Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bartlett's; A Buckin' Good Time, Indeed!

I first meandered onto Rt. 12, in the spring of 08’ while looking for a new place to call home. I stopped in at Chesterton Indiana and was immediately enamored with the small town charm and thought, “yeah, this would work.” But then I remembered just a little bit further north was a campground I had stayed at in 05’ and a nature retreat I had taken part in down the road on Rt. 12. Curiosity of the past got the best of me and I found my way to 12 heading east. In many ways I never turned back to the south or to the west. Now, right off of 12 is where I call home! So, then where does Bartlett’s come into play?

There have been far too many times Saturday Night Stever and I have traveled along 12. The scenic route is breathtaking no matter what season you are in. Nature unfolds before your eyes. Travelers from near and far use this simple 2 lane highway as their thoroughfare and just like us, their senses are awakened. No hustle, no bustle, just you and Ahhh!

There is one place on the south side as you enter into the Beverly Shore section of 12 that has piqued our interest for a couple of years now. A small establishment with a big buck downing a beer. Aside from the interesting logo, is that the parking lot was always full! To me that it is an indication that either they have really good beer, or really good food, or maybe both! Well, this past Friday, the Buck Beckoned and we took the bait.

Upon walking in to Bartlett’s we discovered an establishment that was a mix of Northwood’s traditional and Lincoln Park, artesque. Our server was Melanie. She was very kind, helpful and knew the lay of the land. Steve became elated as he discovered that they carry Hacker Pschorr Weiss. A glorious wheat beer that is rarely found in these parts! After delivering our libations, our server started us off with a “charcuterie plate” which was spectacular. The selection of cheeses, sliced beef tenderloin, french bread, assorted pickled treats and roasted peach and jalapeno’s was a perfect addition to the selection already mentioned. In addition to these delicacies was elk sausage. While Steve shared that the elk was good, I did not indulge as that is not my thing, but to the more adventurous it is very good to know.

For our main courses we chose recommendations by our server. Her suggestions were based upon the more traditional and long standing items on the menu. Before I go too deep into our eats, let me make mention of the very well-laid out menu. Very nice for someone who is dining at the place for the first time. Okay, on to the eats…Steve ordered a chicken schnitzel, which he found to be delightful. As for me, I had a hankering for steak. The beef tenderloin on the charcuterie plate,(which was outstanding) left me wanting a little more of the red. So, I went with the bistro steak frites. Needless to say, I wasn’t as satisfied as Steve was with his, or I was with the charcuterie board. It isn’t that it was not cooked correctly, or anything like that, it is just that there were way too many shoestring potatoes and it overtook the entire tasting. I had to dig too deep to get to the vegetables and the meat to potato ratio was way off kilter. Equally the vegetables served did not blend well with the frites or the steak. Aside from that the experience was outstanding.

One of the things that stand out above all the aforementioned was that Hugh Kirk, the dining room manager took the time to stop by and chat with us. His welcoming presence matched that of our server. Good customer relations goes a long way. I am certain that the hospitality, fine food, ambiance and libation selection is why the parking lot is always full!

Its claim to be “gourmet” is indeed true! Where else can you get an outstanding charcuterie? Along with fine food, great libations, and warm atmosphere are the many additional happenings at Bartlett’s. Steve and I were especially intrigued with the live music offerings. Considering that we are live musicians, that aspect captured our attention. Check out Bartlett’s current event schedule here.

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