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All year round there is a sophistication in Traverse City. A recent spotlight on the foodie scene here may have drawn some national attention to a vibe known to residents and suspected by visitors. It's a mix of northern nonchalance and worldliness. If I may be so bold as to attempt to describe it in a metaphor. Imagine a closet where Prada and Carhart share space comfortably. Now imagine the restaurant where both would be welcomed with a knowing nod from the host. That's Traverse City. Traverse City assumes that you arrive hungry for the best of everything and yet, satisfied with the simplest pleasures.

And so I found myself late on a summer evening enjoying a dinner at one my family's favorite haunts, Amical. We took a tapas approach that night, ordering several appetizers to share. My six-year-old has grown up in this restaurant, visiting here with her friends after ballet at the Dennos, meeting my friends at at winter brunch on Sunday, and climbing up on tall chairs for carrot cake after dinner at Poppycocks, or with Grandma after the Habitat Flower Show. Traverse City establishments seem to adapt to the celebration at hand.

At this time of night, there were many couples of all ages filtering into the patio and bar. And I was warmed by the vision of a couple bathed in the glow of the dessert case, bending to investigate the lower shelves before returning to their table outside. And it seemed in that moment that Traverse City suited us, all.

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Comment by Darren King on July 6, 2009 at 7:50am
nice post - you captured the vibe I pick up on as a frequent visitor...and love Amical....

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