When we met with Executive Chef Josh Vinocur at Sorellina in Traverse City, he was exhausted as he went into the last day of Traverse City Restaurant Week 2016. We can’t blame him. Not only is he the Executive Chef at Sorellina, an Italian restaurant, he runs the culinary programs at Harrington’s By The Bay and McGee’s No. 72.
To our delight, Chef had some gas left in his tank and shared some delicious cuisine with us, as well as a few laughs. He’s a unique, fun loving guy who is passionate about his craft.
After chatting about everything from his desire to appear on Chopped to pairing French Reds with Pizza Rolls (apparently it’s delicious), we got down to business and learned about Chef’s vision through the food he created.
Straight off the Traverse City Restaurant Week menu was a phenomenal scallop dish. The scallops were seared to perfection and accompanied by rice and a little molecular gastronomy. Chef released his inner mad scientist and made faux caviar that tasted like tomato, bringing a contemporary flair to a classic seafood dish.
Next up, we enjoyed the Atlantic salmon with butternut squash coulis. The dish was hearty and the flavors reminded us of fall. The accompanying candied pear was a memorable bite.
Although gnocchi isn’t the flashiest item on the menu, we were craving it for months. Sorellina’s gnocchi hit the spot. We soaked up the remaining sauce with the amazing bread served at the beginning of our meal.
Everything was paired with their highly-recommended Italian Sangria and Strawberry Basil Lemonade.
Chef expects to launch a new menu at Sorellina in April. He noted that the menu rotates quarterly to incorporate seasonal ingredients and keep things exciting. While Sorellina began as a traditional Italian eatery, some contemporary cuisine has made its way onto the menu over time so things don’t get stale.
When it comes to the current Traverse City dining scene, Chef certainly has his pulse on where it’s going. “The region is attracting talented restauranteurs and I think that will continue. The food IQ of the public has gone up along with access and acceptance of exotic ingredients, helping fuel the growth.”
Based on our travels to Traverse City over the years, we think his assessment is spot on. We are lucky to live in a state that has such great dining destinations and we appreciate experiencing the future of Traverse City dining through Chef Vinocur.
Sorellina is located at 120 S. Park St. in Traverse City, Michigan.
MI-5 with Executive Chef Josh Vinocur
We asked Executive Chef Josh Vinocur about five of his favorite Michigan things.
1. Favorite Michigan season? Warm, because I like golf and the beach.
2. Favorite Michigan beverage? Cinnamon Girl Hard Cider from Left Foot Charley.
3. If you’re going to drink a Michigan wine, what would it be? Cabernet Franc from Bowers Harbor Vineyards.
4. What Michigan restaurant do you like to eat at when you’re not on the job? Trattoria Stella.
5. Favorite Michigan products? Local produce from the farmer’s market, Mama Mucci, and Northwoods Soda.