It’s been about 3 months since my parents permanently moved up north, and I decided it was high time to visit them. One of the shared interests we have is food, and so they took me to Traverse City where they had discovered a cute, little restaurant – The Cooks’ House.
The restaurant is basically a converted home. It seats maybe 20 people, and most of their menu is also available in their tasting menu. The tasting menu (at the time we went) was comprised of 5 courses or 7 courses (primary difference was 7 courses gets both entrees, and also an artisan cheese plate).
When we arrived we were given an amuse-bouche of cauliflower foam and crostini. The foam was over something, but I can’t remember what. It was very tasty and light, a great palate cleanser.
The 7 course tasting menu was as follows:
Rutabega Soup – Date & Chili Chutney – Smoked Paprika Oil
Wine: Black Star Farms, Acturos Dry Riesling
I’ve only had rutabega once. I made it. I roasted it. It was difficult to work with, but it definitely has a very unique flavor. The soup was definitively rutabega, but it wasn’t overwhelming. The chutney gave a nice slightly sweet contrast to the mildly bitter rutabega. The paprika oil was in fact very smokey, and it really pulled all the flavors together.
Savory Squash Creme Brule Bhel Puri
Wine: Brys Estate, “naked’ Chardonnay
I have never had a savory creme brulé. This was fantastic. It was definitely Indian flavors abound, but everything was great. Contrast of texture, contrast of flavor. The whole thing was definitely one of my favorite dishes on the tasting menu.
Striped Bass -poached-, Dashi, Noodles, Bok Choy, Miso
Wine: Verterra Pinot BLanc
The fish entree was very light. I admittedly liked the sauce and noodles that accompanied it more than the fish itself. It was cooked well, but I felt like it didn’t quite pop out at me.
Braised Beef Cheek, Bone Marrow, Mash Potatoes, Shallots
Wine: Stark Conde, Cabernet
The beef was so tender. The sauce was delicious. A pretty standard steak and potatoes dish aside from the cut of beef and how amazingly tender it was.
Turnip, Roasted Squash, Focaccia Bread, Brown Butter, Maple Syrup
This was a very weird dish. I don’t remember much about it, it was sweet. I’m sure it was good, but I was still in the afterglow of the beef cheek.
Artisan Cheese Plate, Honeycomb, Preserves
Wine: Sichel, Sauternes
Cheese is great. I’ve never had a honeycomb on a cheese board before so that was great. Overall the cheese selection was a great contrast.
Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake, Hazelnuts
Wine: Noval, 10 year Tawny Port
So, this chocolate pudding cake was dark chocolate. I’ve not had many hazelnuts before so that was a new flavor for me. A good dessert though I had to have my parents help me finish!
The meal was perfectly filling. I didn’t feel stuffed, but I definitely was full. At the end we even got some chocolates and shortbread with the check! You may have noticed I didn’t comment on the wines. It’s because I’m not that discerning of wines. They all paired well and tasted good! That’s about all I got.
After dinner I went across the street to check out the “food court” area and random yurt that was there. It was an interesting building in the middle of the city.
It was a lovely visit with my parents. It’s funny that I feel like I’m going to see them more now that they live 3.5 hours away, rather than when they were 20 min away. It’s not a bad thing though I wish we had maybe met for dinner once a week when they were closer. I hope to see them soon. Here’s a woodpecker that was hanging out in the morning before I left!~