The owners of Marinades Pizza Bistro have given their loyal customers a tough choice: either fall back on the familiar taste of gourmet wood-fire pizzas, or branch into uncharted territory at Grill One Eleven, which is right next door. Reviewers for On the Town and The Grand Rapids Press did not regret their decision to venture into Grill One Eleven, each one praising chef John Butler's seafood-stuffed grouper, swimming in chive-onion-butter sauce.
Like a king disguised as a lowly archduke, the two-story restaurant's ambiance is both elegant and approachable, with rich, hardwood floors and earth-toned walls surrounding diners as they feast on chicken risotto or roasted portabella burgers. Local craft beers flow freely at the granite-topped bar, pairing well with rib eyes and sirloins hot from the wood grill. Large windows shed sunlight on desserts of carrot cake and creamy lemon tart, which can also be enjoyed beside fireplace of the upper-level lounge area.
Four side-by-side projectors line the wall at Flo's Pizzeria Ristorante, above cozy booths where guests feast on specialty pizzas, burgers, and pastas. The sports bar keeps game watching covered with additional televisions hanging above the bar. Along with draft beers, guests can also get growlers of their favorite brews.
Perched on the bank of the Rouge River, Reds on the River serves up breathtaking views and award-winning cuisine made from scratch, largely with local ingredients. The dinner menu delights with starters such as Maryland-style crab cakes ($15) and Stallone-style mussels ($10). Reds’ impressive eight-layer lasagna ($16) contains seven more layers than the single-decker London-broil steak, simmered in a veal stock reduction and accompanied by mashed yukons and asparagus spears ($18). The chef's signature half-rack of lamb ($34) is a sweet treat for the shepherding senses, while the New York strip, aged 21 days ($28), unleashes a Manhattan of mouth-wateriness on palates. Midday meal-seekers can let their taste buds bloom with a mouth-moistening, highly-dunkable lunch creation such as a french dip on a french baguette with gruyere cheese, dill pickle, and au jus ($11), or a lobster grilled-cheese sandwich with tomato-basil soup, with the sandwich harnessing Maine lobster in a net of gouda, american, and mozzarella cheeses ($15). Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Dam Dogs proudly claim that you need a fork to eat one of their all-beef franks, the biggest of which, the Angus Beef, weighs in at one-third of a pound. But the silverware requirement isn't just because of the size. It also has to do with the toppings. The Rockford Dog, for example, is smothered in chili, cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onion. Other specialty items include the Rogers Dog—served reuben-style with sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and swiss cheese. Diners can switch both of these franks, as well as anything else on the menu, with all-soy and turkey dog options that loses none of the beef dog's girth.
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.
Lofty dining room windows afford panoramic views of the lush, rolling golf course that surrounds The Restaurant at Boulder Creek. Customers marvel at the scenery while sipping wine and nibbling on juicy steaks, hearty angus beef burgers, and crispy seafood dishes. On warmer evenings, they'll gather at the patio tables of the open-air deck, clinking frosty glasses of draft beer beneath the setting sun.