Inside The Kitchen: Terry’s Place in Charlevoix

We’re in the sunny beach town of Charlevoix where one restaurant is serving super simple yet over the top flavor explosions. It’s Terry’s Place, and we’re going Inside The Kitchen.

For food that dances all over your palate in a casual fine dining atmosphere, Terry’s is the place to be. Chef Reid Beegen has worked with owner Terry Left for over twenty years.

The production begins with a fresh standard set high with the help of Cross Fisheries.

“It’s very fresh here,” Chef Reid tells us. “Cross is two blocks away so we get our fish fresh out of the water basically. There’s the Great Lakes, Lake Charlevoix. We’re in a good spot for fish here.”

Walleye and perch are top sellers, but the most popular is the Whitefish Robinson.

I ask Chef if Robinson has a meaning. He responds, “It’s a customer who came in and requested it like this several times. So we just threw it on our menu years ago.”

First things first, whitefish is dredged in seasoned flour and pan fried with peanut oil. Then we’re onto the hash browns, because really—who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? They’re made as baked potatoes the day before then shredded into hash for a totally efficient favorite, any time of day.

When the fish is close to done, it’s time for the Robinson sauce.

“This is it,” Chef demonstrates, “fresh ground garlic, parsley and olive oil. Salt and pepper goes right on top of the fish. It’s like a flavor explosion because whitefish is such a mild fish.”

Still sizzling the Robinson is poured over the fish, and paired with the golden crispy hash browns. And for a little veg, we sautee green beans.

But no game’s over until dessert. And here at Terry’s Place they do it with decadence. The chocolate mousse is a house favorite, made from scratch every order.

“It’s chocolate, eggs, heavy whipping cream that you whip, melt the chocolate and fold some butter in. When we fold it all together, we put it in the mold with the pound cake, freeze it until it firms up and now it’s a delicious chocolate mousse. Then we coat it with dark chocolate and graham cracker crumbs.”

For plating it’s built on a drizzle of chocolate and raspberry sauce then dolloped with homemade whipped cream. The final touch is a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh raspberries. Impressive, but still uncomplicated. And that’s what they like at Terry’s. 

“That’s the key. It’s simple elegance. It’s so delicious but it’s so simple.”