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Reflects Bistro

Al Parker - November 16th, 2009
A Bistro to Reflect Upon
New hotel restaurant aims high
By Al Parker
“We’ve been definitely well received,” says a smiling Jack Buist as he pours a glass of Cambria Chardonnay and offers it to a visitor.
Buist is the general manager of Traverse City’s newest hotel, Cambria Suites, which opened in June. It recently hosted a grand opening that attracted some 400 visitors in three hours.
“It was really great that so many people stopped in to check us out,” says Buist, an Allegan native who’s been working in the Traverse City area hospitality scene for more than 25 years.
One of the new hotel’s most popular attractions is Reflect, a cozy and comfortable dining area done in earthy patterns of tan, brown and crimson. There’s seating for nine at the counter/bar area and ample room for dozens more at nearby tables. Assistant general manager Colleen Whittaker oversees the bistro’s staff of 12.
But it is Reflect’s menu that takes it way beyond the typical value-oriented hotel snack bar that all-too-often provides weary guests with a meager cold continental breakfast and a couple of pre-made sandwiches or salads for dinner.
Breakfast is served from 7 to 11 a.m. every day and includes a well-stocked hot breakfast buffet ($7.95). In addition to the usual breakfast fare, fresh-brewed estate-grown coffee by Wolfgang Puck or Numi Organic Tea is included with the buffet.

In fact, a full array of Wolfgang Puck specialty drinks are offered at Reflect’s barista bar, including espresso, caffe macchiato, café Americano, café con panna, cappuccino, latte, mocha, French roast, Italian roast, iced coffees, rich hot chocolates, and more. The beverages can be personalized with one of several flavored syrups.
“We also provide Wolfgang Puck coffee in all our guest rooms,” adds Buist.
Breakfast guests can get a cooked-to-order breakfast if they wish. Go ahead and order up two eggs, a side of thick-cut bacon or chicken apple sausage and griddled hash browns or fresh fruit ($8).
Or try a satisfying three egg omelet with your choice of fillings and served with bacon or sausage and hash browns or fresh fruit ($9). Waffle lovers will want to taste-test the Belgian waffle, topped with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, toasted pecans and maple syrup. It comes with bacon or sausage, hash browns or fresh fruit ($9).

Reflect closes after breakfast, but reopens at 5 p.m. with an impressive dinner selection, complete with appetizers such as Buffalo chicken tenders served with a spinach, cucumber and tomato salad ($9), spinach artichoke dip ($8.50), sun-dried tomato goat cheese with pesto crostini ($9) and an organic soup of the day ($5).
With its well-stocked bar, Reflect’s guests are invited to relax with a drink before or after dinner. During the 4 to 7 p.m. happy hour there are reduced food prices. “All our liquor is top shelf, no well drinks,” says Buist. “We have a nice selection of beers and wines, including local wines from Chateau Grand Traverse and Bower’s Harbor. Our local beers include Right Brain Brewery’s Pale Ale and Short’s Bellaire Brown.”
Reflect offers five popular salad choices – Caesar, pasta, Greek, southwestern chicken and house salad – ranging in price from $7.50 to $10.
Some popular entrees include griddled crab cakes served with a spinach corn salad ($14), penne pasta with lemon pepper crusted chicken in a garlic cream sauce ($12), and the classic cheeseburger, a half-pound of Angus beef topped with your favorite cheese, red onion, lettuce and tomato ($9). It’s served with cole slaw and baked terra chips.
Pizza fans will want to try the margarita pizza topped with fresh tomatoes, tangy sauce, basil and extra virgin olive oil ($12) or the grilled chicken pizza, featuring bacon, onion, tomato, asiago and mozzarella cheeses ($13).
“We also feature dinner specials each night,” notes Buist. “Either a special pasta, steak fajitas or shrimp Alfredo – they’ve all been well received.”
Top off the meal with a hefty slab of original cheesecake or chocolate truffle torte from the Cheesecake Factory bakery. There’s also an assortment of gelatos and sorbets, plus a granny apple caramel bar topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Desserts range from $5.50 to $7.50.
“There are so many wonderful restaurants in Traverse City that our guests have a lot of choices,” says Buist. “But people are finding out about us and it was a good summer. We expect next summer to be even better. People will know that we’re here.”

Located in the Cambria Suites at 255 Munson Ave., Reflect is a totally smoke-free facility and is open for breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. and for dinner 5 to 11 p.m. seven days a week. For more information call (866) 442-9846.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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