The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Testing a New Theory: Seventeen in Petoskey

After our trip to Tulum, we found ourselves in Petoskey, a scenic summer hotspot in northern Michigan.  I guess I have to clarify that that’s the northern end of the lower peninsula of Michigan. (Not that it’s any clearer for you now.)  We’ve been there a few times before, so were on the lookout for a new restaurant.   We found Seventeen, a restaurant that had just opened up in the Bay Harbor area.

I’m in the early phases of testing a theory that suggests an inverse relationship between the number of descriptors a restaurant has for itself and the quality of the food – the more descriptors, the more disappointing the food.    I call it  “The Hedonist Descriptor Quality Theory.”  Clever, eh?  For example, What Crepe? in Ann Arbor  describes itself as “A Casual Gourmet European Inspired Restaurant” and I thought the food was only a little better than eating bark.

Seventeen describes itself as “Classic American cuisine with a modern sensibility featuring local fare.”

Ruh-oh Shaggy, that’s a lot of words.


The Surroundings

It’s a nice-looking space, with all the rich leathers and dark woods.  There’s an equestrian theme to it, with photographs and statues of horses as well as a little shop where you can purchase riding boots and other related attire.  Not exactly my scene, but I can appreciate the aesthetic.

It was a beautiful day, so we opted to sit on the patio which overlooked a marina packed with ridiculously expensive yachts.  I was digging it…

17 patio



We started with beef carpaccio

17 carpaccio


and deviled Eggs with sriracha, ginger, scallions

17 eggs


The carpaccio was good but that’s kinda hard to mess up, isn’t it?  I suppose if the meat’s from one of the horses in the photographs… The deviled eggs tasted like just about any other deviled eggs I’ve had at potlucks.  Ok, maybe a little better, but I could barely detect any of the sriracha or ginger.


Main Courses

Boom Boom had the Cross Perch

17 perch

Panko crusted with baby potatoes, crème fraiche, pea shoots, beurre blanc


I had the Garrett Farm Chicken

Half a chicken, roasted, with broccolini, artichokes, and charred tomatoes

Half a chicken, roasted, with broccolini, artichokes, and charred tomatoes


Yeah, I actually ordered roasted chicken – and that was one of the exciting items on the menu.  The breast part was a little dry, but the thigh was juicy.  In other words, basically like just about every amateur cook’s version of roast chicken.  Boom Boom’s perch was pretty bad – not crisp, salty batter, blah potatoes.


What we drank

While we were waiting for our table, I had this.

Cherry Bourbon Delight – Michigan sweet cherry liquor, New Holland beer barrel Bourbon.

Cherry Bourbon Delight – Michigan sweet cherry liquor, New Holland beer barrel Bourbon.


And with the starters I had a glass of the Charles and Charles Rose from Columbia Valley, WA.

17 Rose


I just discovered it earlier this year and am a big fan.

With dinner we had a bottle of Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay from Sonoma.

17 Chardonnay*

It’s not necessarily spectacular, but it’s solid and consistent.


The Verdict

I saw the menu online and wasn’t particularly impressed, but was holding out hope that they would surprise me in some way with their execution.  Nope, this was as boring as it sounded.  I’m not surprised as that’s often the case with these touristy places.  They have to appeal to the masses, so they don’t take risks and add, you know, spices.  Most of the people who were there that night (and at other restaurants that weekend) were much older, much richer, and much whiter than we were. The kind that would thoroughly enjoy roasted chicken and fried perch.

Yup, I’m off to a good start with my theory.


Seventeen on Urbanspoon


About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

6 comments on “Testing a New Theory: Seventeen in Petoskey

  1. a2sicilian
    September 18, 2014

    Looks like hotel food. Is that the place down on the corner that replaced the other restaurant? I liked the former place, but they couldn’t make it. It’s hard for restaurants to make a go there, because there’s no winter tourism in Bay Harbor (other than folks staying there and skiing in Harbor Springs, like we’ve done).

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      September 18, 2014

      “Hotel” is an interesting misspelling of “Honky” Yes, it replaced Cava. They should do what Chandler’s does – double prices in summer. We went there night before and rack of lamb was 45! The Ribeye was 60-something.. Insane. I’ve never seen a bigger collection of WASPy people in their 50s and 60s there. One woman looked like Lovey Howell from Gilligan’s Island. No joke – her mid-40s son had an ASCOT!!

  2. elizabeth
    September 18, 2014

    I like this theory a lot–whether it’s a recipe name or a restaurant description, the more concise it is, the better the dish or the meal experience.

  3. reversecommuter
    September 18, 2014

    Bark – ick! Atleast the cocktails and wine looked good & a date night is a date night is a date night!

  4. A Famished Foodie
    September 20, 2014

    I think we’re pretty similar- expect for a few very rare instances- chicken is never something I order out. I just think it’s so boring. Also, I tend to find that when a restaurant lists a ton of ingredients with a dish, the quality usually goes down as well.

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This entry was posted on September 18, 2014 by in Dining, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , .
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