Restaurant Reviews

Holland, Michigan dining recap

In addition to our wonderful meal at the New Holland Brewpub, I also wanted to write about the other places we dined during our short visit in the lovely town of Holland, Michigan.

CityVuBistro-We have a “tradition” of running into issues when it comes to finding a place to eat on our last night of a trip. Although there were numerous restaurants we had walked by countless times in Holland’s downtown, the majority of them were closed on Sunday. This was extremely annoying since due to bad planning on our part, the two other restaurants we had eaten at our first two nights there WERE open on Sundays. While there was a plethora of dining options nearer to our hotel, they were mainly chain establishments, not at all indicative of the charm that Holland’s downtown offers. I persevered with my looking and eventually discovered the CityVuBistro, a restaurant located on the top floor of a downtown hotel called the CityFlatsHotel. I was worried about heading to the restaurant sans reservations but my worries immediately dissipated when I saw how dead it was. (As a whole, Holland from a tourist’s perspective did not seem busy at all Memorial Day weekend.)

As it’s on the fifth floor of the hotel, the restaurant offered a terrific view of the city and surrounding area (there’s also an outdoor patio dining area although we didn’t realize this until we had already been seated). Service was extremely friendly and attentive throughout the entire meal. Unlike many of Holland’s downtown restaurants which seemed to be the burger/pizza/pub food variety.  CityVuBistro offered more of a global/continental selection of dishes.

We split an order of the pot stickers which were delicious and not at all filling, very good when wanting to have space in your stomach to still eat your entree.

I went with the Five Cheese Macaroni for my main course. While it was extremely rich due to the almost sickening amount of cheese, thankfully my stomach remained intact. It was also the perfect size. It came with steamed broccoli which I definitely appreciated.

D opted for the Chicken Tikka Masala, a spicy Indian dish in a tomato cream sauce. It also came with naan, a leavened, oven-baked flat bread. What’s funny is that he kept saying how spicy it was, but from the couple of bites I had it tasted fairly mild compared to other versions I’ve eaten. We discovered that the dish’s spiciness was present in the sauce part.

All in all, unlike some prior ill-fated last dinners, this one was just about perfect, so I am forever glad that at least one cool and unique restaurant was actually open on a Sunday night. For me, the best part about it was the perfect lighting that allowed me to take such great photos.

Curragh Irish Pub-Where Irish restaurants are, D will go and so we ate here on our second night. It wasn’t spectacular from a culinary perspective but that’s not really what Irish bar-style cuisine is; to me it’s simply hearty comfort food. While it was busy we were still able to be seated indoors (it was a bit too cool to dine alfresco).

I started with an order of the the soup of the day which was tortilla soup. There was more than enough and D helped me to finish it.

For my entree, I went with with the Chicken Curry, sauteed chicken tossed with vegetables in a mild curry sauce and served on a bed of rice pilaf. The chicken curry served in British restaurants is a much more milder version of the Indian one. While it tasted good and I certainly appreciated the abundance of vegetables, since often on trips I don’t I get  as many vegetables as I’d like, the chicken came in extremely large pieces and the sauce was on the thinner side, which contributed to my slight disappointment with it.

D ordered the Irish Breakfast, which for anyone not familiar comes with eggs, toast, Irish rashers, bangers, black and white pudding, baked beans, and broiled tomatoes.

It wasn’t a great meal but it was perfectly acceptable.

We did get our caffeine fixes multiple nights from JP’s Coffee and Espresso Bar, a local place right on 8th street.

D also had ice cream from Kilwin’s, an incredibly mouth watering confectionery shop. We also got an array of chocolates to take home with us.

Downtown Holland has a great number of dining and drinking places to choose from; however, if you happen to be visiting on a Sunday, just plan accordingly!

More in this series!


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