This week's blog post is authored by Executive Chef Glenn Noffsinger.
Crystal’s Farm-to-Table series is all about featuring our local farmers and their wonderful products. It’s about establishing relationships, supporting our community, and practicing sustainable food practices. We want our guests and employees to know where their food comes from and how it was raised.
Each month we take the food service staff on a tour of the farm we’re featuring so that they get first-hand experience of where our restaurant sources its products. Staff members meet the farmer, and can then share that experience with our dinner guests
The menus have exciting regional flavors, showcasing food directly from the farmer. We celebrate the seasons of Northern Michigan and promote the wide variety of products available here. Many regionally sourced ingredients are offered on our menus year round, but the Farm-to-Table series is hyper-local and runs at the Thistle Pub & Grille from May through October on the third weekend of each month for three nights. (Thursday thru Saturday, and reservations are strongly recommended).
October’s menu arrives this weekend (Oct. 18-20) featuring butternut squash bisque with ginger cream and house-made cinnamon & allspice croutons. There’s also roasted pork tenderloin with blueberry-peach chutney and traditional stuffing, followed by Pumpkin cheesecake with candied walnut crust, chevre cheese and Chantilly cream. It’s a feast made possible by the efforts of local farmers at Middle Branch farm, Sanders Meats, Smeltzers Orchards, Cherry Bay Orchards, Land of Goshen and Cream Cup Dairy.
Some of my personal Farm-to-Table favorites this year have included spring’s grilled flatbread with asparagus, morel mushrooms and chevre cheese, plus summertime specialties like Caprese Salad of heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella with basil-almond pesto, cedar-planked Harrietta Hills rainbow trout with fire-roasted tomato quinoa and charred orange, maple-rosemary braised chicken thigh with creamy polenta, smoked country ham and navy bean cassoulet, chocolate crème brulee and espresso crème anglaise……I could keep going, but I have to get back to the kitchen. Hope to see you at the Thistle!