Presiding over an international empire of restaurants and gourmet food emporiums, chef, entrepreneur, cookbook author and celebrity gastronome Mario Batali is a fixture of contemporary food culture. On any given day Mario could be signing books in SoHo, rolling gnocchi on network television or enjoying a pint and a pizza al fresco in Northport where he summers with his family. Here are 6 of Batali’s Northern Michigan food finds.

Date and Fennel Loaf with Sea Salt

Pleasanton Bakery | 811 Cottageview Drive, Traverse City | 231.941.1964

The wood-fired infernos at Pleasanton Bakery birth this sublimely crusty boule of sweet dates, fennel seeds and briny sea salt.

Pastrami Sandwich

Frenchies Famous | 619 Randolph Street, Traverse City | 231.944.1228

French Clements expertly brines and peppers his briskets to craft inappropriately good pastrami that gets stacked on salty focaccia with melty cheese and honey mustard.

Olive Burger

Little Bohemia Pub & Grille | 540 West Front Street, Traverse City | 231.946.6925

Even Mario can’t resist Little Bohemia’s two-handed patty ground fresh at Burritt’s and heaped with melted Swiss and a salty green olive and mayo mixture.

Plevalean Burger

Pleva’s Butcher Shop | 8974 South Kasson Street, Cedar | 231.228.5000

Pioneered here, this deliciously healthy grind of 91% lean beef and local tart cherries finds its way into meatballs and burgers across the land. (Also available at Oleson’s grocery stores.)

Peterson Park Ale

Northport Brewing | 112 West Naganoba Street, Northport | 231.386.1101

A popular pint at Northport Brewing, the Peterson Park Ale is refreshingly balanced with citrus notes and a judiciously hopped finish.

Mille Brut 2005

L. Mawby | 4519 Elm Valley Road, Suttons Bay | 231.271.3522

Dubbed the ‘Mature Matron,’ by local fizz wizard Larry Mawby, this vintage blanc de blancs bubbly is aged en tirage for seven years to accrue complex yeast notes and terrific texture.

Check out this MyNorth Video: Fabulous Food Finds in Traverse City!

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Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski