Northern Michigan Restaurants: Summer vacays call for evenings with great friends and fabulous meats at intimate Up North eateries. Order up your favorite cut.

Douglas Lake Bar & Steakhouse

7314 Douglas Lake Rd., Pellston 231.539.8588

Polished pine paneling, giant fieldstone fireplaces and the unmistakably succulent effusion of hand-cut steaks caramelizing over open flame means you’ve stepped into the friendly environs of The Douglas Lake Bar and Steakhouse. With a panoramic view of the wilderness shoreline and an infectious vibe of vintage resort culture and embedded northern machismo, the DLB—as locals know it—is where appetites and rustic haute cuisine converge at the tip of the Mitt. Sought out for their magnificently marbled steaks like the signature DLB Steak au Poivre, a peppercorn encrusted filet anointed with cognac Dijon cream sauce, the Douglas Lake Bar also serves up fresh Great Lakes fish and crisp steakhouse salads. The wine list boasts local whites, iconic California cabernets and Oregon pinot noir along with a few creative Old World selections. Take up your steak knife and read on for a midsummer carnivore’s tour of the North.

The Round-Up

Top flight meats and casual resort atmospheres. Perfect endings to days of sun with your posse.

The Glenwood 4604 Main Street, Onekama 231.889.3734

Devour your porterhouse with an eyeful of Onekama’s azure Portage Bay at this 1920’s resort where big steaks and bigger martinis conspire to collective happiness.

Boone’s Long Lake Inn 7208 Secor Road Traverse City 231.946.3991

The whole bull gives itself happily to the capable grill soldiers at Boone’s, who will deliver unto you filets, porterhouses, T-bones, 18-ounce strips and as much prime rib as your inner wolf can handle.

Shanahan’s Prime 9600 Club House Drive, Charlevoix 231.547.9796

Newly opened in the Charlevoix Country Club, Shanahan’s delivers à la carte prime, aged steaks with rich accoutrements like lobster mac and cheese, daily risottos and fresh asparagus.

Mode’s Bum Steer 125 East State Street, Traverse City 231.947.9832

The archetypal vintage steakhouse, Mode’s will hook up your meat hunger with an iceberg wedge, a massively loaded baked potato and expertly grilled Black Angus bounty of the cut and magnitude of your choosing. Fabulous lamb for the non-beef inclined.

Foodie File

Wes Garrett  Chef, Douglas Lake Bar & Steakhouse, Pellston

Cheboygan native Wes Garrett caught the cooking fever at 15 and has pursued his passion as an apprentice chef around the kitchens of the North. Garrett landed at the bucolic Douglas Lake Bar and Steakhouse in 2006, where he has perfected his prime Angus voodoo to the delight of all Northern carnivores. We let Wes wax poetic about aging, seasoning and grilling the perfect piece of meat.

Dry versus wet aging, what do you prefer?

Dry aging requires a controlled environment and gives a very intense beef flavor, which can be too much for some people. I buy the best prime and choice grade cuts I can find and wet age (refrigerate) for about six weeks; this breaks down the proteins and muscle tissue and gives the steak great flavor and tenderness.

What’s the Wes Garrett method for perfect beef on the barbi?

The first step is to bring the steak up to room temperature for 15–20 minutes to ensure even cooking. Make sure your grill is as hot as possible for a proper sear. I like to season with a generous amount of either Montreal steak seasoning or coarse sea salt and black pepper just before the steaks hit the flame. For a perfect medium steak look to cook it about 7 minutes on the first side and 3 to 4 minutes on the flip side. It’s very important not to turn your steak more than once.

This was a feature in the July 2012 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine, to order a copy click here!