Welcome to The Chapman House, in Rochester, Michigan. My Second Home…
Have you ever found a restaurant where you just feel right at home? Where they know you by name and it’s posh enough to spend every day but secluded enough that no one will really care that you’re always there? Yes, a place to call your own. A place like a second home… For me, that place is The Chapman House in Rochester, Mi. Yes, it’s in my home town and it’s so wonderful that I can go there any time I want. And, I do.
Good food and and healthy choices are what I’ve grown to love and respect especially as a mom and a woman that just keeps having those darn birthdays. As we get older, we learn to love ourselves and our bodies just a little more and we realize the importance of taking care of ourselves. That’s why I love The Chapman House. The portions of food are perfect and not over done. The selection consists of healthy options, every day and every evening. Modern American dining inspired by French culinary tradition is what The Chapman House is all about. Menus are written based on daily market availability and the wide variety of fresh ingredients from the Great Lakes region is perfect for a Michigan girl like me.
What makes the food so good? Well, the first reason is obvious. The food provided is healthy and fresh and each dish consists of options that are not only good for our health but tasty too like my favorite brunch option the freshly shaven corn beef hash topped with egg whites. What else is good? How about the homemade warm maple donut holes served fresh per order and the endive salad made with a selection of endives, a sunny-side-up egg (but I ask for egg whites only), house-made bacon, and asparagus? Yes…I could keep going.
The selection is basically American cuisine inspired by French tradition with about 11 local farmers and purveyors, including Yale-based Melo Farms for eggs, Northville’s Guernsey Farms Dairy, and Detroit’s Recovery Park Farms for greens. They also work with Fairway Packing Company from Detroit’s Eastern Market. Who prepares the food? A local celebrity in his own right that’s who. As the Executive Chef at Chapman House, Chef Chris Cason’s extensive experience includes a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, and more than ten years spent developing memorable menus and working at notable restaurants in Chicago and his hometown of Detroit. Chef Chris’ culinary career began when he started working at Bill Robert’s Streetside Seafood in Birmingham, MI under Chef Sharon Juergens. Chris moved on to work a stagiaire at Cafe Boulud under Andrew Carmelini, and an internship under James Beard Award-winning chef Takashi Yagihashi at Tribute in Farmington Hills. From there, he moved with Chef Takashi to open Michelin-starred Takashi in Chicago, IL, serving as the Poissonier. Afterward, he moved back to Michigan with his family where he has had experience at a number of local restaurants, including another one of my favorite’s, Michael Symon’s Roast downtown Detroit.
In the photos above, I attended a couple of special events at The Chapman House which provided dinner and wine pairings which were hosted on the back patio among the gardens. One event was in the Summer and the other early Autumn. These events I rarely miss because they’re just that good. And to be honest, no one in town is putting this type of atmosphere with equally posh dishes and the best wine around together for one experience. They’re just not. But that’s okay, because I absolutely don’t mind calling The Chapman House my second home.
My favorite is brunch on Sundays. I’m a regular there and love to sit outside on the patio on a warm day and listen to the beats from a live DJ that is there each week during brunch hours. If I’m feeling more private, I usually sit at a quiet table in the back garden away from everyone else for the perfect private dining experience. When hosting parties or if I want to really impress friends or a client, I love the basement called the Vault where my party can dine privately and drink wine and enjoy Chef Cason’s creations for as long as we want…….it’s a stunning atmosphere.
Interested in sitting inside? Well, we have to now because the Michigan winter has begun right? The restaurant offers seating for 115 guests in four rooms on two floors. There’s also a standing-room-only bar, (well there are two tables there if you’re lucky) on the first floor that includes a baby grand piano and wonderful drink menus.
A special thank you to Francis Jeup for creating such a beautiful commercial. It was such an honor to be included. Hopefully, I’ll see you at The Chapman House next time I’m there. Be sure to say hello!