Monday, August 20, 2007

Seeking anniversary food Up North

Right up until 7 pm we didn't have a plan for an anniversary dinner. The food horizon here at the Tip of the Mitt is pretty flat. We adore the pizza at Vivio's (best ever) but as we do that about every other week, it's not a special occasion trip. I'm kinda over the fried fish thing, plus I've perfected doing it at home now and we've been getting some really good fresh trout, so not much incentive. Everyplace else is pretty much the same. We were stumped until Bob suddenly suggested going to The Pier in Harbor Springs, someplace we hadn't been since the first year we spent together up here, 11 years ago when he was still trying to impress me.

It scored A+ overall. Even the 30 mile trip over there didn't seem too bad, except for my stomach growling. Harbor Springs is gorgeous in small doses - very heavy on the upscale cute thing - and especially in the late evening light with all the big expensive boats snuggled up to the street side harbor. Big crowd at The Pier, but we put out name on the list and settled in for a 45 minute wait at the bar where we found bench seating and snagged a slightly pouty waitress (OK, she was a C-) for drinks. I had my recent summer regular which has become gin and tonic but because of the ambiance, naturally asked for Bombay. Bob drank Killians Red so as not to have to prolong the discussion of dark beer options with she-who-must-not-be-aggravated-if-you-want-a-drink-sometime-tonight.

The older GQ guy with the pink pants and the Ralph Lauren blue sweater and his Botoxed wife who sat next to us had this yummy gooey looking shrimp thing so I asked the she-who if we could pleeeeeeease have one too (8:30 and no food yet). It was "Shrimpcargot" served in an escargot dish (bought on sale from a more uppity restaurant?), served with a little escargot fork, and totally yummy. Then we had patience for looking around the room and reveled in how well we fit in with the white collar "locals" here and at the same time have no problem hanging out at the local blue collar bar back in Topinabee.

Finally gave up on a table and had dinner at the bar. My morel crusted whitefish with spaghetti squash and mashed potatoes was perfect (and I say that rarely) due to crunchy topping (morels, really??) and steaming hot and sweet white fish interior. And Bob's veal scallopine was done exactly right as well, lightly crusty and with red cabbage on the side. It was all so not Northern Michigan cuisine. In fact, the whole adventure almost met Dallas culinery levels......maybe exceded even if we are giving points for scenery.