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.
Anazeh Sands enlivens evenings with fermented nectars, billiards tables, and meaty meals. Pool cues crash and sippers slurp at the bar at both Anazeh Sands East and West, but diners can only explore Charley’s dinner menu at the west location. The magic mushroom burger ($5.95), pile of pepperoni pizza, which features a pile of pepperoni ($10.50), and pacific tilapia ($8.95) each sing an ode to meat-craving taste buds while satiating your innermost stomach.
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.
Rock Fire Grille fills grumbly stomachs with classically prepared American fare, complementing an eclectic array of steaks, pastas, and pizzas with a stellar wine list. Diners can watch their meals being meticulously prepared in Rock Fire Grille's open exhibition kitchen, an experience far superior to viewing an episode of Top Chef and eating the TV screen at the end. The restaurant's expansive menu begins with seafood-infused appetizers, such as beer-battered, coconut-crusted shrimp ($8.95) and pan-seared Maryland crab cakes ($9.95). When the main course rolls in, treat taste buds to the Sienna chicken penne, served with sundried tomatoes and spinach and tossed in a creamy parmesan sauce ($14.95), or the bacon-wrapped pork fillet ($15.95) with a smidgen of pineapple salsa. Pizza purveyors can bite voluptuously into the wood-roasted mushroom pizza, with melty feta cheese, savory bacon, and spinach on four-cheese bread. For dessert, discuss your status as the Statue of Liberty's husband-to-be over a slice of Julia's New York cheesecake, drizzled with wild berry coulis ($6.95).
Last Chance Tavern and Grill celebrates microbreweries with beer on tap from Bell?s, Left Hand Brewing, Founders, and Angry Orchard. Guests can sample a variety of brews with a flight of beers, and take home their favorite in a growler. During lunchtime hours, chefs top burgers with olive mayo, jalape?os, smoked bacon, and housemade barbecue sauce. Other handhelds include piping-hot pizzas and philly cheese-steak sandwiches. The tavern also provides an array of entertainment, where guests can belt out their favorite tunes on karaoke nights, flex their brains during trivia contests, or relax during live music performances when they can finally take a break from humming all the time.
Jaden James Brewery isn't the Bonga family's first foray into the world of sippable fermentation. In the same space where they now create specialty beers, they've spent years crafting wines from the fruits of Michigan's bountiful vineyards and orchards.
"So many people come for the wine, but we often get one half of a couple who says, 'I like beer,'" says Bob Bonga. The brewery's current selection includes a cream ale to be savored between bites of pretzels, a Russian Imperial Stout, and an oatmeal porter that Bob characterizes as "wonderfully dark, with roasted tones of chocolate and coffee." The juice of apples harvested in northwest Grand Rapids goes into hard ciders.
The family also prepares a short list of snacks for visitors. In the future, the Bongas may grow their menu further by distilling their own liquors.