Sister restaurants One Trick Pony Grill & Taproom and The Cottage Bar & Restaurant share more than their owners?they're located on the same street corner. That makes it easy for guests to visit both in one night, stopping at The Cottage to grab a beer before heading to One Trick Pony for a pork porterhouse, or ordering a glass of wine at One Trick Pony before eating the USA Today awarded Cottage burger next door.
The two restaurants also share a love of entertainment. One Trick Pony hosts live music each Thursday and Saturday, with acts such as rockers Mid Life Crisis and acoustic folk singer Gabrial James Lundy entertaining diners. And musicians also play at The Cottage Bar's annual chili cook-off, where 40 amateur chefs gather to show off their secret recipes and plan a chili stain-off where they try to wash tomato sauce off their aprons.
Brick walls and fireplaces surround the nautical-themed dining area of Great Lakes Shipping Co. Restaurant & Tavern. During warmer months, the casual steak and seafood house opens its large outdoor deck that allows diners to pair meals with the melodic tweets of nearby birds. Executive chef Thomas Verlin's menu showcases fresh lake catches such as breaded perch alongside oceanic fare such as Australian lobster and Alaskan king crab, often accented with simple sauces, pastas, and cue cards that let the entree speak for itself. Thomas also lassos hand-cut slices of prime rib, new york strip, and tenderloin fillets onto dinner plates and wrangles juicy burgers and sandwiches to satisfy lighter appetites.
Shining its spotlights on everything from live concerts to cage fights, the Orbit Room morphs to handle intimate concerts and packed dance parties alike. A two-tiered design lends ample room for more than 1,600 swaying fans or 800 three-legged racers, with an open ground floor and loge resting below a seated balcony. Five bars adorn the two floors, quenching fans' thirst before they hop into the mosh pit or stretch their legs in the balcony.
Flanagan's Irish Pub's gastropub menu rotates nearly weekly with eclectic offerings such as pulled pork tacos and specialty burgers with fresh, seasonal toppings. Chefs still cook up classic Irish dishes such as fish and chips or shepherd's pie, but also put twists on old favorites: reuben bites?mini reuben sandwiches rolled in wonton skins?are a house specialty. On the weekends, live bands and DJs fill the air with music.
Legally Blonde The Musical, adapted from the 2001 hit film, is a rosy-hued tale about a sorority sister turned Harvard Law student. Filled with lively songs, breathtaking choreography, and copious amounts of pink, the sidesplitting saga of Elle Woods leaves audiences joyous and up to 24% blonder. Seating (subject to availability) will be in the orchestra section or first-level mezzanine rows A-F ($63.25 each), or in the mid- and back-level mezzanine ($53.25 each). Join Broadway Grand Rapids for its 23rd music-making season as the company celebrates its new partnership with MSU's Wharton Center for the Performing Arts.
J. Gardella's Tavern offers casual comfort food for the formal and uncomfortable at its three-story location. Fire-up feasting from the menu with spinach artichoke dip ($6.99) or J. Gardella's chili, a cup of family secrets, beef, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, and beans ($2.99). Once initial hunger pains have been tamed, guests can turn their stomach's sights toward a main dish. The pulled-pork sandwich accompanies its eats with barbecue sauce for dipping ($6.99), whereas the black-bean garden burger ($5.99) and the buffalo-chicken wrap ($6.99) spoil the stomach and spare the hog. Entrees include lake perch with fries ($8.99) and a chicken or beef burrito ($8.99), with the sugar-and-cinnamon-dusted dessert known as Elephant Ears ($3) providing a fitting finale to the feast. Vampires can use this Groupon for the late- night menu or to sip on some of the adult beverages at the full bar.