We decided to visit this restaurant on our stopover in Petoskey. We have been driving the entire state of Michigan on this trip, eating at some pretty nice restaurants, and this was the best meal by far.
When we arrived, we were asked "did you happen to call ahead?" which was a little off-putting. We were asked to wait while a table was prepared. Now, this is not a large restaurant...about 16 tables....but it was only a quarter full, and there was never a time during our visit where it was completely full, so I'm not certain why the question. Apparently it is scripted that way as I heard the question repeated each time a patron entered. Perhaps a more friendly greeting could be formulated. Anyway! We were seated in a comfortable booth, albeit next to the door, and greeted by our waitperson Heather. She was helpful, attentive, and professional. Helped my DH choose a glass of wine, and had suggestions when we needed them. Every server should be as good as Heather.
I ordered veal parmigana, which came with spaghetti. I'm not a huge fan of spaghetti as I find it too filling, so I asked what my option were. None. Apparently the chef will not deviate from the stated menu. Gosh, I hate that, and I think it's the height of arrogance on their part. If I am paying for a meal and I don't want that part of it, and you have other food offered, what is the problem with changing the sauce, or giving me something else? So, I had the spaghetti. When my plate arrived, it was beautiful. The veal was some of the best I've ever eaten, and the spaghetti sauce was perfect, meaty and a lot of flavor. There was also one helf of a roasted carrot on my plate which I thought odd, but being a carrot fan, I ate it, and it was good. The entire plate was baked prior to service, which melted all the cheese on top of the veal and pasta to perfection. My mouth waters thinking about it!
My DH ordered a parmeasan crusted halibut, which was also served with the previously mentioned carrot, and potatoes. The halibut was quite thick and came with a lemon sauce which was very flavorful. The fish was lust a little overcooked, so somewhat dry. Good thing the sauce was there. DH also ate half of my veal, which was far better than the fish, IMO.
Neither of us ordered a salad, as they are a la carte and we felt that we would already have plenty of food, which was accurate. The bread that came before our meals were served was quite good, and was served with a strange white bean kind of paste that wasn't unpleasant, nor good. It just was.
Dessert was lovely...my DH loves rice pudding and so chose that. It was warm and creamy, and the rice was the tiniest bit undercooked. I ordered vanilla custard pillows delicately deep fried with chocolate and raspberry sauce. It was delicious, and because the pasta was so filling, I had a tough time enjoying it.
The atmosphere is kind of old world Italian...lots of interesting things on the walls, hanging birds, baskets, Pinnochio, wall art...red table cloths over red and white checked vinyl tablecovers. It wasbusy and comfortable without being cloying, upscale without being snobbish. A nice couples atmosphere.
We really enjoyed the food, and as I said, Heather was great. The total for this meal, with one glass of wine and 2 coctails? $100, but it was truly a $100 experience. The chef needs to lighten up and let patrons have a litle latitude with their order, and the weird bean spread is...weird..(.but they do have oil and also butter if one prefers) and I will definitely return on my next trip to the area.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC