795 Front St.
Petoskey Michigan 49770United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Cava, a sleek bistro in Bay Harbor village, is a sophisticated backdrop for inventive cuisine and an interesting wine list.
Bay Harbor, a newish resort, shopping, boating and residential development in northern Michigan, is home to Cava, a high-end, sleekly casual restaurant. Its windowed corner location overlooking Bay Harbor's marina is a great spot to ogle yachts while sipping specialty cocktails. In warm weather, it's nice to sit on the brick terrace under Veuve Cliquot Champagne umbrellas, enjoying Lake Michigan's balmy breeze. Inside, a wraparound teak bar outfitted with metal chairs is a fun spot for a catch up with friends over wine. The by-the-glass wines are interesting, if not especially wallet-friendly. The Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc, at $10 a glass, is a crisp, refreshing start to a light first course of sauteed artichoke hearts in a lemony marinade or a baby beet salad tossed with tiny balls of local chevre. Fresh, seasonal and often local ingredients star here, as they do at Cava's sister properties Chandler's (in downtown Petsokey) and Elevated (right upstairs). Everything arrives beautifully plated on square white dishes. Not all the food is frou-frou, though. Cava's pizzas, which change daily, feature local herbs and cheeses. Our gouda and chicken special was a slice, no pun intended, of heaven. In a corner of the Midwest already crowded with great restaurants, Cava doesn't stand out, but it's not doing anything wrong either. Beautiful fresh food, jazzy music and an impending sunset over adjacent Lake Michigan make for a memorable night out. Starters from $6; mains from $21.