Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category

Mediterrano: Ann Arbor Dining

December 7, 2009

When you think of olive oil, you think of Italy…unless you’re John Roumanis, proprietor of Mediterrano. Roumanis imports all of his oil from his hometown in Greece, and serves it with whole wheat bread that’s been toasted to a smoky crunch in a wood burning oven. Sublime.

The rest of the food I had tonight at Mediterrano, in Michigan’s artsy Ann Arbor, was just as good. First course was hummus, taramousalata (a spicy mixure of potatoes and garlic) and olive tapanade, served with warm spiced pita triangles.

After a beautifully blended seasonal butternut and sweet dumpling squash soup, I sampled a roasted medjool date paired with chorizo and wrapped in apple wood smoked bacon. The unusual sweet/spice flavor combination, combined with the richness of the bacon, worked well.

Next course featured seared Nova Scotia Sea Scallops, on a bed of braised red chard with an onion glaze. Almost to pretty to eat, but I’m glad I did!


And then there was dessert…the killer brownies, served with butter pecan ice cream from Gurnsey Farms, truly were to die for…but my favorite was the beautiful fruit and cheese plate. Chef Rob Underwood delivered a platter of Greek kefalograviera cheese with clementine mandarine oranges, sprinkled generously with  bright, juicy pomogranate seeds.

I’ll be back…


Bear Man of the Upper Peninsula

November 5, 2009

Want a nice bear hug? I know where you can get one…from a real bear in Newberry, MI, just outside of Sault Ste. Marie. Dean Oswald, a one-time prizefighter (11 years amateur, 11 years pro) and former firefighter, now runs Oswald’s Bear Ranch. His guests are bears that have been neglected, lost their parents, or otherwise found their way into his capable (and huge) hands.


Some he gets from the DNR, some from private sources. His mission is to take care of them from youth through death–most of them, by the time he gets them, can no longer be introduced into the wild. Oswald shows his own personality in the names he give the bears: Tyson, for example. The most interesting name is Patton; ironic, since Oswald himself resembles Patton–a big, commanding bear of a man.   



See what I mean?

You can get right inside the cage with the baby bears–they’ll even let you pet them…I liked that part, but then one of them starting chewing on my backpack, which freaked me out a little!

Even if you don’t want a hug from a real bear, Oswald will give you one himself. I liked that part, too.