Morels are cropping up in Northern Michigan restaurants come spring. Find the marvelous morels at these premium dining destinations and taste the spectrum of spring’s bounty Up North. Find morels and more in the May 2015 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.



The Depot Club & Restaurant

111 West Bay Street, Harbor Springs 231.242.4233

A vibrant Spring mise en place of Michigan brook trout, morel mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns and piquant wild leeks awaits the flame at The Depot Club and Restaurant in Harbor Springs. Chef Bob Stark, formerly of Andante in Petoskey, leads the culinary charge at this richly appointed supper club beside Harbor Springs’ glittering yacht basin and old money mansions. Stark embraces a seasonal cooking strategy studding his spring menu with tasty temporal creations like pappardelle with ramps, fiddleheads and spring peas in morel cream sauce or a crispy morel pizza with Gruyère, thyme and fresh asparagus. Sautéed morels are also mounded over richly marbled prime steaks or served in a grilled asparagus salad with bleu cheese and tomato vinaigrette. Guests can raid the Depot’s New World wine list or even pre-order rare trophies from the locally housed Fisher wine collection. Open to the public through June 12th, The Depot Club offers annual and seasonal dining memberships.


La Bécasse

9001 South Dunns Farm Road, Maple City 231.334.3944

Few delicacies surpass a fresh morel in the hands of a capable Frenchman, and chef Guillaume Hazaël-Massieux does not disappoint. Expect a classic appetizer of morels in Marsala and cream over toasted rustic bread, or order them heaped on your entrée.

Trattoria Stella

1200 West Eleventh Street, Traverse City 231.929.8989

Stella’s chef Myles treats his morels like truffles, sautéeing them simply with garlic, salt and pepper and serving them over handmade fettucine. Also look for a pig’s head tortelloni in savory morel brodo.


The Rowe Inn

6303 East Jordan Road, Ellsworth 231.588.7351

A hub of morchella madness for over 40 years, The Rowe hosts a morel dinner series with five courses of classic fungi creations 
like mushroom tarts and roast lamb with morels and 
ricotta gnocchi.



12853 US31 North, Charlevoix 231.237.9300

At Esperance the fruit of the forests winds up roasted whole, stuffed with pheasant mousseline and painted with demi-glace, sautéed with a splash of cream over chef Suzanne’s housemade pasta or perhaps accenting a juicy veal chop.


Walloon Lake Inn

4178 West Street, Walloon Lake 231.535.2999

This swankily refurbished restaurant on the shores of Walloon sees chef Michael Sullivan processing mountains of fresh morels and baking them with Madeira, Parmigiano and cream, stuffing them in fresh agnolotti and extracting their earthy charms in a savory mushroom soup.


Towne Plaza

202 East State Street, Traverse City 231.929.0900

Commingling the flavors of spring, Towne Plaza’s chef Chris Hoffman serves morels and fresh asparagus over seared pheasant breast and potato gnocchi or highlights the mushroom’s intrinsic flavor with a deliciously simple sautéed appetizer.


More Morels!

6 Tips for Finding Morels in Northern Michigan

Morels: Why You May Never Be A Certified Wild Mushroom ID’er

Recipe: Morel, Leek and Cashew Risotto


Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski