There are many reasons I love living in Michigan, but one of them is the fact that as Michiganders we never take a nice day for granted. So, when the absolute most perfect weather hit during mid-August my hubby Matt and I decided to head somewhere we could dine outdoors. What better place than Waterfront Bar & Grill? Located in the Lansing City Market, we had been there during the winter months, grabbing a drink inside at the bar following a business event at the Lansing Center, but had never enjoyed the warm summer breeze on the patio. Matt and I arrived to find that many fellow Lansing residents had the same idea as us. Live music carried out into the parking areas, as did the sounds of bar patrons laughing, drinking and having a great time. A sign near the outdoor entrance invited us to seat ourselves. We grabbed a table in the middle of the patio, which provided a good view of the musicians, fellow diners, the water and the outdoor kitchen area, which includes a grill. We were greeted, offered drinks and handed a two-sided menu. The Waterfront Bar & Grill offers up a selection of sandwiches, salads, burgers and a nice offering of appetizers. In addition, they have a number of craft beers on tap, a wine list and from the looks of the liquor selection displayed at the bar inside – could whip up pretty much any cocktail your heart desires. As the hummus plate had been recommended to us, Matt and I started with that. Expecting a plate of hummus, veggies and maybe some pita bread, we were both surprised at what was placed in front of us. (Even the description on the menu couldn’t prepare us for what was delivered.) A long boat-like tray was filled with — get ready it’s a long list — butter braid pretzels, caramel corn, celery sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, crackers, pepper jack cheese cubes, a small dish of roasted red pepper hummus and a small dish of Waterfront Spread, which — as it turns out — is a sweet/ savory cream cheese type dip that’s pretty great on crackers. As random as that offering might sound, it was kind of fun trying out the different flavor combinations. Just before we ran out of ways to pair things, our dinner arrived. Both of us ordered off of the nightly specials menu. Matt went with rib fingers and I went with the olive burger with a side of tuna macaroni salad. Food at Waterfront is served on paper plates supported by a larger platter, which to me is the perfect way to serve up their dinners since the first thing that both Matt and I said about our meals was that it was like we were at a friend’s place for a backyard barbeque. As you sit and enjoy a cold brew and live music you can smell your food cooking thanks to the outdoor grill. The addition of a pasta salad to my burger made it feel like I had wandered down the street and happened upon my friend’s cookout, not that I was in a proper restaurant. To be clear, that’s a comfort level we both appreciated. While I have to admit the food was nothing too spectacular, there is no denying that Waterfront will get our repeat business. There is no way to beat the scenery and the overall vibe of sitting outside listening to live music while sipping draft beer. Before the weather turns — because you know it will — I recommend grabbing a seat on the patio and checking it out for yourself.
Emily Caswell is the Managing Editor of CAWLM. She has a passion for fun, family, friends, shopping sprees, cold drinks and Lansing.