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Birmingham Restaurant Named Top Spot for 'Expanding Your Culinary Horizons'

Phoenicia on South Old Woodward was recognized by Molly Abraham, 'Detroit News' food critic, for its elegant approach to Middle Eastern food.

Beginning a new year means trying new things, and for Metro Detroit residents looking to "expand their dining horizons," Birmingham is the place to be.

Molly Abraham, food critic for the Detroit News, recently named Birmingham's Phoenicia as one of her 13 recommended restaurants to try in the new year.

Owned by longtime Birmingham restauranteur, Sameer Eid, Phoenicia not only serves top-notch Lebanese and Middle Eastern food, but dozens of delicious dishes, Abraham says.

The restaurant, located on South Old Woodward at the very limits of downtown, recently underwent a series of renovations in 2012, upgrading the exterior and adding large windows that can be opened to the sidewalk in warm weather.

A Birmingham staple since the early 1980's, Phoenicia serves the classics — including hummus, taboulee, baba ganouge, lamb chops and marinated chicken — as well as dry-rubbed baby back ribs and bone-in ribeye. Eid opened the original Phoenicia in Highland Park in 1971.

"Rather than the overflowing platter approach, (Phoenicia) has a refined style and a menu that has expanded organically over the years to include an international approach," Abraham writes.

"All this gives Phoenicia an individualit," she adds. "It is clearly more expensive than most of the other Middle Eastern spots. But it delivers high quality and top-notch service in its elegant white tablecloth quarters.

Other nearby restaurants to make Abraham's list include The Imperial in Ferndale, Crispelli's Bakery Pizzeria and Vinsetta Garage in Berkley, and KouZina Greek Street Food and Pizzeria Biga in Royal Oak.

Let's help those trying Phoenicia for the first time — what's your favorite dish at this Birmingham staple?

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