Food Traveler Magazine Winter 2016 - Page 72

Coastal Cuisine Traverse City A Culinary Wonderland in Michigan’s “True North” Set at the edge of a beautiful freshwater bay, Traverse City is northern Michigan’s outdoor recreation capital. Lately, however, visitors are coming to sample its vibrant culinary scene. Each winter, this gently sculpted landscape becomes a magnet for skiers and snowshoe hikers, who consider it one of the country’s most beautiful winter destinations. Even more alluring is the gastronomic bounty that is making Traverse City a culinary powerhouse. Thanks to its award-winning wines and talented local chefs, it now enjoys an international reputation as a place of surprisingly sophisticated food and drink. (Bon Appétit has listed it as one of America’s top five foodie towns, and Mario Batali describes it as a “modern gastro-paradise.”) Traverse City’s eclectic cuisine borrows freely from other regional styles and relies heavily on imagination, boldness and spunk. Capitalizing on fresh ingredients from nearby farms, forests, lakes, streams and orchards, the town’s restaurateurs are on a mission to showcase the best of what the area has to offer. The beautiful Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas are dotted with vineyards and award-winning wineries – over 40 at last count -- that have established a firm reputation for crisp, intensely flavorful wines. The local craft brewing and distilling scenes are equally exciting. Unlike some summer resort communities, Traverse City doesn’t shut down for winter. Its bustling downtown shopping district boasts over 150 boutiques, shops and galleries full of undiscovered treasures. It’s also one of America’s most charming “art towns,” with dozens of studios and museums, two symphony orchestras, two theatre companies and a vibrant club scene. Prepare to be amazed! To learn about other winter adventures, activities and attractions in the Traverse City area, contact Traverse City Tourism at 1-800-TRAVERSE or online at www.TraverseCity.com 70 FoodTraveler l Winter 2016