A big jump in rent drove the Edgewater Bistro out of downtown Charlevoix, but the owners aren’t complaining.
Mandy and Allen Plungis are running the Bistro at the Charlevoix Country Club and say they couldn’t be happier.
“We’re not downtown on the lake, but we’re on a golf course. We’ve got a sports bar too,” said Mandy Plungis. “It’s all coming together.”
The dining space at the public country club seats more than 350, nearly five times what the couple had at their former location.
Add to that the 11,000-sq.-ft. Shanahan’s Barn event facility, golf events and other activities, and it’s clear that this is a different beast than their downtown restaurant.
“We’ve got the Ellsworth prom, dinner for the Petoskey prom, and a Kentucky Derby party for the country club members,” said Allen Plungis. “This summer we have the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra at the barn, wedding receptions, and golf events.”
Former patrons have heard about the switch, which happened earlier this month, they said.
“People are following us here,” said Mandy Plungis.
“The menu is totally different” from the previous country club restaurant, said Mandy Plungis.
“We took our concept and brought it here,” she said.
A smattering of breakfast/brunch items, sandwiches, salads, small plates, and lunch entreés (dubbed “Bistro Fare”) comprise the daytime menu. They are complemented by daily seafood specials.
“There’s no seafood on the menu. It’s always a special because it changes,” she said.
Typically there are at least five items from which to choose, such as grilled Norwegian salmon, king crab legs, scallops and Alaskan cod.
Those specials continue into dinner time, where they are joined by many of the same items, including the salads and shared plates, some additional sides, and a modified Bistro Fare section, which also includes some of the sandwiches and luncheon entrées.
The dinner entrées include filet and New York strip, Brazilian-style steak kebob, rack of lamb, and Mandy’s Mix Grill, a combo platter with lamb, small filet and a lobster tail.
There are also a pizza menu, a pub menu, and a sushi menu.
Most popular or best? Mandy Plungis said the former title would have to go to the whitefish, whether it’s stuffed with lobster or Parmesan-crusted.
But she has another take on what’s best. “The Chilean sea bass,” she said. “It’s prepared with a sweet Thai chili sauce.”
For the rest of the menu, the Florentine eggs Benedict is scrumptious, with poached eggs topped with diced tomatoes, spinach and Mornay sauce alongside grilled asparagus, atop English muffins.
The Gorgonzola salad features candied pecans, dried cherries, mandarins and the namesake blue cheese, atop mixed artisan greens and served with a raspberry vinaigrette.
And don’t forget the soup. The wild mushroom bisque is a signature dish, and with its rich taste it’s easy to see why.
THE REST OF THE STORY
Once the decision was made to go ahead with the move, things quickly jelled.
“It all took about a month,” said Allen Plungis. “We met with [country club owner Fred Taylor], and then it was just the lawyers.”
Shared plates start at $9, while brunch items start at $8. Salads and sandwiches also start at $9, while bistro fare begins at $12.
Pizzas start at $10, pub fare in the sports bar at $9, and sushi starts at $8.
The new Bistro is located at the Charlevoix Country Club, just north of Charlevoix on U.S. 31. Follow the main road to the clubhouse. Current hours at 10am-9pm, though those may be tweaked come spring and summer. For more info, visit chxcountryclub.com.