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Sunday October 23, 2016
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Brandon Unbound



The Portuguese seafood stew seemed like the least local dish with its preponderance of fish that had never seen a Great Lake--halibut, muscles, shrimp--but potatoes from Tantre Farm in Chelsea and a house-made chorizo added a dash of Washtenaw. The halibut, grilled before it entered the stew, was on the dry side, but the light broth helped overcome that deficiency. Oddly, the only entirely unsuccessful dish for me was the steak: on two separate occasions the grass-fed rib eye was tough, overcooked, and under-seasoned. The Grange needs to learn how to do as well by Michigan beef as they do with out-of-state seafood.

The wine list--pulled together quickly according to sommelier and dining room manager Lauren Trendler--needs strengthening. For me, most of this food would work better with Old World wines, and, while some Michigan wineries are represented, most of the wines here are from the West Coast (closer to local, I guess, but in terms of carbon footprint, actually a little worse than French wines, because of land use and methods of transport). The Grange does have a very good selection of regional beers and a list of elaborate "artisanal" cocktails.

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