Our last night on Mackinac Island and we had dinner at the 1852 Grill Room at the Island House Hotel. The Island House Hotel is one of those stately hotels that is located between the “downtown” section of the town and Mission Point where we stayed and it overlooks the marina and docks of the waterfront. The Island House was established in 1852 and have not only created assorted businesses on the grounds of the hotel, but have branched into the main drag of the city with several restaurants on the main street, Ryba’s Fudge Shops (one of the original fudge purveyors on the island) and they have recently opened up on the main street a business that to me, is a little out of character for the island, but probably a great investment, as they opened up a Starbucks Coffee House.
We had a table at the front of the restaurant alongside the windows looking out at the marina that I had reserved, not the best and it worked, as they were a couple of other tables with stellar views, but it appeared that they were reserved for guests of the hotel and some long time customers, I was just glad that they had reserved us our table. We started our dinner by sharing an order of the hotel’s 1852 Signature Crab Cakes of Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Dijon, Cilantro with a Key Lime Vinaigrette. My Bride had the Lake Superior Planked Whitefish (wild caught), oven roasted on a Maple plank, with Duchesse Potatoes and roasted vegetables. I had the Pan Roasted Duck Confit with a savory Sweet Potato Mash, and a Michigan Cherry-Port Demi-Glace. In hind sight, I probably should have ordered the Dover Sole a la Meuniere, as our family from Kentucky had dinner in this restaurant one night and highly touted this dish, well maybe the next time.
We enjoyed a bottle of wine, but even though I had duck, we did not have a Pinot Noir, just to confuse you, who think that I am a creature of habit. I found what I thought sounded very interesting and it was the Sans Liege Wines “The Offering” Santa Barbara County 2015. The web site is very attractive, but is not big on a history of the winery, but they use fruit harvested from ten named vineyards in the area and they have two tasting rooms. This particular wine is a blend of forty-eight percent Grenache, twenty-eight percent Syrah, twenty-three percent Mourvedre and one percent Viognier. The wine is aged for seventeen months in a mix of new, second filled and neutral French Oak. Sans Liege prides themselves on being free to make his own wines, though this wine was a New World “Rhone” wine and it was delightful with the touch of Viognier I thought just for the nose. The wine was rather big for my Bride’s Whitefish (but she doesn’t mind) and it was an interesting pairing with the Duck Confit.