Northern Michigan Food & Wine: Our dining guru Tim Tebeau scouted out the best Italian eateries of Northern Michigan. Go ahead, seek amore!
The Homestead, Glen Arbor 231.334.5150
February’s cold press instantly evaporates as you take in the roaring hearth and savory vapors of rabbit ragout and roasted duck at Nonna’s, the epicurean axis of The Homestead in Glen Arbor. Showing his Ligurian heritage with signature small plates like farinata pizzetta, a chickpea crepe with roasted garlic and gorgonzola dolce, chef John Piombo and his three-man crew craft artful, authentic Northern Italian fare from premium local and international ingredients. Initiate your indulgence with an artisan salumi plate or roasted beet salad with housemade burrata and pistachio vinaigrette before diving into airy ricotta gnocchi followed by deep winter delectation of roasted duck breast with poached pear, spiced hazelnuts and arugula. Nonna’s list of liquids is equally enticing with fairly priced artisan bottlings of Amarone, Barolo and Sardinian vermentino. Before the snowy stomp back to your chalet, savor chef John’s Grand Marnier Soufflé followed by a shot of amaro (for digestion, of course). thehomesteadresort.com
4566 West MacFarlane Road, Maple City 231.334.3900
Countryside trattoria near the southeast shore of Glen Lake serving classic piccata and saltimbocca complemented by choice local vino and boutique Italian bottlings. trattoria-funistrada.com
12930 South West Bay Shore Drive, Traverse City 231.922.7795
Watch the wind whorl on West Bay while chowing Chef Mickey’s savory housemade ragouts and sharing a glass of Chianti Classico. tuscanbistrotc.com
1200 West Eleventh Street, Traverse City 231.929.8989
Elevated northern Italian fare like lamb crudo or housemade chestnut cavatelli with pulled duck leg equals foodie bliss when paired with a great bottle from one of the North’s best wine lists. stellatc.com
120 South Park Street, Traverse City 231.421.5912
Downtown TC’s newest Italian eatery offers rich risottos, housemade sausage and classic pastas like linguini with clams. Hit the bar for happy hour.
4341 M-72 East, Williamsburg 231.938.9496
TraVino delivers casual pan-Italian gusto and groovy small plates like roasted mussels with asiago bread crumbs or olive bruschetta. facebook.com
US 131 South, Petoskey 231.347.1440
Villa’s vintage interior sports checked tablecloths, a glass grappa cart and an aggressively priced Italian wine library. Soak up the oeno-treasures with classic Osso Bucco or Bolognese. villaristorante.com