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Al Parker - September 27th, 2007
In musical parlance, “andante” means a moderately slow tempo.
In Petoskey, Andante means a contemporary, art-filled restaurant that offers elegant, intimate dining and eye-catching panoramas of Little Traverse Bay.
“We like to call our food gourmet eclectic,” explains Lori Stark, who owns and operates Andante with her husband, Bob. “We like to offer a little bit of everything. Our menu changes as the seasons change.”
Opened 19 years ago, Andante features a fusion of regional American, French, Asian and Mediterranean cuisines, a wide-ranging wine list and superior service.

One of Andante’s most popular appetizers, or preludes, is its Foie Gras Club, featuring layers of toasted brioche, tomato jam, Applewood smoked bacon and seared Hudson Valley foie gras, served club sandwich style.
Foie gras – French for “fat liver” – is the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. It is one of the most popular delicacies in French cuisine, with a flavor best described as rich, buttery and delicate.
“We had one customer who had just arrived back in Michigan from France,” recalled Lori. “While there, he had eaten foie gras for lunch and dinner every day for a week, and he said that ours is the best he’s ever had.”
The salad selections, along with fresh-baked bread, are included with every entrée, and start with crisp hearts of romaine lettuce tossed with a Whitefish Caesar dressing and topped with shaved asiago cheese and a toasted brie crouton; or kick your salad up a notch with a variety of extras, including mixed garden greens, candied pecans, strawberries, dried cherries and blueberries, slices of beefsteak hydroponic tomatoes, fresh buffalo milk mozzarella, toasted pine nuts, Vidalia onion, sweet corn or cucumber.
Keep in mind that, as Stark mentioned, the menu changes with the seasons, but Andante always makes sure to offer a variety of beef, poultry and seafood entrée selections prepared to perfection.
For example, recent choices include a filet of beef tenderloin with Yukon Gold potatoes, grilled asparagus, seared foie gras, truffle-yaki sauce and crispy Vidalia onions; another popular entrée is a pan-seared, free-range organic chicken breast smothered in a chanterelle mushroom sauce with fresh fettuccini, baby shrimp and crispy shallots. Seafood fans, meanwhile, will enjoy the pan-sauteed Whitefish filet that is crusted with macadamia nuts and served with a crab risotto and Chinese black bean sauce.

A century ago, this historic lakeside location on the fringe of Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District began as a private residence. It was later transformed into an interior design studio until the late 1980s, when the Starks established Andante.
Over the past year, Andante has been completely remodeled, inside and out. Visitors are greeted by a wide ramp and a warm blue exterior, accented by a classic white trim. Seating has been expanded, and now seats 56 diners in elegant comfort. Larger windows on the main floor make the lakeside views of Lake Michigan impressive and accessible from any table; Andante can accommodate large or small private parties, formal or informal, and the Lake Michigan view from the upper level is even more impressive than from the main dining area.
“I like to say we got a facelift,” said Lori, with a smile.

Andante, at 321 Bay St. in Petoskey, is open seven days a week. Reservations are recommended, call (231) 348-3321.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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