Boyne City has been making waves in their commitment to local food in recent years, with a booming year-round farmers market and the opening of The Grain Train’s second location. Now, with this spring’s opening of Northern Table, they can boast a serious farm-to-table restaurant as well! In true farm-to-table spirit, Northern Table offers a full seasonally-rotating menu as well as daily features based on local ingredient availability.
Northern Table opened mid-May with owner Mark Warner’s dream of creating a community-based life for himself in northern Michigan. His hope to support as many local and Michigan producers as possible has become a reality and helped him discover some of the best ingredients the area has to offer, such as Kammer-Paulus Lamb from Onaway. Mark got wide-eyed and excited thinking about how amazing this lamb from nearby is.
Executive Chef, Meghan Wruk, has played an invaluable role in building this farm-to-table experience. It is her hard work and dedication to local sourcing that allows Northern Table to boast their use of about 80% Michigan grown and made ingredients. Meghan graduated valedictorian in pastries from The Culinary Institute of America in New York, before working in a number of well-known northwest Michigan eateries. Her knowledge of and connections within the area’s local food scene come from her time managing the cafe at The Grain Train in Petoskey. Meghan couldn’t be happier to be spending her time developing, sourcing, and cooking her from-scratch locally sourced menu at Northern Table, despite the incredible amount of work that goes into it.
Some of Meghan’s favorite menu items include a wide variety of ingredients from throughout the state. The Northern Table Salad (offered both as a side salad and as a larger entree salad) features salad greens from Bear Creek Organic Farm, goat cheese from Meadow View Goat Dairy, house-made cherry walnut croutons made from Stonehouse Bread, and a honey vinaigrette made with Bear Creek Organics honey.
Grilled Trout Tacos feature lake trout from Massey’s Fish Company in St Ignace and kale slaw made with kimchi from The Brinery in Ann Arbor, topped with a house-made sesame coconut drizzle and micro cilantro from Bear Creek Organics.
It isn’t just the food at Northern Table coming from local sources! Their bar features 15 Michigan beers on draft (that’s every single one of their taps!), a dozen or two Michigan liquors, and of course some northern Michigan wine. The walls of the dining room are lined with beautiful art from local artists, which rotates frequently and is always for sale. And their lounge area is often graced by unplugged local musicians sharing their talents.
Walking into Northern Table, you’re likely to find the perfect environment, no matter what your preference. The dining room offers a simple yet classy dining experience, while the lounge area offers a more relaxed atmosphere perfect for catching up with friends over a cocktail. If eating in the fresh air is more your style, an outdoor seating area is available as well. In August, Northern Table will also open their upstairs for a bar area featuring wood-fired pizzas, and an outdoor deck overlooking Lake Charlevoix.
Next time you find yourself in the Boyne City area, make sure to include Northern Table in your itinerary! With 23% of customers being repeat visitors after just a few weeks open, folks sure are loving what they find at Northern Table. They’ll be serving lunch and dinner seven days a week through the summer.
Christina Carson is a photographer, baker, blogger, home cook, and local food lover. You can find her photographs and recipes through her business, Toot Sweet, on instagram@tootsweetness, Facebook, and on the Toot Sweet website. She can be reached at [email protected]