The entire island of Mackinac is considered a resort and consequently it is much more laid back. There are a couple times of the year when it may get dressy, because of political or business meetings, but the most part, casual attire is the norm. The only real exception is having dinner at The Grand Hotel where they still maintain a dress code and in a sense that is refreshing. Of course even at The Grand they have found ways to accommodate the casual attire of the majority of visitors by having some locations available for dinner with out the dress code policy. We were going to one of those locations and it was a forty-five minute cab ride from our hotel to the Woods, and it was nice, because part of the way was actually going by the steps up to the longest porch at The Grand and then a side tour of some of the “cottages” near there as we progressed to our restaurant destination.
There we were along with the family from Louisville going to have dinner far from the maddening crowd of Downtown Mackinac. There were so many of us having dinner, that I think at least one of everything from the menu was ordered by someone. We started off by sharing an appetizer of Chilled Shrimp and Crab Cocktail. My Bride had the Pan Roasted Mackinac Whitefish with Fingerling Potatoes, Roasted White Corn Relish and Goat Cheese Aioli. I had to have a repeat of the meal that I had the last time, as it was that good, and something we don’t make at home. I had the Pan Seared Duck Breast with Collard Greens, Confit Shallots, Butter Thyme Spatzle and Port Wine Sauce. With four adults and five teenagers at the table, there was plenty of food ordered and we all ended up totally sated, and only some of the teens had some dessert.
After starting off with cocktails, we proceeded to have some wine. My Brother-in-Law ordered the first bottle and it was a bottle that they buy and have frequently at their house, but it was new to me. We started off with The Calling Chardonnay 2012 from the Dutton Ranch in the Russian River Valley. This wine is under the auspices of the international beverage company of the Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. This was a very refreshing Chardonnay and the wine is aged for eleven months “Sur Lie” in French Oak, and I could really go for this wine again. For our second wine, I chose one that would be perfect for my duck dinner and also accommodate the most of the other entrée choices, and as most of you know or guess I went with Pinot Noir. We had Louis Jadot Vosne-Romanee 2009 from the Cote de Nuits, a very classic Burgundy wine. The Vosne-Romanee area is about sixty-seven acres and about a third of this area is taken by six other famed Burgundy appellations. As one can surmise there is not a lot of this wine produced and Louis Jadot is one of the most famed Negociants of the area. What a perfect dinner, first a very sound Chardonnay and then Pinot Noir, a dinner that I think most wine lovers could enjoy. We ended up passing on dessert to eat, but instead we drank our dessert. We had some glasses of Dow’s Aged 20 Years Old Tawny, a Port from Oporto in Portugal and from one of the great Port makers there. The wine must spend a minimum of six years in casks and it is blended with other wines and that is how they get the 20 Years on the label. The Port Wineries have casks of wines that are of many different years and they blend the different casks to maintain the taste that they are known for. The grapes that are used and there is no way of knowing the percentages of each, because of the process of making Port wines are: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cao and perhaps Souzao, Tinta Amarela and Mourisco Tinto. After dinner we all climbed back onto an awaiting horse drawn cab and made the return trip back to our hotel.