Christine Gill's New American restaurant, Bistro Chloe Élan, mirrors the cultural melting pot of America itself—and the result is a mélange of regional dishes from around the country and the globe. Christine has 29 years of restaurant-industry experience from around the country—from Washington DC to Arizona to Michigan—including owning and operating the Sierra Room in downtown Grand Rapids.
Executive Chef Mike Kehl bases his menu on proteins such as salmon, bison, beef filet, and red snapper, arranging each beneath a colorful explosion of seasonings and garnishes.
Not only do these dishes pair with an eclectic wine list, but in the bistro's dining room, their aromas mingle with another element: music. Live musicians provide the soundtrack for brunch and dinner Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Throughout the summer, a special dinner series focused on regional cuisines—from Caribbean to Appalachian—features band performances on the lawn.
Like an evening gown sewn from a burlap sack, the bistro's design seamlessly blends rustic and elegant. A mismatched collection of light wood and dark black tables gather beneath modern, geometric light fixtures, some of which dangle strings of crystals. A small, square fireplace warms the room, contrasting with the cool silver of an undulating wine rack that stretches across one wall.
Sheshco Mediterranean Grill's chefs skillfully prepare a comprehensive menu of authentic Lebanese and Mediterranean recipes. Plates carry bounties of chicken shawarma; beef or lamb sautéed with mushrooms, cilantro, and garlic; and smooth, delectable dips such as hummus and baba ghanouj. Other selections include lentil soups, fattoush salads, shrimp kebabs, and freshly squeezed juices.
Chef Eddie Sanders tells culinary tales of from a menu of seasonal, new American cuisine as gustatory enthusiasts gather around The Cobblestone Bistro's fireplace. Cobblestone Bistro helps guests suppress workweek woes with a Sunday brunch spread that runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Engage in unlimited meet-and-eats at carving stations or build your own omelet from stuffings such as fresh vegetables, cheesy hash browns, or an infinite number of other omelets.
Beneath the baked bread and vegetable du jour of Restaurant Toulouse's signature cassoulet, pork sausage and duck confit stew with great northern beans, bacon, carrots, onions, and tomatoes into one simmering pot of flavor. The cuisine includes onion soup and a medley of pan-seared scallops and mushrooms smothered in gruy?re cream sauce. Bartenders also mix up an extensive assortment of cocktails, including Kahlua- and tequila-spiked coffee or the French Connection, a slowly stirred blend of cognac and amaretto over ice. Wait staff serve these feasts in a refurbished turn-of-the-century building replete with art deco?style posters and a wood- and screenplay-burning hearth, as well as a heated, enclosed patio.
A sophisticated French restaurant, The Henderson Castle Bed & Breakfast is housed in a Queen Anne–style mansion originally built in 1895. The property has been featured in three movies over the years, including In the Woods, and now operates as a three-diamond, AAA-rated bed and breakfast. Henderson Castle’s newest owner, Francois Moyet, also serves as head chef at the hotel restaurant, where he prepares traditional French cuisine using ingredients harvested on Eifel Tower’s rooftop garden. Prix-fix dinners, ranging from four to eleven courses, include selections such as steamed flounder filet with a lemon-cream-dill sauce, and bacon-wrapped roasted pork loin. In the morning, guests can enjoy an American–style breakfast topped with fresh fruit from the onsite garden. Guided tours circle the property daily, giving visitors an inside look into the historic home.
Bedizened with dishes from every corner of the globe, the Oakwood Bistro’s menu transforms dining into a world-traversing adventure with ingredients culled from local and organic sources whenever possible. After a widely traveled culinary career, Chef Ryan Soule has settled back in his home state replete with regional cuisine know-how and hours-long vacation slideshows. Taste buds can travel to tropical locales with the pineapple-dotted caribbean paella ($23), trek to the misty northeast with lobster mac and cheese ($18), or holiday in North Africa with the curried eggplant tagine ($15). American classics meld with worldly flavors in bistro sandwiches, which include asparagus cheese melts ($8) and salmon BLTs ($12). Thin-crust pizzas ($9+) let diners customize their meals with 24 topping options ($1.25–$2.75 each), and each dough disk is available in gluten-free ($4 extra) or merrily skipping carefree versions.