The fanciest pho ever at the new restaurant Taste Kitchen on Liberty St

TasteKitchen-9I was sad when the make-your-own-sushi restaurant Tamaki closed, but was excited to see signs for Taste Kitchen soon after.  The same owners of Tamaki are running Taste Kitchen, but the two restaurants seem to have very different philosophies.  Tamaki had pho, one of my favorite dishes, and I’m glad to see it survived the transition. Its Taste Kitchen incarnation is a lot fancier, involving an unlidding of the dish that really lets its aroma make an entrance. It also involves a side dish with a poached egg that you get to drop in yourself.

TasteKitchen-11 The single Yelp review that was posted on Taste Kitchen page mentioned that everything was well-plated, which is definitely true. There is a focus on presentation, with active little moves like pouring sauce over your dish. Above is the succulent pork plate, with coffee, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, romanesca, and maple maple burre monté!  The best part of this was the maple butter; it was just the right amount of sweetness. (more…)

CloverEats: Red Brick Kitchen & Bar in Dexter


It was storming and pouring when I finished work, so I asked Fred for a ride home. He surprised me by driving not home, but to the Red Brick Kitchen & Bar in Dexter. It’s about the season we usually venture out to Dexter for their cider mill and to stock up on raspberry wine from the Sandhill Crane’s tasting room. There was unfortunately a 40 minute wait, but since we had come all the way, we put our names down and walked around, our umbrellas only somewhat protecting us from the rain.
RedBrick-2 (more…)

In which I discover a newfound love for oysters: The Sardine Room in Plymouth


Once in a while, we’ll hear about a fantastic restaurant that’s a little ways away. Kevin told me about The Sardine Room in Plymouth a couple months ago, but it took a while for us to be able to make the drive over. They feature “buck-a-shuck” dollar oysters during their happy hour, which runs 4-6PM Monday-Friday. Although I grew up in Boston, I always found oysters to be strange-looking sea creatures that belonged in a harbor rather than on my dining plate. I must truly be an adult now that I have not only tried oysters, but found them to be delightful little bursts of lemony-ocean flavor. Also, they’re so photogenic!


Autumn traditions: Sandhill Crane Vineyards Tasting Room

Autumn traditions: Dexter Cider Mill


A sea of apples

Summer’s fading fast, and it truly feels like fall. Each year since I’ve been in Ann Arbor, I’ve taken a trip to the Dexter Cider Mill sometime in September or October. People travel here in all sorts of methods – driving, biking, or even canoeing.  Time has really sped up these last few years, with a year passing before I even realize it.  When I try to think back of the last time I went apple-picking with friends, I’m always shocked by the realization that it was a whole year ago.  I appreciate these yearly traditions more, now that we are all getting so busy and have to actively make plans.  So without further ado, I present a local favorite, the Dexter Cider Mill.






Nicer than your average sushi joint: Yotsuba in Ann Arbor


I had visited Yotsuba a few years ago, but didn’t take photos. All I remembered was that their sashimi slices were extremely generous, more than a centimeter thick, huge hunks of meat that felt more on par with little steaks than the thin strips of fish I’m used to. I thought that we were overdue for another visit!

CloverSips: Michigan wines at the new VinBar

Black Star Farms Sirius Raspberry Dessert Wine

Black Star Farms Sirius Raspberry Dessert Wine

This year, it feels like the transition from summer to autumn happened almost overnight.  One day, I wore sandals and a dress, and the next, took my trusty North Face fleece out of the closet.  It’s also the beginning of the application cycle for residency, so it feels like everything is in flux.  I was super excited to hear about a new wine bar opening on Liberty, and immediately thought of local blogger The Food and Wine Hedonist, who checked it out on opening night and tweeted about its wide selection.  VinBar is a collaboration between three Michigan wineries – Black Star FarmsGood Harbor Vineyards, and L. Mawby Winery.  You can have half glasses, full glasses, or bottles of everything from bubblies to dessert wines.  I love the feel of the space, wide open, light streaming in and wooden floors with a good number of seats.

Vinbar-2 (more…)


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