26th Annual Taste of Mackinac Has Visitors Coming Back For More
It’s never easier to tour the flavors of Mackinac Island restaurants than at the Taste of Mackinac, held this year as part of the Lilac Festival at Harbor View Inn, Thursday, June 14. With more than 12 dining establishments represented at the 26th annual event, a $15 ticket offered a chance to sample some of the best meals Mackinac Island offers.
The restaurants choose varying menu items, and don’t announce what they’re going to serve to keep an element of surprise.
The line to sample the dishes wrapped around the entire front lawn, and the first table offered fudge from Ryba’s Fudge Shop and Velvet.
“We wanted to showcase some items we do fresh at the Rebel and Horn’s Bar,” said Summer Sahm, an employee at the Yankee Rebel Tavern.
Employees of Goodfellows scooped servings of penne a la vodka with a tomato crème, and an Italian tomato mozzarella caprese salad.
Cawthorne’s Village Inn, Grand Hotel’s newest restaurant, provided an all-American meal of barbeque ribs and baked beans, vegetables, and coleslaw.
The 1852 Grill Room from Island House Hotel offered shepherd’s pie, apple cobbler, and Greek pasta salad.
The Pink Pony Bar and Grill wanted to focus on its best appetizers, said sous-chef Carmello Ramirez, so the staff served spinach artichoke dip with pita chips, hot and crunchy shrimp, and gazpacho, an Italian soup served chilled.
Mission Point Resort Chef Keith Schockling came to the event to talk to patrons about the meal served from Bistro on the Green and other Mission Point Resort restaurants. His featured meal was gnocchi, with beef braised for eight hours, served with arugula and cherry tomatoes.
One patron couldn’t help but go back for multiple servings of the gnocchi. Taking advantage of the layout of the event, where the rest of the patrons waited for a sample from each table, Bruce Amrine of Ann Arbor had three helpings, cutting into the line when there were gaps.
“You could start anywhere you want,” Mr. Amrine said. “You get the entrees first, then go back for the desert. But they’ve got it laid out the other way, so I’ll keep coming back for the gnocchi.”
Some visitors had their favorites, others decided to sample a bit from each. The friendly conversations on the lawn proved everyone enjoyed their helpings.