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Cove Lakeside Bistro

September 30, 2017

  • 9110 Portage Road
  • Portage, MI 49024
  • (269) 350-5380
  • Website
  • Menu

Days off have been pretty rare recently.  I’ve been working quite a bit of overtime.  I went twelve straight days without a day off and had planned on working a double on the thirteenth.  My boss decided I needed a day off and gave me a three day weekend which I gladly took.

J and I had a pretty rare opportunity to go out to lunch with only one kid that we needed to entertain.  L was at school so all we needed to do was keep B happy and we could enjoy a nice lunch out.

We had actually planned this a couple days in advance.   I had seen a Facebook “suggested post” for Cove Lakeside Bistro.  I keep forgetting about this place when we talk about going on, so the ad really helped as a reminder.  I also wanted to go for lunch and not dinner.  We’re not fancy people and the menu gets a little fancier at night.

Cove Lakeside Bistro is another offering from Millennium Restaurant Group.  They took what used to be an office building for Mavcon on Portage Road right on West Lake.  The building sits right on busy Portage Road with a small parking lot on the northside.  There are signs at neighboring businesses not to park in their lots and the lot was full on a Friday afternoon for lunch so it must be an issue at night.

The building doesn’t look like a restaurant from the outside.  J actually commented she thought it looked like a banquet hall.  From the entrance, there aren’t really windows and the whole thing just looks a lot less inviting than you would expect from a restaurant of this magnitude.

The inside is a completely different story.  There are three long dining areas which use a nautical theme to set the scene.  The shiny wood floors contrast the blue and white walls with light wood accents and boating paraphernalia on the walls.   The dining room closest to the host station is exclusively pub tables and feels more like a bar area.

The bar takes up a space between the host stand and the main dining room.  The space feels like it used to be offices…like they knocked some walls down and put the bar in which opened up the hallway.  The bar is surrounded by leather covered pub chairs and the nautical theme is carried into this area with some maritime signal flags.  The bar, like all of Millennium’s properties, has a pretty good local draft selection as well as the usual macros and a full bar.

The main dining room is a long, open space with large picture windows looking out on to West Lake.  It’s a comfortable space with several four tops wood chairs covered in black leather seat cushions.

Every table in the dining room has an amazing view of West Lake.  If you’ve always thought, like us, that you couldn’t have great lakeside dining in Portage, this place will change your mind.

You have the choice to sit inside and look out the windows, but on nice days, Cove has a great patio just feet from the banks of West Lake.

The large outdoor dining is about the same size as the main dining room inside.  There is a little bit of shade provided by some large fabric sails strung over the top, but the sun can really work to your advantage out here as the sun will set on over the lake.  I’m guessing a sunset dinner at Cove could be amazing.

The hostess took us to a table in the main dining room.  We had thought about sitting outside, but it was windy enough outside to produce white caps on the lake so we stayed inside.

We both flipped our menus over to the drink list as soon as we sat down.  We got B in a high chair and gave him a phone to keep him busy so we could have some adult time.  I picked the Founders All Day IPA.  They had Two Hearted which is typically my go-to IPA, but the All Day sounded good at that moment so I went with it.

J ordered the Blackberry Cider from Sierra Rose.  Somehow, this cider managed to be both sweet and dry.  It was an interesting flavor that she liked.  I took a sip as well.  I found it unique but not sure if I could drink a whole glass.

The lunch menu at Cove appeals more to us than the dinner menu would.  We’re more sandwich people and there are more sandwich options on the menu at lunch time.

I picked the Cuban  This sandwich is ham, braised pork shoulder, salami, brown mustard, Swiss cheese, and pickles pressed between two slices of crusty bread.  There are a lot of different flavors going on in this sandwich.  The pork is tender and juicy.  The ham is salty with a little bit of crispiness around the edges.  The mustard adds a little bit of spiciness.  All of the components of the sandwich compliment each other with the pressed, crusty bread adding the crunch that brings it all together.

The sandwich comes with house chips, but upgraded to the bistro fries.  I wasn’t expecting thick cut steak fries when I ordered them, but that’s what the bistro fries are.  I was a little disappointed when they came out, but that was short lived.  The fries are actually pretty good.  They’re very crispy on the outside and cooked all the way through so you don’t get a mashed potato taste from the middle.  The steam does pour out when you bite into them, but the soft, flaky inside of the fry is cooked well enough it blends into the crispy outside.

J ordered the Croque Monsieur.  I actually considered ordering this one as well.  It’s thick, grilled pain de mine bread with ham and gruyere cheese.  The whole sandwich is then covered with bechamel sauce.  I couldn’t really tell how much ham was in the sandwich but it looked delicious.  J said she hasn’t had one of these since she visited friends in New Orleans over five years ago.  She said Cove’s take on it was just as good as she remembered the one in New Orelans being.  J also ordered the Bistro fries but wishes one of us would have gotten the chips just to see what the better option is for next time.

We got B a grilled cheese off the kid’s menu.  The sandwich is cut in to little squares and the crust is cut off just like most kids prefer.  His sandwich came with french fries.  We both thought the fries we were going to get were the fries that B got with his sandwich.  He ate about half of the sandwich and a handful of fries before J and I took over.

Our bill for lunch was just a little over $45.  Our meals were fantastic.  J and I both went with sandwiches outside of what we usually get.  The bistro fries are an interesting choice to pair with the sandwich but they are actually quite tasty.   Our only real complain was it took quite a while to get our food and the place wasn’t super busy.  We were just past the lunch rush a little after 1:00 so most tables were clearing out as we walked in.

Cove Lakeside Bistro is another fantastic offering from Millennium Restaurant Group.  The location is so great.  This is the type of restaurant that works both to unwind a little bit after a day at the office and watch the sun go down while also being a fantastic date night.

Cove Lakeside Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 1, 2017 11:16 pm

    Sounds like a great restaurant to try if I am ever in the area!

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