Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tapistry Brewing, Bridgman, MI

Southwest Michigan is one of our favorite areas to visit, especially places that are either food or drink based. On out way home from a wedding this past weekend, we stopped in at a new-to-us place, Tapistry Brewing. From our usual home base in Union Pier, this is usually a bit further than we want to drive, but this time it worked out perfectly for us. We're glad we stopped.

Tapistry Brewing, Bridgman, MI

Tapestry's establishment seems to be about clean lines and minimal fuss - you don't really notice the furniture but instead focus on the bar and long row of taps beyond. This place is all about the beer. If you look around closely, there are some cool touches throughout, from the interesting art to the customized tables to the glass growlers used as light shades in the outdoor patio area. A couple of couches facing a TV in one corner make it easy to imagine whiling away quite bit of time here.

Tapistry Brewing, Bridgman, MI

The menu is somewhat limited, mostly sandwiches, but what they do have is really, really good. We disagreed on their sweet, mustardy pickles that come along with the plates (I loved them), but there wasn't a dud in the bunch, and that's saying a lot. The kids were excited to order (and subsequently enjoyed) the grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which was really interesting and tasty, as was the basic grilled cheese. With names like the Brewben and Mushroom (my choice, so good), it's clear they have a sense of humor.

While the food was good, the beer may have been better - in any case, it really complemented the food. While their beer has some of the underlying Midwest sweetness that is typical of our region, their IPAs and Double IPAs ended on a serious bitter note, much appreciated by me. A wide variety of tastes means you'll probably find something you like. Go with a flight or two and taste a bunch.

We will definitely be back when we're in this neck of the woods and will actually drive a bit further to have lunch here. Good food, good beer, good service, what's not to like?

Tapistry Brewing

Tapistry Brewing Company Inc. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Like 50 States Of Wine on Facebook
Follow 50 States Of Wine on Twitter
Subscribe to the 50 States Of Wine YouTube channel

Thursday, September 17, 2015

ZIOBAFFA

Film. Surf. Italy. Wine.

Ziobaffa

With ZIOBAFFA, filmmaker Jason Baffa, surfer-environmentalist Chris Del Moro, and winemaker Piergiorgio Castellani focus on traditional and organic production, with a to-me unique reusable stopper, the Helix re-useable cork closure.

Baffa and Del Moro created a film, "Bella Vita," sharing their love of the surfing subculture, good food and drinks, friends, and family. From this collaboration,  ZIOBAFFA was born. The wine is bottled and labeled with eco-friendly material, crafted with a biodynamic focus and organically produced grapes - traditional materials with a modern focus.

Tasting Notes:
Filmmaker's Edition Pinot Grigio 2014: organically grown grapes; fermented in stainless steel; beautiful dark golden yellow; melon, lemon, and white floral aromas; blast of lemon flavor with underlying apricot, almond, and muskmelon flavors; Helix™ re-usable agglomerated cork closure; SRP $16. This might be my favorite white in recent memory, pure summer fun in a glass. Tasted with a kale and mango salad, worked against the vinegar and sweet tropical flavor perfectly.
Filmmaker's Edition Toscana Red 2012: organically grown estate harvested Sangiovese and Syrah grapes from the Poggio Al Casone Vineyard; low temp fermentation; no oak used; dark ruby color; dark berry, plum, cassis, and herb aromas; dark cherry, earth, tart red berries, and subtle herb flavors; medium bodied; Helix™ re-usable agglomerated cork closure; SRP $16. If you're not a believer of terroir, this wine might change your mind. Take a sip with your eyes closed and taste the sun-warmed soil in which the vines have their roots - tastes like what I imagine a lazy summer afternoon in Italy tastes like. Paired with a broccoli chicken Alfredo pasta - fruit popped and was a nice contrast to the fresh black pepper.
These have a lovely sense of place and one can well imagine drinking these while overlooking the vineyards from where the grapes were harvested - pop a bottle with friends or loved ones and let the good times roll.

Making of ZIOBAFFA™ Wine Video

Wine provided for review purposes - all opinions are my own.

Like 50 States Of Wine on Facebook
Follow 50 States Of Wine on Twitter
Subscribe to the 50 States Of Wine YouTube channel

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wine of the Week: La Promenade Rosé 2014

Not much information on the bottle or on the web, but this is a Côtes de Provence rosé from Badet Clément and Company. We picked it up at Trader Joe's and it's an easy drinking, dry rosé from Provence, one of our favorite places that makes it fun to drink pink - their attention to quality in that area means you're pretty much assured to get a good or better wine every time.

Wine of the Week: La Promenade Rosé 2014

Tasting Notes:
Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault grapes; fermentation in stainless steel; aged sur lie; vibrant orange pink color; melon, citrus and floral aromas; melon, tart cherry, star fruit, and citrus flavors; tart acid backbone; cork closure; SRP $9.
Like 50 States Of Wine on Facebook
Follow 50 States Of Wine on Twitter
Subscribe to the 50 States Of Wine YouTube channel

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fiddlehead Restaurant, Michigan City, Indiana

We were headed to Michigan for a weekend of relaxation when my friend suggested we stop off at Fiddlehead Restaurant, a place he'd visited and wanted to go to again. I'm always up for new places, especially when they serve local food and local beer; that I can support every time.

Fiddlehead Restaurant, Michigan City, Indiana

Fiddlehead Restaurant "... will be a community-minded training hub for veterans, serving fresh and locally sourced food and drink..." That's a great description of this restaurant that sits in a community that should be thriving, being so close to Chicago, but is not. There are signs, however. A new craft brewery here, a more interesting restaurant there - things are changing for the better. The veteran training program at Fiddlehead — FERN or Fiddlehead Employment Response Network — is a growing network Fiddlehead has established with area businesses to promote individualized training, advancement and long-term employment for service men and women. What a great thing they are doing for those who have served.

While the building that Fiddlehead sits in is not the most attractive around, the patio area outside and the interior are attractively designed and comfortable places to sit while eating and drinking.

When they say local, they mean local; even their shrimp is from Indiana (yes, a shrimp farm in Indiana, who knew?). In fact, all their meat comes from producers in Indiana, as does some of their beer (I had a 3 Floyds Yum Yum Session Ale, for instance, which is probably brewed less than a half hour away).

We started with fried pierogies, which were light and tasty and will be ordered again next time. Mac 'n' Cheese for my son and it actually tasted like it was fresh-made and not of the box. I'm still waiting on the restaurant that feels like a veggie or two would be a good idea to put on kids' plates. Still waiting. My buddy's chicken salad sandwich was very good (his second time having it), while my burger (goat cheese, bacon, and fried onion topping) was fantastic.

Fiddlehead Restaurant, Michigan City, Indiana

It's a new restaurant and there are bound to be growing pains. I had to order 3 beers before I got to one that they actually had not run out of. My burger was supposed to have jalapeño jelly but didn't. However, the food was good, the beer was cold, service was spot on, and sitting in the sun on the patio felt great, so the minor mistakes were overlooked. Cut them some slack this first year, they'll get it.

Northern Indiana is slowly becoming a really good place to eat. Local food and beer are being served by restaurants such as this one, owned by someone from the community and serving that same community. This is worth a stop if you're in the area. Not too far from the beach, outlet mall, or casino (all big draws), stop in and have a sandwich (or more) and celebrate the folk who brought us this effort.

Click to add a blog post for Fiddlehead Restaurant on Zomato

Fiddlehead Restaurant

Like 50 States Of Wine on Facebook
Follow 50 States Of Wine on Twitter
Subscribe to the 50 States Of Wine YouTube channel