Monday, September 24, 2012

From the Range to Grange

(Editor's note: Apologies for the bad pictures, I try to not be That Guy taking flash photos in restaurants.)

Housemade charcuterie, poutine, Great Lakes perch. Grange had me at hello.

I have been to Grange a couple times, for brunch and for dinner. With my brother and his girlfriend in town for the weekend, it was a no brainer on where to go for dinner on Friday night.

Grange's website gives you a good idea of what they're all about. The largest portion of the website is devoted to the farms, orchards and other local businesses that supply the restaurant. The menu - organized into snacks, plates, and entrees - touches on all the recent foodie trends - farm to table dining, nose to tail meats, housemade charcuterie, upscale comfort food snacks like scotch eggs and poutine. The drink menu is not an afterthought, with plenty of innovative cocktails and Michigan beers & wines. I started with their take on the classic dark & stormy - served with sparkling apple cider instead of ginger beer. I am totally stealing this for an upcoming football watching party.

If I had my way, restaurants wouldn't even bother listing entrees, just let me pick a bunch of smaller stuff to try. Grange meets me halfway with its smaller snacks and plates, which are perfect for sharing, and a few entrees. Although my vote for the pigs head was vetoed, the group did settle on some good choices.

The fried green tomatoes with bacon jam were as good as they sound. I need to get to work on hacking this bacon jam.

Next up was the fried Great Lakes smelt with roasted pepper aioli. Almost as good as the smelt at Christmas Eve dinner with the Italian side of the family.

The one thing that we unanimously agreed that we had to try was the duck confit poutine with cheese curds and duck sage gravy. Poutine, Justin Beiber, Carly Rae Jepsen - Canada is slowly invading us with their delicious food and irresistibly catchy pop songs.

We went on to split the roasted chicken in a bacon mustard pan sauce and grilled trout with a corn and mushroom relish. My only complaint is that they took forever to come out, I'm usually a pretty low maintenance diner, but it seemed a little long even by my standards.

There is a small bar upstairs, which doesn't have the best atmosphere (it's in a small space above the main floor) but would be a good place to grab a couple drinks and snacks from the bar food menu. I've had a burger on a prior visit and can vouch that they know to make a burger. The burger they are doing right now has bacon jam and garlic mayo, I might have to go back this weekend to try that.

Grange Kitchen and Bar
118 W. Liberty
Ann Arbor, MI

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