Midwest Living Review
Formerly Andante, a high-end fusion restaurant, Palette Bistro is the newest resident of this small frame house overlooking Little Traverse Bay. The owners, Wine Guys Restaurant Group, opened Palette in December 2010, anticipating a bit of holiday rush followed by a slow time. Thus far, their prediction has proved incorrect: It has remained busy. Palette's concept incorporates smaller Mediterranean plates, Michigan beer and European wine. On our early summer visit, we found the Caprese salad a tad too small to justify its price of $8, but the tomato soup was heavenly -- roasted tomatoes, fresh garlic and loads of chiffonade basil. Cod and crispy prosciutto were a perfect pairing for a cool June evening, followed up by an expertly executed creme brulee and French press coffee. (Entrees start at $18, starters at $7.) The curious wine list, incorporating Austrian wines in its allegedly Mediterranean scheme, offers a lot of obscure vintages and decent pours, like a 7-ounce Sancerre priced at $9. During weekday happy hours, $4 small plates include interesting fare like white bean and sourdough bruschetta; Friday nights are reserved for late-night pizza from their wood-burning stove. Palette's sleek decor features neutral colors and lots of hardwoods, accented with local art -- all for sale. A wonderful wood-and-zinc bar spreads out, enveloping diners as they enter from the tiny frame doorway. However, the real star is Palette's location, with soaring windows over Lake Michigan. There's an upstairs deck overlooking downtown Petoskey, but a Million Dollar Sunset, as they're called in Petoskey, is priceless.