In Charlevoix, dinner and a movie has been elevated to an art form.
On occasional Saturdays, diners at Scovie’s Gourmet Deli & Bake Shop are treated to a feature film and special menu that complements the movie.
A recent showing of “Dirty Dancing,” a classic dance film set in the the 60’s era Catskills, included oysters Rockefeller, shrimp cocktail, French onion soup, poached salmon, chicken in puff pastry and grasshopper pie.
“We made a special menu for that movie,” said Sherl McEnhill, the front of the house manager. “It was an old-time resort menu.”
Scovie’s great food and welcoming atmosphere make it a regular stop for locals and visitors alike.
Owner Vi Keller’s interior is fun and festive. Bright and colorful walls feature various artworks. The front windows look out onto the street and the lakeside park, which is the hub of many community activities.
The restaurant has gone through a series of expansions over time. Last year a large dining room was added where the movies are shown.
Also new this past year is the Class C liquor license.
“[You] can get a glass of wine or a cocktail with dinner,” said McEnhill. “That’s a very nice complement to our food.”
The down-home fare features favorites like the Scovie’s BLT, which has a pound of bacon; the California BLT, which adds cheese and avocado spread to that pile of bacon; panini sandwiches like Bordeaux, with turkey, brie and caramelized onions in red wine; and the grilled Tree Hugger, with grilled zucchini, summer squash, roasted red pepper, eggplant, sweet red onions with pesto and Swiss cheese.
Wraps are international in flavor, featuring the tastes of Jamaica, Asia, and Greece, with ingredients like jerk chicken, curry-mayo, rice noodles, and Thai peanut sauce. There’s also a complete selection of burgers.
On the dinner side, fish favorites include parmesan-crusted tilapia and grilled salmon. Shrimp, quesadillas, pasta, ribs and beef also play a role.
McEnhill says the northern Michigan chicken salad and the burgers are the most requested items on the menu.
“The salad has dried cherries and toasted almonds with secret spices,” she says.
At dinner time, she says patrons often choose the pecan-crusted walleye, topped with an amaretto beurre blanc. But better still is the sautéed perch, finished with white wine and lemon.
Those who prefer chicken most often opt for the chicken Jerusalem, chicken breast sautéed with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives, then finished in a chardonnay cream sauce.
The adventurous could always go for the zing of the rasta Cajun pasta: grilled chicken meets andouille sausage, sautéed with peppers and onions before being finished with a Cajun cream sauce.
The restaurant started as a takeout bakery and expanded over time. Scovie’s also offers custom-made cakes and catering as well.
The gradual expansion has enabled the restaurant to weather economic storms while encompassing new trends and flavors.
In the summer, Scovie’s also expands from its cozy 50+ seats inside to seating outdoors, giving customers a better view of the lake.
Dinners and salads start at $8; though a green salad is $5. Appetizers begin at $6. Sandwiches (available all day) begin at $6.50.
Movie nights cost $5 plus the cost of dinner. Scovie’s is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. As of Mother’s Day, hours expand to include Sunday brunch.
Scovie’s is located at 111 Bridge St. Call (231) 237-7827, visit scovies. com, or check out its Facebook page at facebook.com/scovies.