Micky’s Bistro of Huntersville bills itself as a “neighborhood restaurant.” People should be clamoring to live in a neighborhood where an eatery this good can be their local hangout. Opened in early 2009 by brothers Jeffrey and Courtney McMurry and Courtney’s wife Tracey, the philosophy behind Micky’s is a good product at a good price. Everything is made from scratch and all the items are customer favorites, Jeffrey McMurry says. Micky’s Executive Chef is Anthony Asconio, formerly of Soiree in Mooresville, who’s currently a student in the Culinary Arts program at CPCC. Located in a strip center near a BP gas station, Micky’s inauspicious exterior belies its cozy atmosphere, welcoming service and excellent food. In the dining room, sink into an intimate red leather booth and peruse its carefully-curated menu of American and Italian classics. Starting off with three Pork Sliders ($8) as an appetizer is a great choice. Served on freshly baked brioche rolls, the smoky flavor of the tender meat is complemented beautifully by sweet onion slaw and peach chutney. That same slow-roasted pulled pork is also available as a sandwich, called the Carolina BBQ ($8). Another popular starter is their Artichoke Dip ($8), made with sun-dried tomatoes, fennel, manzanilla olives and basil and served in a crusty sourdough bread bowl. It would be perfect to take the chill off a winter evening. Other appetizer choices include Shrimp Cocktail ($10), with house-made cocktail sauce and Lump Crab Cake ($12), served with marinated avocado, cilantro pesto, sweet onion and jalapeño slaw and remoulade sauce. Micky’s offers several distinctive salads, like Cast Iron Spiced Tuna ($12) and Pomegranate Pear Spinach Salad ($12), in addition to standards like the Classic Wedge ($8) and Heart of Ceasar ($7). There are seven different sandwich options, including two Angus burgers ($9), and all are served on either fresh-baked brioche buns or French rolls. Entrees are reasonably priced, as most are in the $10-17 range. There are three that are pricier: two steaks – a Jack Daniels Ribeye ($20), which is topped with a coriander-chili butter, a Black Angus Filet ($24) and a full rack of Micky’s Ribs ($24). Those succulent slow-cooked baby back ribs are also available in a half portion for $13. Five inventive non-beef entrees are offered, including an Heirloom Tomato & Shitake Risotto ($10), Peppered Chicken ($14) served over that same risotto, and two pasta dishes, Penne a la Genovese ($15) and Bistro Pasta ($16). If everything sounds delicious, ask your friendly server for suggestions. Ours was very helpful with recommendations and with packing up items to go as well. A very nice touch: Micky’s offers a variety of gluten-free items as part of its menu. One of these entrees, the LKN Salmon ($16), is truly superb. It’s poached in olive oil and served with a delicious gingered quinoa salad, confit tomatoes and sauteed asparagus. The red quinoa is studded with slivered almonds and dried cranberries and its nutty flavor and texture make a perfect accompaniment to the rich, silky-smooth fish. Dessert choices are few – there are only three, all for $6.50. There’s an NY style cheesecake, Chocolate a la Mode, and Joe’s White Chocolate Bread Pudding. The last two are served with a vanilla bean ice cream and a bourbon caramel sauce that’s divine. Micky’s has a spacious bar area and Thursday nights are crowd-pleasing for their $5 martini night (regularly $9). Among their creative concoctions (made with fresh fruit and juices) are the best-selling Pomegranate Blueberry and the Strawberry Lemon Drop. There’s an appealing wine list, too, with seven whites and reds available by the glass ($6-9). On Mondays and Tuesdays, all bottles of wine are half-price. The restaurant hosts periodic wine dinners, live music and is open every day of the week. A banquet room with outdoor patio access is available for groups of 15 to 35 people. This enjoyable and inviting spot would be a welcome addition to any neighborhood.