We’re glad to be adding two new restaurants to our list of representatives of Great Lakes Cuisine, and both just happen to be in Michigan.
Mia & Grace is located in Muskegon, opened by two transplants from the Houston area, who moved to be close to family upon the birth of their daughter. Chefs Jeremy and Jamie Paquin took a chance by opening a small bistro in the downtown Muskegon area and focusing on farm-to-table cuisine, but the accolades they have received more than confirms their vision. The cuisine on their ever-changing menu does range across a variety of ethnic and regional styles, but enough of the offerings reflect the local ethnic traditions to warrant inclusion (Mia & Grace – Food Menu – Sandwiches). The representative dish we’ve chosen is the Beef Tongue Schnitzel, a traditional German approach adapted to an oft-neglected cut of beef. Pair it with the Apple-Fennel Cole Slaw and the Bacon & Shallot Potato Salad and you have a stunning update on a number of German classics all on one plate. The inclusion of house-made sausages on the menu, including a gourmet hot dog, along with house-made pretzels and meat pies further provides ethno-culinary echoes that are a hallmark of Great Lakes Cuisine. The relaxed atmosphere, local ingredients, and unpretentious presentation all fall in line with our definition as well.
Our next Michigan inclusion is not a restaurant, but a chef. Chef Steven Grostick is responsible for creating and preparing foods for The Produce Station in Ann Arbor. Formerly the chef at Toasted Oak, the video series Great Lakes – Great Tastes featured an interview with him then, which we include here because of the obvious passion he exhibits in talking about his culinary vision. He has continued to feature his house-made Kielbasa at The Produce Station as well as a rotating selection of other charcuterie. He worked for many years with Chef Brian Polcyn at the former Five Lakes Grill, during the time Chef Polcyn was working on the recipes for his well-respected book Charcuterie: The Art and Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing. The representative dish is Chef Grostick’s famous house-made kielbasa, which he serves off the grill on a pretzel roll, with a sauté of peppers and onions, and a caraway beer mustard. Simple, good food and another excellent example of Great Lakes Cuisine.