Foodie File: Elbertus

How do you and Chef Tim make your burgs so juicy?We mix all-natural ground beef with sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, marinated sour dough breadcrumbs and whole milk. I am a purist; I like mine medium rare – the catch when ordering a medium burger is it can dry out. This lets us cook a nice medium burger.

Cheeseburger fans really get to step out with your cheese list. We have seven to nine types of artisan cheese. There’s a triple-cream French blue cheese that sometimes gets held up in customs, a Humboldt Fog, Leelanau Cheese Company’s raclette that’s won blue ribbons in Paris …

You also do an open-faced burger?Yes, the same burger on toasted sourdough. Have the burger topped with crayfish étouffée or a demi-glace sauce or a burger Diane – the classic Julia Child recipe for steak.

Your favorite burger beverage?A burger always goes great with a beer, but I’d suggest some sparkling from L. Mawby.

Anything on the menu to appeal to the herbivores out there?We take our vegetarian dishes really seriously. Right now in the winter, we’re doing a great Greek spinach pie with a nice feta broiled over the top, then it’s drizzled with local thistle honey produced by Millie Hathaway’s bees.

Favorite dessert?A deconstructed black forest torte. It has all the elements on the plate: dark European chocolate cupcake; a fudge pot of house hot chocolate sauce; a little fresh, real-dairy whipped cream; Balaton cherry compote and a shot of kirsch. This lets our guests have fun with it. Do the shot as a shot, or marinate your cake in it.

Emily Betz Tyra is associate editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.[email protected]

This article was first published in March 2007 and was updated for the web February 2008.

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