Named one of the city's most romantic restaurants by Grand Rapids Magazine, Tre Cugini ensnares the senses by pairing its rustic décor of exposed brick walls and crisp white linens with authentic Italian cuisine. Bartenders pour from an expansive list of wines and shake cocktails to tunes from the gleaming grand piano, whetting appetites for cooked-to-order risotto and house-made desserts. Friendly staffers teach basic Italian phrases on request and host monthly wine events, allowing patrons to applaud a varietal's flavor in its native handclap. During warmer months, guests can flock to the outdoor patio to savor fruity sips beneath colorful striped umbrellas:
Fat Man's Fish Fry, an eatery founded in 1953, has drawn in diners for decades with a sumptuous array of fry-house specialties. Scallops, perch, crab cakes, and other seafood sizzles in dedicated fryers while chicken, alligator, and other proteins cook separately; the separation ensures clean, un-muddled flavors. Those flavors are enhanced with a trio of vinegar-based sauces or Fat Man's tartar sauce—a house specialty that you can also take home by the bottle.
January 30, 2013 was a big milestone for the team at Cranker's Restaurant & Brewery. The date marked the release of their first-ever bourbon-barrel-aged beer, appropriately titled the Barrel #1 Bourbon Porter. But Cranker's taps were no strangers to innovative beer or the high-pitched squeals of happy pint glasses. The brewery had already racked up awards at the World Expo of Beer for their Professor IPA, Crankenstein Amber Lager, 5th Voyage Coconut Porter, and Honey Kolsch.
That last brew, the Honey Kolsch, is the beer of choice when ordering a basket of Cranker's fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce. Indeed, the bartenders and servers are always happy to make beer-pairing suggestions for their homey entrees. For Detroit-style coney dogs, for instance, they recommend their Bulldog Red Irish Ale. Or if diners show up early, they pour Oakenshield Stout to go with eggs, sausage, and other breakfast staples. They also have the perfect substitute should diners want a less potent beverage: a cool glass of homemade root beer, either served by itself or as a float.
Following success with their restaurant XO Asian Cuisine, Osmond Chan and Kelson Chan opened Osaka Steakhouse to bring shabu shabu hot pots and theatrical hibachi cooking to local patrons. According to MLive, the Japanese-food eatery serves sushi, gourmet ramen noodles, and shabu shabu, "a Japanese variant on the Chinese hot pot." During interactive shabu shabu meals, patrons receive plates of seafood and vegetables that they cook at the table in a bubbling broth before dipping the morsels in sauce—the same procedure clients undergo at cutting-edge Japanese spas.
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.
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.