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May 23, 2013 06:36 PM

Anything new up north (Charlevoix, Petoskey, Indian River)? v 2013

Never been! We'll be hopping around from friends and family homes in Charlevoix to Petoskey and finally Sunday night in Indian River. With the weather looking dismal, there should be plenty of time to explore a few restaurants. So far I have:

- American Spoon cafe and Pallette, both in Petoskey
- Roquette Burger Bistro, Charlevoix

Help appreciated!

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  1. A little tip for Palette: try not to sit in the outdoor patio. Every time I've done so, I've had terrible service. I couldn't figure out why all of my friends liked Palette, it was that bad. Now I sit inside, and the servers are great. Not sure why, but it's worked for me.

    Next door to Palette is Twisted Olive. They are open breakfast-dinner but have a limited menu between 3-5.

    Galley Gourmet in Bay Harbor, between Charlevoix and Petoskey, is a nice stop to grab supplies for a picnic lunch at nearby East Park or for a casual pasta dinner.

    I was initially excited at the opening of American Spoon Cafe under new management but, after a couple of visits, I think the food is just okay. The menu sounds great but the execution has been disappointing. Very cute place and comfortable atmosphere though.

    In Indian River the only thing I can think to recommend is maybe pizza at Vivio's. If you do go, ask for an order of their dinner rolls.

    6 Replies
    1. re: tokyo


      Thank you for the great response! Is Palette better than Twisted Olive? Bummed to hear that American Spoon didn't live up to expectations -- the menu and pictures of their Facebook page had me really excited to try it.

      Anything in Charlevoix? There's a deli called Gurney's in Harbor Springs, is it that great?

      1. re: sye1993

        Hmm, Palette vs. Twisted Olive... that's a tough call for me. Twisted Olive is smaller, with an open prep area, so there's more of a bustling vibe. It also fills up quickly, making wait times long on weekends. The restaurants are side by side with the same view, so you could pop in to both, check their menus, and make your decision from there.

        I like Gurney's sandwiches. I would describe them as the best version of a working man's sandwich, nothing fancy. It's really a wine shop with a sandwich counter, no seating, cash only. Strictly a quick carry-out operation, so if you're wanting to spend your day outdoors or on the go, that is a good option in Harbor Springs. My favorite: the trainwreck on pumpernickel with lettuce, onions, mild peppers, and deli sauce. ;)

        I don't venture to Charlevoix very often, I'll let others weigh in. I've been curious about Roquette, tried to go once but they were closed. Please report back if you make it!

        Regarding American Spoon Cafe, I'm curious if others have had experiences that lived up to the menu and, if so, what they've ordered. I really want to like that place!

        1. re: tokyo

          I have to totally disagree about American Spoon. We've only been for lunch but the food was outstanding and the service was very good. Our family has been there for dinner and just raves about it.

          1. re: Elyssa

            It's possible that growing pains are what I've experienced with the new format at Amercian Spoon. By my third visit last summer, when our server left her shift without telling us or turning our table over, there were just too many marks against it.

            That being said, I decided to stop in for lunch today to give it another try. While it's still not at the top of my list, I really do appreciate the quality of ingredients they're using and that they feature in-season produce (when possible).

            We ordered the asparagus, ramp, and pea panzanella salad to start. It was by far the freshest salad I've had in the area. So here's where they lose me: it was so rich I couldn't finish it. Heavily salted croutons combined with feta and the white balsamic dressing started out delicious but became too rich too quick- for me.

            My comapanion and I then split the burger with house-made chips and it was the same problem: great, fresh components, but ultimately I feel like the seasoning overwhelms the food. The sandwich more closely resembled the flavor of meatloaf than I like in a burger. The chips were so lovely! Light, paper-thin, they almost melt in your mouth. But they were so over salted, again I couldn't finish them.

            As we were wrapping up, a woman at the table next to us exclaimed regarding her chicken salad "This is amazing!" So, there you have it! To each his own. :) Like I said, I want to like this place and I want others to like it, too. So, go! You just might!

            1. re: Elyssa

              I want to second the motion for American Spoon. We're only in town for two days, we ate lunch there today and were blown away. I had the lake trout sandwich, DH the porkstrami, both were outstanding. I'm only sorry they're not open for dinner, or we'd be going back tonight.

        2. re: tokyo

          Had dinner at Twisted Olive last week. Food was good, if uneven. Service was . . . odd. Very pushy sommelier. When my partner selected a glass of a specific Cote de Rhone, he received a (small) pour from a decanter, not the bottle.
          For those prices, everything should have been better.

        3. Definitely go to American Spoon---lunch is especially good there. I have no idea what they put in their sandwiches but it's insanely delicious!

          Also in Petoskey Chandlers is good. Roast and Toast for coffee/breakfast and you have to stop by Jesperson's for some pie.

          And don't forget to stop by McLean and Eakin while in Petoskey. It is my favorite bookstore in the whole country!

          In Charlevoix we really like Terry's. You can get amazing white fish specials there in a laid-back environment. A really nice evening out and probably one of the best restaurants around there.

          There was also a nice restaurant in Bay Harbor when we were up there a year ago. I forget the name but they had great vegetarian dishes and a lovely view of the water.

          1. If you are going to be in Indian River in the morning I'll recommend Paula's Cafe for breakfast; I had some outstanding roast beef hash there one morning. I believe they are breakfast & lunch only. They don't have a web page (it's extremely Mom & Pop) but here is the Yahoo page:

            1. Highly annoyed - American Spoon in TC no longer has their marvelous gelato and sorbetto. That crabapple sorbetto was one of my favorite things on this Earth (along with their crabapple butter). WHY? Cost and revenue related, of course, but dammit WHY?

              Carlson's smoked whitefish remains solid. Husband and I did a hotel room dinner entirely of great cheese, wine and Carlson's smoked fish from Burritt's in TC.