401 S. Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak MI 48067
Visited May 8 and 16, 2014
This totally remodeled space has reopened as a Bistro….a very good Bistro. Previously a Spanish Restaurant ( for the record I ate there a couple times and had subpar food and very subpar service), this new incarnation could not be more opposite. The food is excellent, and the service superb. I have visited twice, once I dined at the bar, and the second time with a group in the dining room. The greeters, bartenders, wait staff, and serving staff, have been well informed, personable, efficient, and friendly.
The dining room is simply sophisticated – simply presented in shades of grey, with a backlit stone bar adding warmth. The space is very open with exposed ductwork and white upholstered chairs with clean lines. The walls have a couple large paintings adding just the right pop of color.
The Goat Cheese Salad with honey, apple, petite greens, mixed nuts and raisin spread is a masterpiece, I liked it so much on my first visit, I had to order it again. Highlights from my meals and others at my table: the Beet Salad , the Cobia, the Salmon, and the Scallops (they do have meat and poultry on the menu, we were all just in a seafood mood I guess). For dessert we had the Cinnamon Sugar beignets, and shared the Dark Chocolate Tart. It was all delicious. Check out the Bistro 82 website for their Photo Menu of other tasty items, and the regular menu for the descriptions.
I highly recommend it.
In the City Flats Hotel, 61 East 7th Street, Holland MI
Visited July 5-7, 2012
On the top floor of the City Flats Hotel, City Vu Bistro is a contemporary fun space with something for everyone. They have table and booth seating, a long bar suitable for dining if you choose, as well as an outdoor rooftop terrace with a perfect western view of the sunset. The menu also has something for everyone, from over a dozen different flatbreads, great salads ( any of which you can get a “side” portion with your entree – at a “side” portion price), soups, and I just couldn’t resist the entrees.
The first night I stayed in the Hotel, I had dinner at the bar. Zak, the bartender suggested the balsamic marinated chicken entree with the whiskey cider sauce – which was unbelievably good. With the success of his first suggestion, I had him recommend a dessert (I was on vacation afterall). The strawberry & vanilla bean cheesecake with orange creme anglaise was recommended, and was as rich and delicious as you would expect.
I had planned on exploring Holland to find another restaurant for my second night, but why mess with success? I got in the elevator and like a magnet it took me back up to the City Vu Bistro. I again found a seat at the bar – and there was Zak ready to recommend a few new dishes for me. I started with a side Caesar salad, then had the NY Strip with parmesan mashed potatoes, asparagus and a very interesting red onion marmalade. And for dessert I had an incredible Orange Brulee.
The next morning before checkout, of course I ventured up to the City Vu Bistro for breakfast. The Prosciutto Frittata was full of flavor.
My only regret is that I never got to explore the other restaurant options in Holland – but then again I guess I really do not have any regrets…
In the H Hotel, 111 W. Main Street, Midland MI
Visited April 21, 2012
While looking for a place for a pleasant lunch in Midland, before a special tour of the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, I came across what looked like a good option. Cafe Zinc on Main Street turned out to be a fantastic option. It is a perfect blend of crisp contemporary design, clever surprise touches, and an underlying french cafe feel. With white marble wall panels, a decorative tin ceiling, white leather upholstered chairs with a drawer pull handle on the back to assist in pulling the chairs out, and a wood grate wall perfectly displaying apples all show the attention to detail in the design.
And the food…well it was delicious. A warm, crisp mini baguette to begin, then I had a mushroom and spinach quiche served with a nice green salad. The menu includes a wide variety of items for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Everything looked delicious. The server suggested a “build your own” bloody mary. I declined, as I was driving, but I did wander over to the adjacent Oxygen O2 bar to check out the room. It proved to be another great space, with a very well stocked bar. Check out my separate post on the Oxygen O2 Bar for some photos. I am already planning on a trip back to Midland to spend the night so I can enjoy both of these establishments.
In The H Hotel, 111 W. Main Street, Midland MI
Visited April 21, 2012
This bar and lounge in The H Hotel is adjacent to the Cafe Zinc. The names of the spaces reference the elements on the Periodic Table, a clever nod to the scientists in Midland’s main employer Dow Chemical. Oxygen O2 is a well designed space with a perfect mix of cool contemporary elements and a warm lounge feel. I just wish I was there in the evening….with a dry gin martini, shaken not stirred.