Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


Home · Articles · News · Features · Hats Off for Hanna: A Bistro...
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Hats Off for Hanna: A Bistro Menu Offers Casual Quality

Mary Bevans Gillett - December 16th, 2004
Great food, simply prepared” is the creed at Hanna, Downtown’s newest addition to its burgeoning restaurant scene.
Located in the former Komo’s on Cass near East Front Street, Hanna opened this fall to an enthusiastic audience. Its signature is simple yet strong – excellent food, outstanding service and a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere.
Owners Jim Milliman and Rob Giffer are familiar faces to the region’s food lovers. Milliman created Suttons Bay’s popular Hattie’s 17 years ago and earned a reputation for innovative menus and elegant dining. Giffer joined Hattie’s over a decade ago, becoming a partner in 2000. They bring their high standards to their new venue while taking a fresh direction with the bistro menu.
“America has become a more casual nation,” Milliman said. “We recognized the trend toward casualization and wanted to exploit it.”
“We’re taking almost an Italian approach with techniques that are simple and straightforward.” he said. “We promise great food that is simply prepared.”
Fresh food and seafood are showcased with such entrees as wood grilled salmon and tuna, clams “poirer,” east coast fluke, and wild Atlantic tilapia. The pan seared Florida red snapper is served with toasted orzo, roasted corn and a lobster chorizo broth while the sautéed orange roughy features a thai red curry sauce.
Other unique entrees include braised lamb shank with porcini mushrooms and red wine served with homemade spatzel, crisp spinach ravioli made with won-ton ravioli and a gorgonzola cheese sauce, calves liver with onion and rosemary, and veal meatloaf with shitake mushrooms, potatoes and gravy. For lighter appetites, stone baked artisan pizzas range from classic to clam.
While the main courses may take center stage, appetizers and salads are also noteworthy. Look for lobster tomato bisque, coconut curry mussels and won-ton wrapped fish “stix” as well as the popular crisp, morel mushroom raviolis for a starter. Salads, ranging from apple slaw to a Caeser wedge are available in house or entrée portions with unique dressings created specifically for the plate.
The children’s menu features healthy alternatives to fried, fast foods with meatloaf, potatoes, pasta, whitefish, chicken and vegetables.
Saving the best for last, many desserts feature homemade ice cream – vanilla bean, caramel and espresso with milk chocolate – along with fare ranging from light to decadent. Chocolate truffle cake, pumpkin crème brulee, a lemon meringue tart and homemade cookies and cream are a few choices.
The trend toward casualization is carried throughout Hanna’s décor. Glen Arbor designer Pam Houterman created a relaxing, urban ambience featuring “food” tones of eggplant, caramel and avocado. Booths and tables are comfortable and cozy, complemented by soft lighting rimmed with copper mesh lampshades. An intimate eight seat “dining bar” overlooking a food preparation area is among the most popular seating areas. The bar stands near the street front window, welcoming patrons and passersby.
The design was created with women in mind.
“We wanted feminine appeal, to create a place where women feel comfortable,” Milliman said, noting that when women feel welcome, the men usually follow. The strategy is working, based on a recent Friday evening observation, with the bistro filled with a friendly mix of men and women of all ages, couples, families and groups. Santa Claus even strolled through for a quick hello between holiday engagements.
Milliman’s move to Traverse City had been considered for the past several years.
“We considered where we wanted to be, long term,” he said. “This is where the traffic is.”
The plan took shape when the renovated firehouse which had housed the former Komo’s restaurant became available. Hattie’s was sold to Elbertus “Sam” Hybels, and Milliman and Giffer were headed downtown.
Hanna capitalizes on the energy of downtown and the synergy of the district’s growing number of distinctive restaurants. Milliman noted that, with neighbors like Amical, 310 and Poppycock’s, patrons have many excellent choices and may even frequent several on a given night with dinner at one and drinks or dessert at another.
During these first months, Hanna is open for evening service from 4 to 11 p.m. Lunch offerings may be in the future, but right now Milliman and Giffer are fine tuning their initial success and settling firmly into downtown Traverse City.
“We’ve got a great staff and we’re off to a great start,” Milliman said.

Hanna is located at 118 Cass Street in Downtown Traverse City. Hours are 4-11 p.m. Walk-ins are always welcome but reservations are recommended – 231-946-8207.


 
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