A Culinary Escape at The Homestead

If you’re a foodie, vacations that feature great food and wine are a must. The Homestead recently began offering cooking classes, and its quality of food throughout the resort makes this a great location for a weekend getaway in Glen Arbor, Michigan.

Last weekend my husband (DH) and I headed north for 3 1/2 hours to experience The Homestead (Glen Arbor, MI) firsthand. The reception upon arrival was very friendly, although I felt we could have had a  more thorough orientation to the weekend’s available options. There were a few events that we learned about later, that were not included in the newsletter that we were handed. Plus there is very poor Wi-Fi/cell reception throughout the property so it’s not like you can just jump on the website for updated information. Of course, we did arrive around 9 PM, so perhaps the reception was a bit tired.

We checked in to our Little Belle Suite and, while not luxurious, was clean and comfortable. DH said the property reminded him of an Alpine Village. It was still decorated for Christmas and quite charming.

We headed to Beppi’s for some late night beverage before they closed at 10 PM. I was pleasantly surprised that they featured northern Michigan wines by the glass - a red and a white - as well as four local brews, two from Right Brain, Oberon, and an imported Italian lager. The staff was pleasant and the wine very good - and only $5 a glass. I saw on the menu that they offer tableside S’mores, which looked fun but it was getting late.

The next morning we headed to CQ’s Cabin for the buffet breakfast ($12). It was Philly eggs, bacon, sausage, hot cereal, and they also had a selection of pastries. It was very fresh and tasty-surprising for a buffet.

After breakfast, DH hit the slopes (it’s been warm, but they made enough snow to open about half of the runs) and I headed to Nonna’s for the cooking class.

Chef John Piombo was an absolute joy to watch. Full of humor, wit, and knowledge (and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just the affect of the champagne we received at the beginning of the class). It was so fun to learn from an actual Italian Chef. It was a cooking demonstration (as opposed to hands-on, which they also offer), which was kind of nice as I could sit back and learn and drink champagne. We received recipe handouts and were able to learn about and taste the various ingredients. At the end, we received samples of the finished dishes. This particular class was for baked pastas, and they were all EXCELLENT. One was a bit overcooked, and I was thrilled that Chef made it again so that we could taste one that was cooked properly. Aside from being very filling (as most Italian cuisine is), everything was delicious.

After the class, DH met up with me and we headed to Cavanaugh’s Deli & General Store so he could refuel after all that skiing. He ordered a club sandwich and chicken enchilada soup. He declared it very good. I started to rethink my position on “typical resort food.” Since I was still full from the cooking class, I ordered a coffee, which was fresh and just as good as I’ve had at any coffee shop. My only disappointment was that although Bailey’s was on display, they could not add it to my coffee since they do not have a liquor license. As I did not want to buy a whole bottle, I opted for cream and sugar instead.

We explored the resort for the rest of the afternoon and then headed to Nonna’s for dinner. The waitress offered a complimentary taste of the wine that was on special for the evening and we were hooked after the first sip. As I was still full from lunch, DH and I ordered the crab cakes and scallops (appetizer portion) to share and DH ordered the lamb. Everything was excellent, cooked perfectly, and the waitstaff were extremely attentive. I had to break it to DH that unfortunately, the scallops were even better than his version that he makes at home. For dessert DH ordered the flan and I ordered a poached pear with chocolate sauce, finishing with a nice 10 year port. Sigh.

It was a perfect evening, and we stopped at the General Store for some additional beverages to enjoy back at the room.

The next morning, we headed to the buffet again and this time they were featuring breakfast burritos. Again, we were not disappointed. We had considered holding out until the Sunday brunch started, but we had consumed enough calories for a few days. On the 3 1/2 hour drive back to reality, we decided we’d love to return.

If you go:

Be sure to check out the $5 Happy Hour menu Thursday-Saturday 5-6 PM

Date Night, Thursdays, $49 for dinner for two plus a bottle of wine

Cooking Classes, select Saturdays winter 2012

Sunday Brunch 11 am - 2 pm

Disclosure: I received a complimentary media weekend. All opinions are my own.



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