studded armless chairs with rich accents) and it’s locally inspired menu.

Mac & Cheese: Aged cheddar cream sauce topped with Better Made Potato Chips. As soon as I saw the Better Made chips on the menu I couldn’t pass this dish up (My mom also tops her cheesy potatoes with crunched chips so this really hit home). The chips created a crust that I had to break through, revealing molten hot cheesy pasta underneath. My favorite part was the wheel shaped pasta that was used. It was almost as if the chef took a childhood classic and matured it with the crunched chips on top. The cheese sauce was smooth, but almost too rich (I couldn’t finish it)!

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If you’re looking for a change from you’re usual stuffy sports bar, check out Hamlin Corner. It has a good location, nice dining area, and great food and brews that are decently priced. You also get a big bang for your buck! Don’t forget to support local businesses when you can!

It was good getting together with everyone, especially seeing Brynn (Kate’s 1 yr. old daughter). The Mac & Cheese should’ve been something she ordered, but she stuck with dipping her fries in ketchup and ranch, instead. She’s so big!

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