We duck into some of the North’s best spots to grab exquisite eats for your picnic basket (or whenever you’re on the run). These are the gourmet restaurants where we’re dining this month.
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Raduno | 545 E. Eighth St., Traverse City | 231.421.1218
In one half of Raduno’s gleaming open kitchen, Janene Silverman supervises a humming steel pasta machine extruding tender ribbons of fresh pappardelle while baguette loaves are proofed for the oven. Behind her, fellow co-owner Paul Carlson stirs a fragrant pot of lamb ragu while resident butcher Andrea Deibler poaches cinnamon-and-paprika-scented blood sausages and adds butter daubs to a silky mousse of chicken livers, mirepoix and rosemary. As the day’s next batch of delectables are in processus, a queue of patrons stand before spotless glass cases assembling their meals of slow-roasted porchetta, house-smoked trout or freshly made merguez sausage. There are platters of grilled summer vegetables, chickpea salad with olives, feta and pepperoncini or nests of handmade pasta ready to cook. Anyone without the restraint to wait can order a banh mi with country pâté and pickled vegetables, a savory tart, or sit down to a butcher’s lunch of sausages, kraut, pâté and accoutrements. (Take a look at the menu.)
Andrea Deibler, Butcher/Co-Owner, Raduno
Kansas City native Andrea Deibler developed an appreciation of whole animal butchery and charcuterie-making in culinary school and while working Chicago kitchens at Motto and Hop Leaf. Andrea moved to Traverse City in 2014, where she met chefs Paul Carlson and Janene Silverman, with whom she partnered to launch Raduno this summer. We sit down with Andrea to talk sausage strategy and plan a perfect September picnic.
Your butchery program is a big part of Raduno, how does it work?
Well, it starts with my passion for using whole animals in thoughtful ways to make delicious food. Right now, we’re getting whole pigs every couple weeks from Hampel Farms in Mesick. Much of the meat, fat and odd bits are ground for our sausages and pâté, and we’re brining the loins and wrapping them in the bellies to make porchetta. Whole local lambs will start arriving this month, and we’re gearing up our smoker to do whole chickens, ducks, trout and smoked sausages.
Speaking of sausage, what separates great sausages like these from, well, everything else?
Number one is the animal sourcing. By buying a whole pastured animal I get all the jowl and back fat, which lend the best flavor and texture to the sausages. Quality spices are also crucial. We buy high-quality whole spices and grind them fresh for every batch.
Is there an all-star sausage in the case?
The blood sausage has been a big hit, and I’m having to make it constantly. I’m making it in a northern European style with pork, pork jowl, cinnamon and paprika.
Assuming sausage, what else should go in a Raduno September picnic basket?
Hmm. If I were headed to the lake I’d grab a couple of fresh baguettes, a couple of pâtés, some of our late summer grilled marinated vegetables, farro and kale salad with roasted vegetables and a tin of Spanish tuna marinated in olive oil.
On The Road: Gourmet Restaurants in Northern Michigan
En route to the lake or a late summer hike, stock up on gourmet picnic provisions at these delis and specialty retail shops.
Ziatun Cafe | 329 E. State St., Traverse City | 231.620.9686
Fragrant Lebanese shawarma wraps fold marinated meats, garlicky aioli and pickled vegetables in fresh pita.
Cellar 152 | 152 River St., Elk Rapids | 231.264.9000
Cuban roasted pork or smoked salmon pâté, vinegar sauce slaw and kale and white bean salad fill cases at Elk Rapids’ food and wine emporium. (They also make a mean chicken pot pie. And we got you the recipe.)
Esperance | 12853 US31 North, Charlevoix | 231.237.9300
Stock your hamper with crostini, roasted red pepper and quinoa dip, ash-ripened goat cheese, prosciutto and artisan salumis.
Lake Street Market | 306 S. Lake St., Boyne City | 231.582.4450
Lake Street Market crafts signature sandwiches like The Aronoff Group, along with fresh caprese or redskin potato, olive and mustard salads. (Try their famous pecan bar recipe.)
Small Batch | 117 W. Main St., Harbor Springs | 231.242.4655
Airy quiches, addictive almond chicken salad and an array of artful pastries and Bundt cakes that may inspire dessert for lunch. (Following the pecan trend, Small Batch makes an unbelievably delicious chocolate bourbon pecan pie. Here’s the recipe.)
Traverse food and drinks editor Tim Tebeau writes from Petoskey. [email protected]