It wouldn’t be a trip to Holland, Michigan without dinner at Butch’s Dry Dock. It seems that forever I would see this restaurant listed in the Wine Spectator magazine Restaurant Awards issue as having a great wine selection, and affordable food and wine prices. It has been true, each time we have been there, and it is still holding on, in spite of spiraling costs and a bleak stock market for us retirees. We had to take and show Ms. Yoga this restaurant. We didn’t get our usual table at the window to observe the flow of people, but we still had a nice view. What I did notice is that it is the type of restaurant, where we have seen three generations of a family dining out. We also saw that there were young couples out on dates, that were dressed up for the evening. It made me smile to notice these things.
The restaurant is very unique in that it is a wine shop, and a restaurant. They have a few wines listed on the menu, as offerings to pair with different entrées. The majority of the wines are on shelves displayed in groupings like Old World and New World, and then alongside of the wines on the shelves are more wines displayed in a series of coolers. The wines are retail priced and then there is a corkage fee for the dinner. A very admirable way of marketing the wines. We started off with a couple of appetizers for the table and the Truffled Cauliflower with Grana Padana was excellent. We started off with our pull, a bottle of Sylvain Pataille Bourgogne Aligoté 2019. He is very well known in the Marsannay region, just outside of Dijon in the northern end of the Cote de Nuits. The Domaine is known for its Pinot Noir and he is a strong advocate and champion for Aligoté. He started as a consultant enologist for a number of Burgundy domaines, and established his own operation with one hectare in 1999, and today he has about fifteen hectares all basically in the Marsannay boundary and the vineyards are certified organic. He produces about twenty wines, including five Aligoté Crus. This wine enjoys his concept of pressing long and slow, usually about twenty-four hours and fermentation is done using indigenous yeasts, and his vines average about fifty years in age. The fruit for this wine came from two different sides, one of limestone and gravel, and the other of clay and marl soil. The wine is then aged for twelve months in oak, filtered, but not fined and minimum use of sulfur. A nice soft yellow with notes that almost reminded me of a Chardonnay with peaches, lemons, cut hay and butter. On the palate peaches and tart apples, mouthwatering acidity and a very nice long finish of terroir.
While we were going into the main dishes of seafood, salmon and whitefish, it was a white wine evening. Ms. Yoga selected the second bottle for the table, and it was the exact wine that my Bride and I had tried earlier this year at the Carriage House at the Hotel Iroquois on Mackinac Island. We were enjoying a bottle of Trig Point “Signpost” Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2018. A nice pale golden wine that offered notes of pear and melon. On the palate, the wine reminded me more of a Chablis, with the fresh fruit, crisp acidity and a creamy texture, not oak induced with a nice medium finish of terroir courtesy of the Russian River Valley. Ms. Yoga is very partial to her Chardonnay wines, when she is drinking white and we all had a wonderful meal. I am also please to say that we were not even charged with a corkage fee.