The French are coming!Posted by Helen Fernandes on Saturday, July 23rd, 2011
Tags for this Article: bistro, Chez Peres, Dijon mustard, eggs, french, Gruyere, Michigan, Patisserie Amie, ratatouille, Traverse City
As a fan of good, uncomplicated French food I’m always looking for it when I travel. Recently, in two places I would have never thought, I found some of the very best. In a two-part post I will tell you about each. The first was in Traverse City, MI, a place called Chez Peres and Patisserie Amie. A French bakery and bistro run by Executive Chef Eric Fritch and his wife Amy Kyle Moshier. On the one side of the building you’ll find the well established Patisserie Amie offering some of the most delectable pastries and fresh, flaky, buttery chocolate croissants; while on the other, the recently added bistro Chez Peres serves beautifully simple and flavourful French dishes.
A local waiter told us about the place the night before and he did not disappoint. A bit off the beaten track, this little jewel is tucked away from the tourists and frequented mostly by locals. We had breakfast, I chose the salad Lyonnais and my companion chose a ratatouille omelet – both so simple yet absolutely memorable. My salad was served with two perfectly poached eggs and crispy bacon over local greens drizzled with a Lyonnais dressing. The dressing is what brought it all together. Simply made vinaigrette that used Dijon mustard from France – therein lies the secret. This meal was so good, I could not get my fork to my mouth fast enough and the thought of it still lingers on my tongue, as all good meals should. The omelet was also tasty – light and fluffy using local farm fresh eggs, it was stuffed full of homemade ratatouille and Gruyere cheese. Both meals came with homemade crusty French bread and were truly superb. Even the chocolate croissants were delicious; I took a few for the trip home.
If you ever find yourself in Traverse City (which I hope one day you do) perhaps for their famous cherry festival or in the Fall to watch the leaves on the trees turn colour, this small city on the Northern Michigan Peninsula has a lot to offer especially from the French.