Now that summer vacation is here, I feel like it's time to sample, play, and experiment again.
This post goes to show what one week of freedom can do for a person.
Last weekend my husband and I drove to Traverse City, Michigan for our anniversary. Thanks to people like Mario Batali, this city has been put on the map as a foodie destination. While we were there, we ate at a Batali-recommended restaurant called The Cooks' House, which feels much like the name describes. It is an intimate space that gives you the impression of having dinner at a friends' house rather than a restaurant, with seating for about 25 people. The food is locally-sourced and embraces the seasons, with a blackboard in the dining room displaying the names of the purveyors they patronize.
If I'm being completely honest though, most of the dishes we actually ordered at The Cooks' House did not bowl me over. The salad I ordered tasted like I just walked into the woods and started eating
|Dinner at The Cooks' House: They spoiled us with their amuse bouche|
While I wasn't a fan of most of our meal, what I thought The Cooks' House did amazingly well was the little amuse bouche they bring between courses. Their after dinner amuse bouche was a variety of little nibbles, but the one thing that I went gaga over was the kettle corn with ground fennel. I loved it so much that our waiter graciously brought me over a second helping.
So if I could offer The Cooks' House one suggestion, it would be to put more of the little bites on their menu and don't focus so much on the heavy meat dishes and flavorless salads.
Upon our return home from our anniversary weekend, my husband and I needed to go grocery shopping, but with barely any food in the house, we decided to eat out for lunch. We drove to downtown Ann Arbor since it's near the Whole Foods where we shop, and we ate a place called the
|Pho and ginger tea streetside at Ginger Deli in Ann Arbor|
Having finally tried it, I now understand why it has such a cult-like discipleship. The broth! That magical broth! I don't know how to describe the beautiful balance of sweet and savory in a beef broth, but boy will I be seeking out more opportunities to have pho in the future.
Last night my husband and I decided to try a new restaurant in Ypsilanti called the Bona Sera Cafe. They used to be an underground supper club and turned into a brick and mortar restaurant. Overall, the experience was really positive. They have a great, funky atmosphere, as evidenced by the Elvis lamp that greets you when you walk in the door. Incidentally, the electricity went out midway through our first course, and despite this huge setback, the kitchen and waitstaff rallied and were still able to provide patrons food service.
While my husband and I weren't in love with our main entrees -- he ordered the crab mac and cheese and I ordered something called the bi bada bing, which is an Italian riff on a traditional Korean dish -- what I absolutely fell head over heels in love with was my salad and dessert.
|Bona Sera Cafe: Fun and funky, with good food|
But let's not forget dessert. I ordered the lime tres leches cake. I am someone who will order anything on a menu if it has lime or lemon in it. I am not usually a fan of rich, heavy chocolate desserts. But I will order something light and citrusy. And the tres leches cake was everything I love in a dessert: light, citrusy, and slightly sinful. You know a tres leches cake is good when the "leche" seeps out the bottom.
Since the Bona Sera Cafe has such a fun, funky vibe and chefs who are passionate about food, I look forward to trying it again to see what their menu is like in the fall/winter. I think if they tweak a few things, they will be a hot spot in the Ann Arbor area.