I recently had the great pleasure of being part of an event at Boathouse Restaurant of Traverse City, Michigan. Traverse City is a small, but culturally rich city that enjoys the shores of Lake Michigan. The Boathouse Restaurant is located on the water, with over 300 feet of frontage, and limitless lake views. It is gorgeous. But there’s more to the Boathouse than meets the eye.
Boathouse strives to offer their guests the best, freshest, most local ingredients possible. The owners grow many of the restaurant’s vegetables, fruits and herbs themselves. The restaurant also features many local wines, as Traverse City is the wine capital of the Midwest (as well as the cherry capital of the world).
My first visit to Boathouse was for a special Farm to Table Event, in honor of Bakers Green Acres. A local farm family, the Bakers, were invited to dinner. The family provided the ingredients, and the chef transformed them into a gourmet four-course meal for us.
We enjoyed family style seating at tables while Chef Eric Nittolo introduced us to the family of honor and the themes of the event. The farmer himself then took the floor and told us how the chickens and hogs of which we were about to partake, were raised. It was an education!
We started our learning experience with what was probably the most delicious salad I’ve ever enjoyed: an apple beet salad, with local mixed greens, local apples, and epoisses cheese. It was a work of art.
The next course was potato-wrapped chicken, with asparagus risotto and a morel cream sauce. This was followed by the main entrée: Mangalista hog schnitzel, breaded and fried, and served with beet spätzle, capers, grilled lemons, and a lemon buerre blanc.
And lastly, we were treated to a local ice cream topped with candied pecans, which somehow worked wonderfully with the recommended local wine: Left Foot Charley.
As you can probably infer, it was much more than a meal, and reminded me of the sense of community that used to surround mealtime, and could, with just a little effort, surround mealtime again. We were not in a hurry, we enjoyed one another’s company, and we knew what we were eating, and who was responsible for bringing it to the table. It was a yogic experience, and I recommend it to everyone. Visit the Boathouse Restaurant, or create your own Farm to Table event. Then sit back, and enjoy.
Author: Robin Merrill is a freelance writer who can often be found blogging for uBaby.