MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WJMN) – A sign that spring has arrived in Michigan, businesses on Mackinac Island are beginning operations for the 2023 season. In this edition in our Restaurant of the Week series, we learned about the uniquely Michigan dishes offered at Chianti.
“Our goal is to make Mission Point the food destination on Mackinac Island,” said Liz Ware, the Vice President of sales and marketing for Mission Point Resort. “And so Chianti is a restaurant, I would consider it for food lovers, food enthusiasts, wine enthusiasts. We believe in farm to ferry, so we source locally for a lot of our foods, our vegetables, our meat, and everything. So Chianti is our expression of fine dining on Mackinac Island.”
Led by Executive Chef John Clements, Chianti offers a five-course, prix fixe menu of dishes that utilize ingredients found in Michigan. Three menus are offered on a rotating basis throughout Chianti’s operating months, with different dishes based on the ingredients available during spring, summer, and fall.
“I think they’ve done an outstanding job. The presentation of the food is beautiful, but it is absolutely delicious,” Ware said. “We talk about staff and pride. Our culinary staff is so proud of what they’ve been doing and what they’re accomplishing.”
One of their signature items available this spring is their wagyu beef pavé, including Michigan king trumpet mousse, bone marrow potato, oxtail red onion, and beef demi watercress oil. Another is the English Pea Ravioli, made with pecorino, prosciutto fried lemon zest, and parmesan broth. A third is their Michigan Spring Harvest which includes sautéed morels, fava beans, fiddlehead ferns with shallots and almond oil pea velouté, and lavender butter.
You can see photos of the items, along with a few others, below:
You can check out Chianti’s full spring menu below:
To pair with options like their dishes, Chianti also offers a handpicked wine pairing to compliment each selection.
“In addition to our prix fixe menu, you can also do a wine pairing with it. And so our team has selected wines to go with each of the courses, depending on what you are having for each of those courses,” Ware said. “So the team will walk you through and the wine pairings are absolutely delicious. If you decide you don’t want to do wine pairing, you just want a glass of wine, that’s fine too. Cocktails, absolutely. It’s really what you want. But I highly recommend the wine pairings delicious and well thought-through.”
While the meals are made up of five courses, by the end Ware says you’ll still find yourself with room for dessert.
“The desserts are out of this world,” said Ware. “I think probably the most Instagram-able dessert is the apple, because it is not what you’re expecting. And when it comes out to the table, you’re like ‘Oh my goodness, it’s an apple!’ and it’s delicious.”
The culinary staff makes a special point to provide options for any diner.
“We recognize that there are foods and allergies that people do have. And so our team is very committed to making sure that if you have a gluten allergy, a dairy allergy a peanut allergy, that if we are aware of and we need to be made aware of it, some of these allergies can be serious,” Ware said. “We can work around it. We’ve got it noted and we will take really good care of you and the kitchen team will do that. And even at any of our restaurants, if you say you have an allergy, chef will come out and talk to you about it so he understands exactly what needs to be done to keep that guests safe.”
And of course, it wouldn’t be the true Mackinac Island experience with taking a minute to sit back and enjoy the scenery you can’t experience anywhere else.
“There’s always a view and there’s the view of the straits,” said Ware. “And when you see a freighter go by and you’re out on Mackinac Island having a wonderful meal at Mission Point, you see a freighter go by, you have a glass of wine, you’re like, ‘It doesn’t get much better than this’.”
You can stop into Chianti from now until Mackinac Island closes for winter next fall.
Chianti’s operating hours are 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. each day except for Monday. It’s located at One Lake Shore Drive, Mackinac Island, MI, 49757.
You can connect with Chianti and Mission Point Resort here.