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 gruyère 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.
The roar of cheering fans bursts out of Spectators Sports Bar & Grill’s 26 televisions and is joined in voice by the crowd parked at tables and around the bar. Helmets and basketballs adorn shelves overlooking diners feasting on burgers and charbroiled ribs dunked in barbecue sauce.
Blue House Bistro's menu masters a multitude of innovative small plates, gourmet sandwiches, and homemade desserts. Salute the crab bruschetta, sautéed in a cream sauce, then served with spinach and artichokes on a crispy baguette ($8.99), or fete the eggplant parmesan sandwich's fluffy flour handles, packed with fresh mozzarella, garlic, marinara, and toasted pine nuts ($7.99). Nautical noshers can navigate through a sea of herb-cream sauce dotted with sautéed chicken, hickory-smoked bacon, and sweet onions, or shiver the timbers of a 14-inch Creole pizza—masts mounded with shrimp, crawfish, and a boatload of fixings ($11.49). The bistro's menu changes regularly, so call ahead to confirm favorites or roll the dice on delectable discoveries.
Rice & Spice compiles a greatest hits menu of classic fare from a host of Asian countries, and the restaurant specializes in Thai dishes. Rev up digestive engines with an order of crispy crab rangoon ($3.95) or spring rolls ($3.25) before attuning taught jaws to a mountain of phad thai ($8.95 with beef, chicken, pork, or tofu; $9.95 with shrimp; $11.75 with seafood). The phad phed squelches the temper tantrums of hunger pangs with a spicy red curry and constellations of bamboo shoots, long beans, carrots, lemongrass, and eggplant swirling in a coconut Milky Way ($8.95 with beef or chicken; $10.95 with shrimp). Like ornately decorated cauldrons, bowls of pho noodle soup and lemongrass-laden tom yum soup ($7.95+) billow steam, doubling as an effective smoke screen for aspiring ninjas.
Piper Restaurant (formerly the Sandpiper) gives its guests a casual dining experience washed down with awesome views of Lake Macatawa. Parachute palate-first into the diverse and expansive menu with an order of gnocchi ($5.50) or the Sticks and Dips, which pairs wood-roasted breadsticks with a four-cheese fondue ($3.50). Entrees range from the seafood sustenance of the almond walleye, featuring an almond-encrusted caught-in-Canada fillet served with potatoes and vegetables ($21), to the Kobe sizzler, with a pan-seared Kobe beef sirloin sidekicked by smoked blue cheese, bacon green beans, tomatoes, and cauliflower mash ($18). Veggielantes can opt for the artichoke ravioli ($16.50), and surveyors for circular cuisine can build their own pizza ($7.50), with 31 toppings available ($1.50 per topping). Piper offers a sizeable food-sensitive menu for those with gluten or dairy allergies, and a separate children's menu is available for kiddies seeking delicious food after a long day at the learning mill.