Add These Northern Michigan Small Bites to Your Must-Try List –


A black sign hangs above a small cream-colored building tucked away on Union Street: “Forrest A Food Studio, Private Chef.” Inside, Chef Forrest Moline and his wife and business partner, Nicole, greet customers and send them out with generously stuffed frozen pasta and bottles of wine. Forrest and Nicole began offering take-out dinners on Thursday night, such as ready-to-reheat chicken saltimbocca and braised beef tostadas, as well as frozen pasta when the pandemic prevented them from hosting in-person dinners.

Now that Michigan restaurants are open for dinner again, Forrest and Nicole continue to offer frozen pasta (pre-order online and pick up Thursdays between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.), but are trading take-out dinners in exchange for a happy hour menu with cocktails and wine by the glass every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Stop by, reservations are not required for happy hour. The dining studio also has an on-site wine store, which offers natural and organic wines (open Thursdays and when Forrest and Nicole are rolling pasta dough; drop by if you’re in the area). Each bottle has a note with culinary pairing suggestions, making it easy for anyone to select a complementary combo.

What I ordered (and loved): Ravioli stuffed with ricotta. For his homemade ravioli, Forrest makes ricotta with milk from Moomers Farm dairy, adding basil, black pepper and chives. I accompanied my pasta, topped with rosemary goat cream, with a bottle of Loveblock, a New Zealand sauvignon blanc. 408 S. Union St., Traverse City

Pssst! The oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are amazing. Don’t leave without an order. (Each order contains two cookies; I don’t recommend sharing. Everyone, get your own!)

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