Truth be told, Livingston County’s dining scene has never been better than it is right now. The last decade or so has seen some outstanding additions to our restaurant offerings: Ciao Amicis, La Vita Bistro, the new Taco Bell in Howell.
Ah, but for every Ciao Amicis we’ve gained, there’s a Canopy that we’ve lost. And man, do I miss some of our long-gone dining spots.
There are dozens and dozens of candidates for this list, but I had to whittle it down. So, here’s my list of:
THE 5 LIVINGSTON COUNTY RESTAURANTS I MISS THE MOST
1. The Honeydew Cafe, Howell
This was a downtown restaurant that opened and closed a couple times in a few different locations. It was a cool, quirky place with a pasta-and-potatoes dish called Ala Mala Ooe that I absolutely loved.
2. Annie’s Pot, Howell
It was in a little strip mall just east of town, and Annie’s Pot had the best pizza and breadsticks you’d find anywhere. They also had a bunch of old-timey stuff on the walls that added to the great atmosphere.
3. The Pinckney Inn
There’s a great business in this location now (the Dio dinner-theater), but man, do I miss the Pinckney Inn. Their pecan chicken might be my single favorite dinner entree in Livingston County history.
4. Cardona’s Pizza, Brighton
This is one of the legendary spots in Brighton history. It was a pizzeria’s pizzeria – great food, great drink, great atmosphere. And for a little while in the early 1980s, when the stand-up comedy boom was beginning, it hosted a Comedy Night once a week. Among the budding stand-up stars who took the stage at Cardona’s: Tim Allen, Dave Coulier and Sinbad.
5. The Canopy, Brighton
In Livingston County restaurant history, this was the grandaddy of them all. Linen tablecloths, steak and lobster, Earl Williams at the piano. We’ve never again seen a restaurant this elegant.
• BRIGHTON: The Garden Spot, Kmart Grill, the Nugget, Sammy’s Sail Inn
• HOWELL: Old Howell House, the Midget, Marion Oaks, TW & Friends
• FOWLERVILLE: Big Boy, Lucky’s Pub
• PINCKNEY: Lakes Grill
• HARTLAND: Oasis Truck Stop
So, what’s on YOUR list of the Livingston County restaurants you miss the most?