One thing about our trips to Michigan, we are never hungry. The restaurants and food choices are eclectic and interesting, cherries and whitefish can be found in many foods and you can dine as upscale or casual and you want. Thanks to Tripadvisor, we found a hidden gem in Muskegon, MI on our way to Traverse City. Mia & Grace is on our short list of new favorite places to eat. Located in downtown Muskegon, it could easily be passed over, but I am so glad we found it.
We went early because I read that the restaurant was small and that there could easily be a wait for a table. We got right in and actually had a lovely table around the corner near the kitchen doors. I loved it because I could watch all the foods coming out of the kitchen.
The menu is posted behind the counter on brown craft paper along with a list of their local food sources. Specials change according to what is available and they prepare limited amounts of some items, so when they are gone...they are gone.
They even make their own sodas. My husband loves cream soda, so he ordered one and was so surprised to see it was actually made with real cream and vanilla beans. It was delicious, like dessert in a glass. I had read that we needed to try as many things as possible, so we each ordered an appetizer.
These are pictures from my phone (my camera was at the hotel) so they aren't perfect. My appetizer was heavenly. Dates stuffed with a mixture of blue and cream cheeses and topped with a candied pecan...drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
My husband ordered the homemade pretzel with housemade mustard...oh my goodness, it just doesn't get better than this. I could have made it my entire meal!
Our service was impeccable. Our server suggested two of their evening specials and we just allowed him to choose for us. My husband had the Pork Pie with Duck Fat Crust and fall seasoning. It sounds really strange, cinnamon, nutmeg...duck fat! It was so good. He loved it. I had Housemade Italian Sausage with Pici Noodles and Ricotta. I realize the sausage isn't all that pretty in the picture, but it was perfectly tender and lightly seasoned. I couldn't eat it all, but I certainly enjoyed every bite. They also had wonderful desserts, but we couldn't eat another bite. Mia & Grace is one of those places that I will think about until I get there again and we will plan a stop on our next trip north.
Of course we had a few other delicious treats while we were gone. In Traverse City, we love to stop for lunch at the Green House Cafe. They have an excellent selection of homemade soups and my husband loves the BLT with Egg Salad. My choice of the day was the Cream of Mushroom.
We returned to a favorite spot from our last trip, Soul Hole in Traverse City. My husband had the Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Shrimp and Crawfish and I had a Fried Green Tomato BLT that was large enough to share.
We finally found time to visit The Jolly Pumpkin in Traverse City for lunch. We loved it. It has a pub atmosphere, is also a brewery and the food was interesting and delicious.
When you sit down they bring you homemade potato chips with a delicious dipping sauce. Of course I had to try one of their wonderful beers. My husband ordered the Bison Sloppy Joe. He said it was really good and had a different taste than beef. He couldn't force me to taste Bison...but, he was happy!
I ordered the Wild Mushroom Pizza with crimini and portobella mushrooms, roasted tomato sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and truffle oil. It was the best pizza I've ever eaten and was so good that I took the rest back to the hotel and had it for dinner.
We shared the Pumpkin Creme Brulee with toasted pecans and pumpkin seeds for dessert. I have only one word...purrrrrrrr!
What I love about Michigan dining is that the prices are truly reasonable for the quality of the food. Most restaurants use local ingredients and you can have a gourmet meal without changing from your jeans and hiking boots. I've made myself hungry looking at the pictures and I can't wait to go back!