795 Front St.
Petoskey Michigan 49770United States
Fresh produces inspires creative, contemporary dishes at this sleek, almost-vegetarian restaurant in the Village at Bay Harbor development.
Though you won't find the words "vegetarian" or "vegan" prominently displayed outside, a meat-free ethos guides the sophisticated menu at Elevated. No apologies. No explanations. And definitely no stodgy whole-grain casseroles. Just fresh, creative dishes inspired by seasonal produce. Even the rare dishes featuring seafood or chicken display a refreshing sense of balance; the protein is just one part of the dish, not its raison d'etre. A green romanesco cauliflower salad arrives mounded on a white plate with swooping shavings of Parmesan ($10). Sweet cloves of roasted garlic scatter over grilled asparagus bruschetta like gold nuggets ($8). Three plump, perfectly seared scallops accompany an autumnal hash of diced sweet potato and currants ($23). Nearly every table in this tiny, second-floor restaurant has a view of the Bay Harbor marina, and the abundance of natural light makes the bright colors on the plate glow, as if professionally staged for a magazine shoot. Every dish tastes sublime, not only because it really is delicious, but because the plating is so elegant, the creativity on display so refreshing. Eating out should always feel like such a revelation. The idea for Elevated came from its older sister restaurant Chandler's. Chefs there noticed that the nightly vegan entree sold really well, and that it wasn't just vegetarians who ordered it. What would happen, they wondered, if we spun that concept into a whole menu? Now we know: vegetable Nirvana. Note, however, that we don't say "culinary nirvana." For all the brilliance of Elevated's savory dishes, dessert is lackluster here, a phenomenon we've encountered at Chandler's as well. And so, as much as we love Elevated, we do hope they hire a pastry chef who works the same magic with cocoa and peaches as the current chef does with carrots and peas. Note: Elevated is only open during the summer vacation season. Call before visiting.