For restaurant-goers, sitting at the bar often comes with the perk of chatty bartenders, who lend insight into the menu and scene. One recent evening, a Slurping Turtle bartender pointed out chef-owner Takashi Yagihashi’s wife and daughter sitting at a corner table. Though the family calls Chicago home, Mom was visiting her daughter, who is a student at U-M.
The bartender’s theory was that the daughter connection was why Ann Arbor got the nod when Yagihashi decided to open a second Turtle after his Chicago flagship of the same name. With Mario Batali’s son, that makes two celebrity chefs’ offspring at U-M.
Batali is a big Michigan fan and praises Ann Arbor’s food scene on his website. Maybe at the next parents’ weekend someone should drop a hint about opening a local Eataly.