Every summer brings in a new batch of Northern Michigan restaurants, and 2014 is no exception. From elevated outdoor dining in Traverse City to upscale watering holes worth visiting for the view from the bar, there’s a place for every palate. The following content was first featured in the July 2014 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
For a comprehensive guide to Northern Michigan restaurants, visit MyNorth’s Northern Michigan Restaurant Directory.
Walloon Lake Inn — 4178 West Street, Walloon Lake, 231.535.2999
Walloon Lake’s crystalline glitter reflects in polished mahogany and silver flatware at the reinvented Walloon Lake Inn, where briny iced platters of fruits de mer and perfectly roasted Michigan lamb land (pictured above) on starched linen tabletops. Recently acquired by the Borisch family, who launched Barrel Back in Walloon Village’s marina district last summer, this 19th-century dining room has undergone a complete renovation. Richly textured upholstery, a gracefully curved custom bar and a baby grand piano channel belle époque resort decadence. Walloon Lake Inn’s menu, meticulously executed by Chef Dan Flynn and Chef de Cuisine Michael Sullivan, delivers vintage chophouse staples like basted lobster tail with fennel salad and rouille, grilled quail and prime ribeye with truffle fries. Walloon Lake Inn’s wine list is studded with cultish California cabernets and a handful of Old World prestige bottlings from Tuscany, Bordeaux and the Southern Rhône. True to form the bar focuses on classic cocktails, so expect a perfectly stirred gin martini or premium manhattan and a well-curated list of rare whiskies.
Clam Lake Beer Company — 106 South Mitchell Street, Cadillac, 231.775.6150
Hip industrial decor, more than 30 Michigan microbrews on draught and a spread of creative pub grub welcome beer geeks and summer visitors to this downtown Cadillac hotspot.
Tucker’s of Northport — 116 Waukazoo Street, Northport, 231.386.1061
Sip a Dirty Paws martini or pint of Manitou Amber Ale, nosh on house-smokedribs and magic mushroom flatbreads, and practice your slide on Tucker’s state-of-the-art bowling lanes.
The Franklin — 160 East Front Street, Traverse City, 231.943.2727
TC’s bustling new 240-seat temple of gastronomy sports an expansive rooftop patio to sip craft cocktails or Provençal rosé while feasting on beer-steamed clams with merguez sausage and juicy lamb burgers.
Pleasanton Café — 118 South Union Street, Traverse City, 231.944.1095
Pleasanton’s wood oven baking virtuosity finds a new outlet at this corner café where their crusty incarnations come loaded with roasted flank steak and black pepper aioli or olive oil–poached tuna with capers, lemon zest and fresh greens.
Bridge Street Tap Room — 202 Bridge Street, Charlevoix, 231.437.3466
Michigan craft brews, beer-friendly small plates, local charcuterie and bird’s-eye views of the yacht traffic on Round Lake bring the buzz to downtown Charlevoix’s new dockside watering hole.
Quay Restaurant and Terrace Bar — 307 Bridge Street, Charlevoix, 231.547.7450
The former Whitney’s Oyster Bar has undergone a serious facelift to make way for Quay, whose elevated international menu sports foie gras toast with rhubarb relish, Kung Pao calamari and pan-roasted black cod.
Vernale’s — 3018 M119, Harbor Springs, 231.242.4777
Vernale’s brings a wine bar/sports bar/chop house trifecta under one roof with three distinct dining spaces and a sprawling menu studded with everything from stuffed meatballs and sautéed perch to dry-aged Wagyu ribeye.
Seventeen — 795 Front St., Bay Harbor Village, 231.347.1717
Named for designer Lou Mettler’s lucky number and exuding Mettler’s rich-textured Americana vibe. Expect deep-hues, leather couches and equestrian/hunter art setting the stage for locally sourced American classics.
- Read a profile on Lou Mettler from Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine
- Read MyNorth’s write-up on Seventeen