Saturday, June 1, 2013

Left Foot Charley

Left Foot Charley hosts a perfect summer patio.
Wine and beer. You'll find that Traverse City is chock full of amazing, local selections of both. The entirety of the Grand Traverse Region has become synonymous with excellent wines, beers and food, all sourced from local farms and farmers. Indeed, many of the regions wines and brews have become national and international sensations, taking gold medals at worldwide competitions.
In short, when you're in TC, you need to sample some of the drink as well as some of the food! A great place to start that sampling is Left Foot Charley, a thoroughly Traverse City winery that focuses on excellent vintage, yummy bites and the perfect atmosphere for those who love what Traverse City is all about.
And yes, we have returned, once again, to the fabulous Village at the Grand Traverse Commons (the old state hospital grounds).

Wine. It's their business!
Left Foot Charley inhabits the old laundry house on the state hospital grounds. They are one of the only tasting rooms within walking distance of downtown Traverse City, making them an incredibly popular stop. In fact, Northern Natural Cider House and Left Foot Charley are the only two bonafide tasting rooms in the downtown region. If you're looking for other tasting rooms, you need to hit the peninsulas.

Want to have a look in the back? Just ask! Perhaps they'll let you in!
I'm a huge fan of the wines served here. My current favorite is a lovely mix of Riesling and Gewurtztraminer - not too sweet, not too dry, juuuuuust right. I dig it for sure!
While their wine list does change with the seasons, some remain static, so, if you see a wine that you hope to try on the list of suggestions that I am about to provide, it may or may not be there when you visit. No worries though, you're certain to find something outstanding no matter your taste!

Row after row of bottles await your purchase at Left Foot Charley in Traverse City.
The wine! During my recent visit, I sampled quite a few of their vinos. Here are a few of my favorites:
The Pinot Gris - not light nor easily understood, a great sip and savor.
Murmur - This thing changes year to year, always fun, a yummy dry wine, perfect for almost any occasion.
Hard Apple Ciders - Yeah, these are becoming all the rage in the region and, when done correctly, they can be incredibly diverse and tasty. Give them a try here, see what you think!
Obviously, there are many more flavors to sample. One can spend an entire afternoon losing themselves in the various bottles available here.

Not feeling the patio? No worries, the atmosphere inside is equally swell.
The food! While Left Foot Charley is certainly not the place to go if you're hoping for a huge meal with your wine, they do serve up some very satisfying grub. This menu, as well, is often changing, so take the following suggestions as an example of what you will find at Left Foot Charley.
First off, every Thursday K2 Edibles takes over the kitchen and offers a different international flavor. For $15 you can snag a glass of wine or hard cider and sample some fine thing from across the globe. When I visited, they were featuring a Polish theme.
If that sort of thing really isn't your bag of chips, as they say, no worries, there are other ways to nosh here. Take, for example, the Ploughman's Lunch. This is Finocchiona and Chorizo with Boss Mouse Swiss, 18 month Beemster and Blue Cheese served with Pleasonton Bakery's Golden Wheat Bread, Mike's Mustard, seasonal chutney and McClure's Pickles. All this local goodness for $12.
Another fun selection would be the Fish and Chips. For only $5 you can score some smoked Whitefish pate and Kettle Chips served with McClure's Pickles.
There are a few other selections as well, and a few daily specials. These dishes usually run from $3-$13 each.

There's no pretentiousness attached to the wine here!
This wine lunch thing is a grand way to spend an afternoon in Traverse City. Left Foot Charley is the ideal spot for such a thing. It has served as meeting spot, after work kickback, first date (or 1,000th date) locale and more since it first began operating around 2004. During the summer time, there really is nothing better than a good glass of wine, a perfect patio and Oscar worthy conversation.....unless, of course, you're doing all that with a good glass of beer, for that is equally as good!

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