In combining a handful of things Michigan is known for?fresh water, organic grains, fruit, and microbrewing?into their process, Flat Lander's Bar has written its own destiny with its own title: the barstillery. That word alone encompasses Flat Lander's premium, custom-distilled spirits, which, in the spirit of moonshining, get blended offsite and delivered to the bar. Flat Lander's Appleshine is one of those: a blend of white whisky, Michigan apple cider, and other secret ingredients ready to heat up the belly with each sip.
Along with moonshines, Flat Lander's also has built a "hillbilly chic" menu with everything from pork shanks and bourbon barbecue-smoked ribs to house-made sausages. The dining room rather fits the meal too, located in an old sawmill building with plenty of original architecture, including a charred old-growth hardwood interior. One newer standout is the bird cage stage, where bands come to pluck and play their folksy, bluesy, an countrified music.
The Elbow Room's cozy neighborhood confines welcome grub-guzzlers and fryer fanatics for spirited rounds of conversation and culinary consumption. Plop into a cushy green booth and sidle up to the menu, bedecked with a bounty of bar favorites that are served till 2 a.m. nightly. Turophiles can take leave from composing their Piave-themed opera and enjoy the dairy deposits of cheese-slathered items such as the chicken quesadilla ($7.25), deluxe chips and cheese ($7.25), chili-cheese-loaded fries ($6.25), or cheese pretzels ($7.25). The Elbow Room's savory wings ($7.25 for nine, $10 for 15) send poultry patrons aflutter, while the bacon cheeseburger ($8.25) impresses meat historians with its monumental merging of previously warring proteins. Vegetarians can opt for a large green salad ($5) or a garden burger ($6.75).
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.
Low lighting casts the private enclaves and brick fireplace in a warm glow at Louis Benton’s dining room. The restaurant is led by general manager Richard Kozlowski and new executive chef, as well as West Michigan native, Noah VanDoorne, who serves up Midwest cuisine with a French flair. VanDoorne is well-versed in international flourishes such as saffron fumet, citrus beurre blanc, and tiny edible berets, yet pays homage to his roots by sourcing ingredients from local farms for his newly upgraded menu. Some of those ingredients debut on USDA Prime aged steaks, which has earned the spotlight in Grand Rapids Magazine Restaurant Guide and were lauded by the Grand Rapids Press as a “nirvana-like experience."
If the weight loss of the company's owner and a trainer?75 pounds and 100 pounds, respectively?is any indication, Grand Rapids Boot Camp and Fitness means business. The outdoor classes are tailored for all fitness levels, so beginners and seasoned athletes will both feel the burn as the perform weight exercises, resistance workouts, and functional movements.
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.