Thursday, July 12, 2012
vacation recap - traverse city
Let me start by saying it is no secret that I indulge when I am on vacation. Okay, I indulge most of the time, but I really go crazy when I have an extra excuse like being on holiday. (I know that no one in America says “on holiday”, but I like how it sounds and I am going to start saying it, so deal with it.)
On my first day back at work, after my holiday, a person that I work with (who shall remain nameless) said to me, “It is so good to have you back. I really missed you while you were gone last week. Did you put on 3 or 4 pounds?” This would be a completely offensive statement had it not been exactly true! I gained 4 pounds on my vacation and here is why.
Traverse City was named by Bon Appetit as one of the five best foodie towns in America.
We took full advantage.
After a four mile bike ride on Traverse City’s TART Trails and a jump in the water, we were famished. Our hunger led us to The Boathouse. At The Boathouse we ran in to our friend, Heidi, who happens to be a foodie and an amazing tour guide. She recommended her boyfriend’s new wine Big Little Pinot Gris (so good!) and then we went wild on the menu. We had foie gras French toast, whitefish pate, fresh oysters, tempura asparagus and morel mushrooms, and a Kobe Wellington “hot pocket” with Kobe style beef, cheese whiz and other deliciousness baked inside a flaky phyllo. I almost had to roll myself out of there. If you aren’t already drooling, you can see their full menu here.
The following day Heidi took us around. This girl walks fast and doesn’t mess around when it comes to eating and drinking. She not only picked the place for lunch, she ordered for us! What we got was absolutely amazing pastrami sandwiches from a little hole-in-the-wall place (with no air conditioning) called Frenchies Famous. This is one of Mario Batali’s favorite restaurants IN THE WORLD. I’m telling you people, it was a helluva sandwich.
And what better to wash down a delicious sandwich then a glass of Michigan sparkling wine. Heidi’s boyfriend, Pete (of Big Little), has family working with L.Mawby which produces some damn fine sparkling wines. He works there, too, and took us on a tour and schooled us on the process of making sparkling wine, all while we were knocking back glass after glass of bubbly.
*They sell L. Mawby in Richmond at Corks and Kegs, so run and get it and if they are out, throw a tantrum so that they get more because this stuff is fantastic.
After our visit to L. Mawby and a tour of the space that will be a tasting room for Big Little we hit up another fantastic winery, BlackStar Farms. Heidi’s friend who works there took us through a tasting of her favorite wines and we ended up bringing home way more Michigan wine than we had planned. I had no idea we would be doing so much wine shopping so we had to make a stop at Menard’s (Michigan’s version of a Super Store) to buy another cooler to hold wine from Chateau Chantal, Brys Estate and Bower’s Harbor. We drank alotta wine.
And because when one glass goes empty, somewhere a plate must be full, we stayed in Traverse City for dinner at the amazing Trattoria Stella. Everything they do is sourced locally. They list where every ingredient comes from on their menu, that changes daily! (I swiped a menu to keep for the memories. Yes, I am a nerd.) We ordered lamb crudo, beef carpaccio, beets with strawberry vinaigrette, bruschetta with Cavalier cherries and pappardelle pasta with chicken. AMAZING.
Needless to say, it is amazing that I didn’t gain 50 pounds from the decadence that was eating and drinking my way around the Leelanau Peninsula. I will sweat it out over the next couple of weeks and long for the day we can return to the mitten for more.