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Bites Nearby: Luxe Bar & Grill in Birmingham

Salads, sandwiches, burgers and daily specials make this downtown Birmingham spot more than a routine bar & grill.

, 525 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, (248) 792-6051

A hit since it opened in September, this Ron Rea-designed spot is tiny, but the space is used to full advantage from the bar tucked into a corner at the entrance, to the mirrored dining room that parallels the open kitchen.  

Founding family of is the Bongiovanni clan, whose restaurants—one of which is a near neighbor of Luxe—are scattered through the local landscape. Luxe has a complete different approach, however. No pastas here. 

Menu standouts include sandwiches, salads and prime beef burgers in varieties including the house special with cheese, chopped lettuce, pickles and creamy white sauce on brioche; another combines haystack onions and blue cheese on an onion roll. At dinner time, there are daily changing specials added to the basic listings of Greek-style lamb chops and fresh salmon. Numerous wines by the glass and an equal number of beers are available.  

Joe Bongiovanni, his wife Kristin and sister Kara are the proprietors at what is much more than a routine bar and grill. Note that reservations are not accepted, but call-ahead seating is available when there is a wait.   

Recommended dishes: Prime burgers on brioche buns, green apple salad with grilled chicken and roasted cashews in Asian vinaigrette

Price range: Appetizers $8.50-$12, burgers and sandwiches $8.50-$14, dinner entrees $16-$29

Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight daily

Credit cards: All major

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