At Fustini’s tasting room in Traverse City, the scene is like a cocktail party—people mingling, crossing paths, taking sips of the newest ambrosial concoction. Lane and Jim Milligan opened their classy downtown Traverse City store to the unexpected joy of home chefs and those just wanting to be better cooks. Their 35 sweet-buttery, full-bodied extra-virgin olive oils—some infused with the likes of basil, porcini mushrooms or blood oranges—can be used with magical results, especially when paired with their balsamic vinegars.

The Meyer lemon oil and 18-year balsamic wakes up the flavor in out-of-season tomatoes, the chipotle olive oil is amazing drizzled over sausage-stuffed acorn squash. Here is a great recipe for Brussels sprouts lovers using blood orange olive oil (that we think will make a sprout convert out of anyone).

Read on for an interview with gourmet cook and Fustini’s owner Lane Milligan.

Fustini’s is at 141 E. Front St., Traverse City, 231-944-1145,

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski