Tucked into a patch of woods near picturesque Glen Arbor, Trattoria Funistrada is the much-loved Italian restaurant owned by Tom and Holly Reay. A neighborhood staple for the past 12 years, this cozy restaurant offers a changing menu of seasonal dishes and Italian classics made under chef Tom’s culinary direction.
We began our meal with a lovely bottle of wine that we enjoyed at the restaurant’s outside tables. Wine is priced with value in mind – you won’t find huge upcharges at the Trattoria. Try the 2009 Piccolo Cru – a perfect way to prime your palate for the meal to come.
For starters we shared a plate of the spaghetti with three homemade meatballs. Perfectly sauced, the dish stars moist, tender meatballs and al dente spaghetti. Other pasta dishes of note are the in-season pasta with fresh melon sauce and the linguini with clams in pink sauce.
One true test of an Italian restaurant is the way in which it prepares its veal. Chef Tom has mastered his preparation of Veal Saltimbocca. He begins with delicate scaloppini dipped in seasoned flour and pan sauteed in olive oil. This is an easy step to overdo, but Tom knows exactly when to pull the veal from the heat to retain its moist flavor. Next up is a topping of prosciutto, mozzarella and Parmesan that goes under the broiler for a crisp and melt. The finishing touch to the dish is a layer of Tom’s slow-simmered Marsala sauce that marries the flavors in the saltimbocca beautifully. In case you can’t tell, I’d highly recommend you try this dish.
With other entrees such as Bistecca Balsamico, Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Salmon Puttanesca, the menu offers choices for every diner’s taste. Nightly specials are posted on chalkboards throughout the restaurant.
Though a little off the beaten path where wild turkeys roam the roads, this trattoria is a great destination in Northen Michigan. Reservations are strongly recommended as the tables fill quickly every night of the week.
4566 MacFarlane Road