Boathouse Restaurant

: 14039 Peninsula Dr, Traverse City MI
: (231) 223-4030

Why We Recommend

It has been said that gazing at water is good for the soul. Well, then there’s no better place to feed your soul, while satisfying your appetite than at this beachside restaurant on beautiful West Bay. Come for a gourmet brunch or lunch on the deck. Or synchronize your watches and meet for a sunset dinner where you’ll enjoy the glow on the water as you are treated to a menu with glowing reviews. The farm-to-table scene here is a stroke of genius, thanks to owner Doug Kosch who skillfully grows many of the offered foods and herbs in his own 10-acre organic garden called Malem Farms. The Boathouse plates the best of what’s being grown in this historic farming destination, as well as the finest farther-afield items including Kobe beef and Dover sole. Everything, from the proteins to the sauces, is perfectly balanced to highlight the best ingredients of the eat-with-the-seasons philosophy. Though this restaurant has a locavore focus, Executive Chef Jim Morse also brings his broad, exotic visions to the table. When not in the kitchen, he teaches at the nearby Great Lakes Culinary Institute, where he leads a class on World Cuisine. The entire culinary team strives to serve dishes with a full sensory experience with top-notch flavor, texture and presentation, whether preparing the decadent (and gluten-free) oysters on the half shell or a salad made from organic, hydroponic microgreens, harvested at their peak crispness. In a town filled with great eateries, the Boathouse exists in rarified air as the only restaurant on stunning Old Mission peninsula situated directly on the shore. You can’t help but slip into vacation mode as you overlook 300 feet of beach frontage at Bowers Harbor marina. Best of all, large windows mean everyone gets the best seat in the house. White table linens and cottage-style wainscoting complete the look of this idyllic spot. And like the stone fireplace in the dining room, the bar menu is a can’t-miss pillar of this glorious establishment. (Insider tip: Keep an eye out for special events and make reservations early for the popular Brunch with Santa every December.) So take the heavenly drive out to the Boathouse—your soul will thank you!

What's Up Recommendation

If you like your comfort food with a helping of luxury, consider the rich lobster mac and cheese.