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Oct 6, 2010 03:08 PM

TraverseCity/Petoskey greater area--Gourmet dining/winery

The two of us are planning a special week away--first time in years--with good food and wine part of the goal. We're going next week, middle of October. Can anybody recommend few places that would REALLY be worth the money? They don't all have to be fancy, though fancy is nice. We're there for a week so will probably want something down home, but really good, some of the time. I just don't want to walk away feeling I wasted precious time eating something blah.

Thanks so much.

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  1. If you search "Traverse City" at the top of this page, it will show a number of relevant threads.

    I don't want to get flamed, but have to make the observation that I don't think Traverse City has any gourmet restaurants.

    My wife and me are going up this weekend and have chosen the Soul Hole, Bubba's, Agave Mexican Grill, Don's Drive In, and maybe, Apache Trout Grill as our dining spots. I would suspect, our list is mid-scale or less.

    Apache Trout Grill
    13671 S West Bay Shore Dr, Traverse City, MI 49684

    Agave Mexican Grill
    851 S Garfield Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686

    1. We were in Traverse City this summer and ate twice at Poppycocks, and enjoyed it much. Good selection of vegetarian dishes, interesting specials, good selection of Michigan microbrews on tap and good selection of wines. Moderately priced. I would also recommend Cousin Jenny's for the pasties (you read that right, not pastries), and the Grand Traverse Pie Co.

      Grand Traverse Pie
      3549 Lookout Pt, Traverse City, MI 49686

      1. I would suggest the Boathouse on Mission Pennisala! great wine list the food was wonderfull! and if the weather is nice it overlooks the marina. Go to a few wineries late afternoon and dinner. It is also openen for lunch

        2 Replies
        1. re: cfisch

          Would second this. Had a great meal and great service when I took my wife up north for her birthday.

          1. re: cfisch

            We ate at the Boathouse a few nights ago. The setting was indeed lovely, on the outdoor deck as well as in the dining room. The food was reasonably good, although not quite at the "wonderful" level (a bit too heavy/greasy). I posted a detailed report in the big Traverse City discussion at

          2. Be sure to stop at Blackstar Farms ... had a 2008 Arcturos Cabernet Franc that was impressive, and their raclette cheese is also amazingly good. Being originally from Michigan, it was a really pleasant surprise -- and I know Blackstar has a cafe that may be open for lunch. Haven't tried it, though.

            Also, Food and Wine recently did a story about the area and mentioned some restaurants. Cook's House sounds interesting. This might help:

            Cook's House
            439 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

            3 Replies
            1. re: ava975

              Ava, which Black Star location are you referring to? We were at the vineyard/tasting room on Old Mission Penninsula Monday and there was no cafe at that location. As a matter of fact we had to ask for crackers during the tasting there. They weren't offered.

              1. re: RedTop

                It was the suttons bay farm/inn location for Black Star, but Old Mission was lovely too on a smaller scale. Everyone is so friendly and talkative. We ended up holding an event here and they were extremely accommodating.

                Interestingly, there are some rules about what can be sold from the different peninsulas if a winery has more than one tasting room. I think you won't always find the same wines between the black star rooms.

              2. re: ava975

                I dined at Cooks' House last month. Reservations are a must. It is adorable or pretentious, depending on your point of view. Every time you take a sip from your water glass, there is a young staffer standing by to refill. Expect small servings and a large bill. Not the sort of place one can order something so ordinary as a steak or lamb chops. Chefs have own cookbook. Tasting menu with wine pairings available. Allow two hours for dinner.

              3. Cook's House, without question. Just wonderful food from local purveyors and a soulful and committed chef. They've moved from their original location but you can find them on the web.

                Cook's House
                439 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

                2 Replies
                1. re: berkleybabe

                  Enjoyed fabulous lunch at Cook's House this week.

                  More difficult to get a table now that Mario Batali talked it up in recent issue of 'Bon Appetit' magazine.

                  (He also called the Black Star Farms Arcturos Cabernet Franc, mentioned in a previous post, "the best Michigan wine ever,")

                  Cook's House
                  439 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

                  1. re: juliapreseau

                    Cooks house catered our wedding recently -- couldn't have asked for a better meal and got many compliments from our guests about ours being the only wedding where they wanted seconds! So glad we booked them pre-Batali :). also their cookbook is wonderfully written and a good read aside from recipes. Obviously can't praise them enough!