Built by Irish farmers in 1937 and still family-owned, Grattan Irish Pub serves its steaks, dusted perch, and house-brined kraut and corned beef with a hearty side of tradition. Deep kelly green booths dot the interior, tucked along walls covered with Irish decor. The kitchen produces authentic dishes made from carefully guarded family recipes and serves soups alongside local, hormone-free steaks that are hand cut and never marinated. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, live music sails through the air, and a weekly burrito special is definitely not Irish but involves a burrito, so nothing else matters.
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).
At Frank's Press Box, bartenders pour draft beer and concoct specialty drinks such as the Grape Skittle: grape vodka mixed with sprite and served with a lemon garnish. Drinks like these complement menu items such as Chicago-style deep dish pizza, buffalo wings, and burgers. Big screen TV's fill the dining room, and depending on the season, follow teams such as the Lions, the Red Wings, and the Tigers.
Chefs at Zen Asian Bistro and Sushi serve up Asian-fusion inspired dishes. Behind a full sushi bar, experienced chefs delicately bundle together sushi rolls of eel, cream cheese, veggies, and salmon. Asian-fusion entrees such as spicy mongolian beef stir-fried with green onion complement Western classics such as a rye-bread patty melt topped with swiss. As beer glasses click together, big-screen TVs overhead keep patrons updated on athletic events or the weatherman’s 70-minute-long attempt to pronounce “atmospheric.”
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.
Once each new batch of beer has passed through The Hideout Brewing Company's 155-gallon system, brewers transfer it from fermentation drums into kegs one by one. The hands-on process takes time, but brewmasters still manage to keep The Hideout's 25 taps filled. Drafts like the Promiscuous Pilsner and the Gangster IPA are available year-round, thought most of the bar's selection rotates among specialty and seasonal beers, as well as occasional hard ciders and meads. The brewers are often playful with different styles of beer, steeping chocolate and jalapeños or using wild yeasts that build a complex maze of flavors.
Along with food from outside vendors, The Hideout's pours pair well with a modest menu of bar snacks such as mini tacos, corn dogs, and soft pretzels. Drinking and dining commences on the main floor, where Prohibition-era photographs surround weekly rounds of trivia, board games, and chess. Competitive shouts drift from shuffleboard and dartboards, and there’s also a horseshoe pit in The Hideout's backyard garden, where steeds respectfully leave their hoofwear before coming inside for a drink.