Visiting Plymouth: Fiamma Grille, Art In The Park & More

By July 13, 2016Adventures

It was a cooler overcast day in the Mitten this past Saturday which was a nice change after the hot humid weather we have been having the past week.  It was also Art in The Park time again so we decided to adventure and explore the town of Plymouth.

Plymouth is located east of Ann Arbor and west of Detroit in Wayne County, Michigan. Downtown Plymouth has a variety of shops and restaurants surrounding Kellogg Park in the center of town.  Plymouth  also features twelve parks, a very large ice arena and the Inn at St. John’s which is hotel conference center and golf resort. Plymouth has a vintage looking movie theatre downtown and also hosts Barefoot Productions Theatre Company located on Main Street.

GLB_201607091250_9934Plymouth’s Art in the Park is Michigan’s second largest art fair and this was the 37th year for the three day festival. Not one but two shuttles were offered this year and costs were very reasonable at only $3 per person. I love the convenience and ease of access a shuttle provides and wish more art fairs offered this. You can learn about the history of Art in The Park and our first adventure last year here.

On Saturday, we arrived at lunch time and were ready to eat so we decided to check out a restaurant first. There are several places prominently located on Main Street such as Comparis On The Park, Greek Islands Coney Restaurant, The Sardine Room, Fiamma Grille and Panera Bread (in a unique looking building) to name a few. We glanced at the Fiamma Grille menu and decided to give it a go.

GLB_201607091255_9935Fiamma Grille offered outdoor seating that was rather packed and posh indoor seating with white linen tablecloths. We chose indoors and were seated at a large booth on the restaurant side. There was also a bar area available.

The restaurant actually featured a special Art in the Park event menu that day. The waitress was efficient and friendly; our drinks arrived quickly while we looked over the menus.

GLB_201607091259_9939Garrin ordered a Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich and Fries while I tried the Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Orzo Salad.

GLB_201607090116_9940My sandwich came on caprese bread and looked gourmet upon arrival. I had never tried an Orzo salad so this was a first. It is a pasta that is about the size of rice and was quite tasty.

GLB_201607090116_9941Both of us really enjoyed the food and atmosphere. I could see enjoying a fancy date night out at this restaurant.

After lunch we decided to check out Art in the Park. This year, the event appeared similar in size with over 400 artisans available to browse. You could find paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, toys, fiber, glass, woodwork, photography, outdoor yard art, folk art & much more.

My friend, Neil Weaver, had a booth featuring his Michigan landscape photography. I always find new Neil Weaver Photography that I want to own at these events and this time was no exception. I added Seeing The Light  and Lake Superior Dreamscape to my wish list and hope to enjoy in my home someday. I highly recommend you check out Neil’s work as he shows how beautiful Michigan truly is.

2016-05-21 17.02.57Gucci & Tucker did not come with us on this adventure so we bought homemade dog biscuits to bring home as a treat from Whisker BiscuitsWhisker Biscuits offers many flavors of biscuit treats such as Beef, Carob, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Ginger, Peanut Butter, Cheddar Cheese, Apple Cinnamon, Vanilla Fudge, and Chicken Pot Pie. They also make chicken jerky. We bought a small variety pack for the furkids to enjoy.

One of my favorite Michigan vendors, The Painted Garden, was in attendance. I first discovered this artisan at The Milford Memories show last year and purchased a “Smitten with the Mitten” tile for my yard. The owners,  Mike & Karri Mohr informed me at the time of purchase that I could leave my tile outside all winter long and it would be fine in the inclement weather. Knowing how hard Michigan winters are, I really was unsure how the tile would handle the wear and tear. I am happy to report that my tile still appears as if new today. I found out that the Mohrs just actually sold their Michigan studio & home and are relocating to Virginia in a few weeks. I am sad they are leaving the Mitten state but happy to report that they will continue to attend the Art in the Park event in future years. I also found a new tile treasure this year  from The Painted Garden to decorate our campsite and had it personalized on the spot (see below).

GLB_201607120730_9948The event had a kid art fair section with children vendors offering homemade products. There was live music and food vendors offering refreshments though no snow cones were available this year. I had a henna artist from Hiral Henna tattoo a pretty bracelet on my wrist for fun. Henna is my kind of tattoo product featuring all natural dye from a plant that is generally brown in color and fades from the skin within a few weeks.

GLB_201607120732_9953After exploring the fair, we decided to look around town before heading home. There is a selection of over 100 shops, 30 eateries, galleries, salons and more in the area. I enjoyed browsing the boutiques downtown visiting Gigi’s Mode, Home Sweet Home, Sun & Snow, Tranquili Tea, Haven and more. Due to the event, it was fairly crowded so I hope to continue to explore the area during a return visit.

I learned that Plymouth offers a Fall Festival and has an Ice Sculpture Spectacular every January which is the oldest and largest ice carving festival in North America. I have added it to the list of events to check out.

 

 

About Liz Ball

Liz Ball is a freelance writer focusing on Michigan travel and local events in her community.