Like a cinematic sommelier, we’ve devised 7 Northern Michigan food and film pairings that match movies from the Traverse City Film Festival with corresponding Traverse City restaurants, making your dinner-and-a-movie date an effortlessly thematic adventure.
1) Film: A Coffee in Berlin — Friday 9 am Old Town Playhouse and Saturday 9 pm Milliken | 2012 | Germany | NR | 88 min.
- Join the law school dropout Niko as he wanders the streets of Berlin with little in mind other than procuring a perpetually elusive cup of coffee. A Coffee in Berlin was a winner of six German Oscars and an über-hit throughout Europe.
- Head to Morsels on Front Street in Traverse City for specialty cups of coffee, espresso and tea. Check out the breakfast hash—a perfectly melded collection of fresh veggies with a poached egg placed on top. Served with bacon and toast. Finish it all off with a tasting of one, or several, morsels—bite-sized cookies, brownies and cakes.
2) Film: The Past (Le Passé) — Thursday 9 am State Theatre | 2013 | France, Iran, Italy | NR | 130 min.
- Ahman leaves Tehran for Paris following a four-year separation from his estranged wife Marie. Upon arriving, he finds his family in turmoil: Samir, Marie’s current wife is in a coma; Marie is newly pregnant; and Lucie, Marie’s teenage daughter from a previous marriage, resents her mother’s string of fleeting romances. This Cannes Film Festival award winner is a powerful and nuanced masterpiece.
- Eclectic, bistro-style, French cuisine. Head to Amical, located right next to the State Theatre, after the showing for a fresh, seasonal inspired lunch. The tomato soup en croute, a tomato soup with a pastry crust topping, is a must-try.
3) Film: Fed Up — Wednesday 3 pm Lars Hockstad | 2014 | USA | PG | 93 min.
- Katie Couric narrates this surprising film, which unlocks mysteries of the food industry that began many years ago as a small sidebar about increasing obesity among Americans. Couric and filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig set out to uncover the reasons why the next generations of American kids are likely to have shorter life spans than their parents, the public’s fascination with appearance, and government policies to combat childhood obesity.
- Look for the sign that reads “EAT” tucked away behind Front Street between Cass and Union for a grab-and-go restaurant that offers fresh and healthy dishes made with seasonal ingredients from the Northern Michigan area. After the viewing of Fed Up, you’ll want something that is filled with fresh ingredients and good for you. Try the talked-about Korean taco’s or grab a few of their small plates to go.
4) Film: Casablanca — Thursday at Dusk Open Space | 1942 | USA | NR | 102 min.
- Iconic. A national treasure. And even as time goes by, it remains one of the greatest romances ever made. View it on the big screen for free down at the Traverse City Open Space. If not, you’ll regret it.
Food: Apache Trout Grill
- It’s no Rick’s Cafe, but Apache Trout Grill located just north of Traverse City on the way to Suttons Bay is some of the best seafood around. Dine right by the water and enjoy an amazing menu filled with plenty of options like pecan crusted whitefish and rainbow trout. Dine in before hanging out at the Open Space.
5) Film: Keep on Keepin’ On — Thursday 6 pm and Saturday noon Buzz | 2014 | USA | NR | 86 min.
- The spirit of jazz legend Clark Terry transcends the music biopic genre creating an unquestionably special film that is pure heart and soul. Terry found his greatest joy not as one of the most celebrated trumpeters in music history, but rather as a teacher whose students included Miles Davis and mega-producer Quincy Jones. Winner of this year’s Tribeca FIlm Festival Audience Award.
Food: Workshop Brewing Co.
- Enjoy a beer with a gooey melted grilled cheese at Workshop Brewery located right next to the Buzz. Head in and catch some live music on both Thursday and Saturday at 8 pm.
6) Film: Magic in the Moonlight — Sunday 6 pm State Theatre | 2014 | USA | PG-13 | 100 min.
- In the French Riviera at the height of the roaring 20’s, a deliciously delirious battle of wit and wills unfolds as staunch skeptic Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) is sent on a mission to debunk a beguiling young medium (Emma Stone). Firth and Stone are an absolute delight to behold, and their glistening chemistry anchors a star-studded ensemble cast.
Food: Low Bar
- Located beneath 7 Monks Tap Room, Low Bar is a time capsule to the roaring 20’s speakeasies. Take a short elevator ride down to the basement and enter a room filled with black leather, mirrors, and candle light. Enjoy specialty cocktails before or after the showing.
7) Film: The Wizard of Oz — Sunday at Dusk | 1939 | USA | NR | 102 min.
- Join others at the open space where you can catch this timeless enchantment, with enduring magic and fantastical splendor, on the big screen by the bay. After a tornado transports Dorothy to the extraordinary Land of Oz, she leaves a sepia-toned reality behind for a dazzling Technicolor daydream.
- Enjoy frozen yogurt that can be just as techni-colored as the Wizard of Oz. Load up your bowl with one, two, three or more flavors of yogurt and then go to town on your toppings. Gummy bears, marshmallows, assorted nuts and much more can be added to the top of your yogurt to make a tasty and colorful creation. Located on Front Street next to Pop-Kies and M-22; swing by before the show (Open Space movies end quite late).