Address: 604 N. McEwan, Clare
Phone: (989) 386-3441
Hours: Breakfast: 6:30-noon; Lunch: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Dinner: 5-10 p.m. Mon-Thurs (open until 9 p.m. Sun and 11 p.m. Fri and Sat)
Signature Dishes: The lunch and dinner menus are extensive, probably the most extensive and varied selections in Clare County. The restaurant is famous for its soup and salad bar, which is quite impressive, and on Sundays includes fruit and pastries. Its salad offerings are great, ranging from Calamari Salad and traditional Caesar Salad to a Warm Scallop Salad and a Michigan Salad (with walnuts and craisins). Fish selections include Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout, with such meat entrees as New Zealand Rack of Lamb, ribeye steak, BBQ ribs and the house specialty, prime rib. It’s house-seasoned, slow-roasted, cut to order and available chargrilled or blackened. The menu also offers a long list of pastas and an even longer list of sandwiches, paninis and wraps.
Personal Favorite: It’s a tough choice, but for dinner it’s hard to pass up the prime rib. It, and most dinners, come with the soup and salad table and a choice of a side, which is anything from veggie of the day to a variety of potatoes, rice and black beans. The Doherty offers some great soups, which include French onion and Navy bean and ham every day. There is also a soup of the day — and all are made fresh daily.
Atmosphere: The dining area is newly renovated and is fancy yet casual. The hotel itself is a bit of history, first opening in April 1924. In 1930, its then Tap Room was the scene of a famous mob shooting.The Leprechaun Lounge also is worth walking through, with a story painted on every wall.
Side Note: The appetizer and dessert selections are worth mentioning. Appetizers range from steamed mussels and oysters Rockefeller to deep-fried pickles and house-made buffalo chicken rolls, which is chicken tossed with celery and buffalo sauce, wrapped in wonton and fried. Appetizers can be paired with the soup and salad bar to make a meal! As for dessert, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried the Ghiradelli melting chocolate cake (which takes a while to prepare). There is also creme brulee, sweet potato pie and Kentucky bourbon bread pudding, to name just a few. It’s more expensive than many local spots, but the choices are many and the portions are large, making it possible to sometimes take home a meal for the next day.
(Mid Michigan Eats is a regular monthly feature of The Laker Current and is compiled by staff writers. It is designed to spotlight some of the features and highlights of area restaurants.)