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Silver Swan Takes Wing as a Family Tradition

Sandra Serra Bradshaw - February 24th, 2005
It’s one of those special places that draw customers in again and again - so much so that they become eager regulars welcomed on a first name basis. Often they even call in early in the morning for a favorite dish that becomes one of the daily specials for other patrons to savor.
The first Silver Swan, owned by Skender “Ziggy” and Emma Pepellashi closed its doors in Suttons Bay in 1997. Though missed much by many local patrons, Silver Swan reopened at the foot of Leelanau County in Traverse City and contues the family tradition.
Following in their parent’s footsteps, the three Pepallashi daughters, Yola, Erika and Petra, opened the new Silver Swan in 1997. They never regretted that decision. Besides being a restaurant, there are gifts from all over the world decoratively set around the interior. “At Christmas, we were sold almost out,” Yola said proudly.
“Cooking is in our blood, “ Yola added. “For countless generations our family has cooked - it is just a way of our family showing love - and in turn we now cook for our customers who are truly like family to us. We cook everything from scratch.”

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Another aim at the Silver Swan is to be affordable. “We want to give high quality to the everyday working people,” said Yola.
Sure enough, as my companion Joerg and I sat there for lunch, in came people of all sorts, including construction workers. “At first they kind of thought this place was too upscale,” Yola explained. “But now the guys have become regulars, road workers, painters, you name it. But then we also have a lot of professionals in from offices and Munson too.”
Ziggy and Emma often help out at the restaurant despite their “retirement,” a second home in Albania, and vacationing in Florida. Ziggy will often cook from the restaurant’s old menu for his daughters, much to the delight of his former patrons. Favorites such as veal Piccata or Ziggy’s raved-about roasted leg of lamb served with his delicious homemade rice pilaf and Adja, a concoction of garlic paste, olive oil, roasted red pepper and boiled potatoes. Beef Rouladen is another old favorite he delights in making for the restaurant’s patrons.
The Middle-Eastern influence is apparent, and yet on top of that comfort foods and fresh idea sandwiches are standard as well.
“Yola is the savory (cook) and Petra and I do the sweets,” said Erika. “Our sister Petra says we just need to call her our personal slave,” she added with a laugh.
“I really enjoy working here,” Petra responded with a flash in her smile. Petra came back north leaving a graphic design position in Southfield which often flew her between California and New York. “I rather be with my family,” she said.

DAILY SPECIALS
Be prepared for a huge selection of Silver Swan. On the board they offer daily specials. On Monday, meatloaf with homemade mashed potatoes and a vegetable; Tuesday, goulash over noodles and a vegetable; Wednesday, hot turkey sandwich, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy; Thursday, pork loin; Friday, beef Stroganoff over noodles; and everyday, rouladeti with mashed potatoes and red cabbage and Wiener schnitzel. Daily they offer other ethnic varieties to choose from as well.
Salads selections are many and taste as fresh as just picked out of the garden. They are fussy where they get their food, much coming from the Eastern Market in Detroit. Some salads they serve are Juliette salad with turkey, Swiss, dried cherries and pecans, Greek Salad, as well including the popular Emerson Salad made with turkey, Swiss, dried cherries and pecans.
Their sandwiches? Ahh! Try a Reubeti, delicate corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing served on grilled rye. Petra’s favorite is roast beef or salami with herb cream cheese, tomatoes and onion. A vegetarian choice is the Norwegian - Havarti cheese, cucumber, shredded carrots and lettuce with Bistro sauce, or the Veggie Wrap, Cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots and cucumber with a zesty ranch dressing. Or how about a Middle Eastern Wrap, made with hummus Babaganoush, vegetarian grape leaves, lettuce and tomato. Those choices are only the beginning, as there are eleven other wraps and sandwiches, some light, some very hearty. Or choose to make your own “Custom Creation.”

BEST EVER
To complement your sandwich, add homemade soups made fresh daily. These include a popular chicken vegetable orzo, bean with ham, beef barley, creamed soups such as potato, leek and spinach and much loved by customers, Yola’s chili.
“We always have at least one vegetarian and one meat soup daily,” said Yola. Side dishes include “Killer Potato Salad,” garden salad, pickled beets, hummus, Baba Gagnouj or vegetarian grape leaves (which is what I ordered and the best I have ever had).
Don’t forget to try their fabulous homemade desserts. Showcased behind a large glass case, these include cream puffs, a selection of cookies, Baklava with pistachios, Ziggy’s Apple Strudel, Tiramisu and cannelloni.

The Silver Swan staff is available for catering. Call for selections and pricing. The restaurant/gift shop is located at 13692 S. West-Bay Shore Dr Traverse City, MI 49684 Phone 932-0203 Hours are Monday thru Friday 11am - 8 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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