Rewarding the restaurants that source locally
Published: December 5, 2012
Tallulah 155 S. Bates St., Birmingham; 248-731-7066; tallulahwine.com; $$$: Owner Mindy Vanhellemont and her chef Jake Abraham pay as much attention to the kitchen as they do the cellar, with a creative menu of about a dozen appetizers averaging around $10 and eight or so mains, most of which are in the $15-$20 range. They are oriented around not only fresh produce but a locavore approach that leads them, for example, to an Amish farm in Indiana for their chicken, to Yoder farms in Michigan for their pork and to our justly celebrated Avalon Bakery for their crusty mini-baguettes. The wines, of course, come from farther afield, but a good number, in line with Tallulah's philosophy, are organically or sustainably farmed.
Woodbridge Pub 5169 Trumbull St., Detroit; 313-833-2701: Woodbridge Pub was already a success before it announced it was going seasonal a few years ago. And the selections sound rich and creative. The lunch menu includes a mushroom ragout small plate, a butternut squash soup, a white bean and kale salad, a duck egg Caesar salad — with duck eggs from Suzanne Scoville's Laid in Detroit east side duck farm. The dinner menu offers bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, toasted pumpkin ravioli, baked macaroni and cheese and much more. All menus include vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices.
Zingerman's Roadhouse 2501 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3663 (FOOD); zingermansroadhouse.com; $: Earlier this year, we gave this joint the nod as for Best Locavore Cuisine, and chef Alex Young earned the award big-time. You can't get much more local than sourcing from eight miles away on your own farm. Young's Cornman Farms grows 27 vegetables for the Roadhouse in scores of varieties, including many heirlooms, and raises old breeds of hogs and cattle for diners' barbecue glee. He says varieties are chosen for their suitability to the Michigan climate, bragging that, in the summer, vegetables are served just hours after they're picked.
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