London Chop House, Detroit
With a jazz trio and singer performing on the intimate stage, glasses clinking at the bar and diners in low conversations at their tables, the London Chop House dining room could make the pitch-perfect restaurant soundtrack. The crowd is a cross-section of ages, races, styles and incomes. The bar makes a proper drink, and service is professional and unobtrusive. The menu -- in part by design -- feels old-fashioned, but some would argue that classics like oysters Rockefeller, crab bisque and Veal Chop Oscar never go out of style. The steakhouse fare is solid but unexciting, and prices aren't cheap. But what edges the London Chop House onto our best new restaurants list is the unmatched experience it affords of stepping back into a real and remarkable part of our city's history. That's a pleasure and a privilege worth respecting.
(Lunch, dinner. First courses $8-$17; steaks $32-$60, other entrées $26-$45. 155 W. Congress; 313-962-0277 and www.thelondonchophouse.com)