Northern neighbor a dining destination.
Bacon-wrapped chicken breast at Evans Street Station.
TECUMSEH, Mich. -- Located 40 miles northwest of Toledo is a true destination restaurant.
Evans Street Station in northeast Lenawee County is a place to celebrate special occasions such as milestone birthdays, anniversaries, job promotions, and more.
The town's former fire station provides upscale ambiance, but somehow is still laid-back and a perfect conduit for patrons to enjoy contemporary American fare made from scratch and mostly local ingredients.
Our recent dinner was outstanding in every way, from the personable service provided by our waitress to creative and top-notch meals.
The bacon wrapped chicken breast ($18) was beautiful in its presentation. The moist chicken was wrapped in a thin layer of bacon and topped with a mound of crispy parsnips that resembled fresh potato chips. The creamy spaetzle was thick and rich, and a bit sweet, with crisp green beans mixed in.
Don't wait for a special occasion to try Evans Street Station's roasted duck breast ($26). Resting atop wild and jasmine rice and crowned with a sunny-side-up quail egg from Webbed Foot Pines Waterfowl Farms, it was almost too pretty to eat, especially with the splash of cider reduction -- a great take on sweet and sour sauce. The dish was served with a braised red cabbage and caramelized onions salad with pine nuts that provided a solid understudy to the duck's star performance.
The dijon crusted pork tenderloin ($23) was tender and juicy and served on a bed of caramelized fennel. It came with a well-prepared kohlrabi-potato gratin and green beans. Again, the preparation was superb and confidently matched by taste and gratification.
A couple of other notes from dinner: The ginger beef wontons ($8), made with ground tenderloin and featuring a sweet chili sauce were a refreshing light appetizer. The Michigan potato chowder ($5) -- although chowder might be a bit misleading because it was more like puree -- was rich with cream, accented nicely by the bacon and chives. A favorite, the Meyer lemon cheesecake ($7) was sweet and creamy and not too tart. Fresh blueberries and whipped cream on the side made for a classic complement.
Our lunch stop was comparable but not without flaws.
Half of the braised brisket French dip ($12) lived up to its price tag. The warm beef served on a crusty baguette with melted gouda and natural jus had everything in its favor: texture from the crunchy bread, and the gooey cheese. It was fantastic, until the second half of the sandwich, which was four-fifths fat. I discarded the fatty pieces, but continued to dip the bread in the au jus.
The Evans Street mac & cheese ($9.50) was anything but ordinary like most mac and cheese dishes. The al dente pasta was paired with sharp and creamy sauce with crispy sweet potatoes dancing on the surface. In a minor misstep, the fresh-cracked pepper wasn't ground all the way and a few larger pieces made for an unwanted surprise.
The special-recipe BBQ pulled pork ($9.50) had a mellow sweetness and was topped with savoy cabbage slaw, providing a nice crunch on a multi grain roll.
Another hit was the smoked turkey & brie sandwich, paired with grain honey mustard and apple, on toasted Zingerman's Farm bread. It was as comforting as a sandwich can be.
The bacon and barley soup special ($5) was warm and a textural playground and should be considered for a permanent place on the menu. The lardon-style chunks of bacon balanced the graininess of the barley.
Once again we had exemplary service, and each time we felt comfortable and welcome by the entire staff during our entry, dining, and exit.
EVANS STREET STATION
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Address: 110 S. Evans St., Tecumseh, Mich.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Reservations are accepted.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average Price: $$$
Credit cards: AE, Dis, MC, V.
Web site: evansstreetstation.com
Contact Bill of Fare at firstname.lastname@example.org.