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Valentine’s at Vinology

Valentine’s at Vinology

Photo by Adam Weiss

With Valentine’s Day upon us once again, it is now that familiar time of year when couples everywhere partake in the cherished ritual of sharing in an evening of romance over an exquisite meal. As lovely and enjoyable as the well-executed Valentine’s Day dinner may be, for many of us the task of planning one can be daunting. Fortunately, as many dessert options as there are in Ann Arbor, one need not look any farther than Vinology Wine Bar and Restaurant for an excellent combination of ambiance, delectable offerings, and (as its name suggests) quality wine from around the world.

Photo by Adam Weiss

Located on Main Street on the block between Washington and Huron, Vinology may not be as well known as some of its competitors, such as La Dolce Vita. However, it offers a much more diverse selection of wines to go with its carefully-crafted desserts, all of which are actually quite affordable when purchased by the glass. In fact, even its most expensive dessert wine, the Port, Fonseca 20 year Tawny from Portugal, goes for $11 a glass, while the Port, Noval Ruby (also from Portugal) goes for just $5 a glass.

Photo by Adam Weiss

Either of these wines would pair well with any one of Vinology’s dessert selections. For first-timers patrons looking for fail-safe choice, you really cannot go wrong with the signature strawberry shortcake for $10. Complete with fluffy white chocolate mousse whipped between two pieces of genoise sponge cake and sprinkled with guajillo chili spices, hibiscus-couli, and shaved chocolate, the dish is honestly one of the best desserts I’ve ever had and is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Photo by Adam Weiss

If you don’t take my word for it, you will not be left without other great selections, including warm chocolate lava cake with cranberry compote and fig bread pudding with goat cheese ice cream and crystalized honey. Complementing these delicious desserts is the restaurant’s elegant interior, with intimate seating in comfortable leather booths, exposed brick walls, copious candles, and smooth jazz music radiating throughout. All of these luxuries make Vinology a solid choice for an intimate night out this Valentine’s Day, or any evening for that matter.

Photo by Adam Weiss

Location: 110 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Hours of operation: Mon-Thurs: 11 am-11 pm, Fri: 11 am-Midnight,
Sat: 4 pm-Midnight, Sun: 4 pm-10 pm

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Prince Range: Over $25

The post Valentine’s at Vinology originally appeared on Spoon University. Please visit Spoon University to see more posts like this one.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Michigan Restaurants: Dining experiences at Cygnus 27, Taste of Ann Arbor, Treetops Resort

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Imagine a view that you typically reserve for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary?

That's how our evening began last month when my wife, Pam, and I stopped in at the re-launched, Latin-themed Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

It was Pam's birthday, and we were looking for an excuse to check out the view -- 27 floors atop the famous downtown hotel, overlooking the Grand River.

The evening was going to be a change of pace for us because we typically go to Amore Trattoria Italiana -- her favorite Grand Rapids area restaurant -- for our anniversary or other special events, like Valentine's Day.

But when we heard that former Amore dining room manager Manny Rivera had been named the new general manager at Cygnus, we knew need we had to get some "Manny love" at a place we had often perceived as being a little dated, stuffy and not our style.

We were overwhelmed with the great menu, great service and incredible views.

Other recent stops: Taste of Ann Arbor, and Treetops Resort in Gaylord.

CYGNUS 27
Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Hours: Dining room open 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday lounge open until midnight Tuesday-Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call: 616-774-2000
Online: amwaygrand.com
Experience: New chef Tim Moreno (graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts program) is already creating a buzz in Beer City U.S.A. with a menu that fuses his traditional family, Latin dishes and locally sourced products. The environment is chic, but very inviting. Manager Rivera said the concept is to make Cygnus more accessible for casual gatherings, a vibrant nightlight for all occasions and of course, fine dining. We loved the creamy manchego fritters with bell pepper jam ($10) and a crab tomatillo pozole ($11) for appetizers. My wife raved about the beef tenderloin, an 8 oz. grilled steak, served with brussels sprouts, root vegetable mash, cabrales butter and topped with a malbec demi glaze ($39). And I savored every bite of the beef short ribs, which were prepared with Founders Pale Ale and chiles, and served with arroz con crema, wilted spinach and fried parsnip ($35). Manny wouldn't let us leave without trying the oh so flavorful braised lamb shank, served with farro pilaf, kale and charred pineapple ($30). The restaurant also offers an expanded wine list and some tasty desserts, such as its signature Chocolate Sphere, which is an adventure in itself. Guests watch the sphere implode with hot chocolate sauce, revealing pecan, raspberry and mascarpone. A media/industry preview of the new menu is planned for June 25.

John Gonzalez enjoys Vinology's chicken yakitori and elotes at Taste of Ann Arbor 2015. Vinology was the Best in Show winner.

VINOLOGY
Where: 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight Friday 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Call: 734-222-9841
Online: vinologya2.com
Experience: On May 31 I judged Taste of Ann Arbor, which turned out to be a rain-soaked day full of fun as we sampled entrees from 34 local restaurants. It was a long day, but I was most impressed with Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. It won "Best in Show" for its agua frescas, chicken yakitori and elotes (Mexican street sweet corn). I loved the creativity of offerings and flavors. Looking at menu online (from sauteed calamari with chorizo risotto to Braised Octopus and Vegan Black Bean Enchilada), I know I'm in for a memorable experience. I'm planning a visit soon.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord offers three restaurants, as well as special dinners that take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site.

TREETOPS RESORT
Where: 3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord
Call: (866) 348-5249
Online: treetops.com
Experience: It's more than a golf mecca (with 81 holes for golfers) or hub of activity for winter sports enthusiasts (from snowboarding to skiing). Treetops also offers great dining experience at Legends on the Hill, Hunter's Grille and the Sports Bar, which features about 100 craft beers (the majority from Michigan). However, Treetops is also know for its very popular Farm2Fork series, which features locally grown and prepared dishes with a specific theme. The first one of the summer is Cherry Spectacular on July 19. The culinary team led by food and beverage director Gabe Bober and chef Joel Quay also offers great beer dinners. The next one is Aug. 21 and features five beers from Right Brain Brewery. It's a great experience, especially when you consider these special dinners take place at the Wilderness Cabin on the former Project Nature site. I highly recommend it.

If you have a suggestion for other restaurants, please leave them in the comments section below or email me: [email protected]

John Gonzalez is a statewide entertainment writer for MLive. He covers food, travel, events, Michigan craft beer and the lottery. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Listen to "Behind the Mitten," a radio show co-hosted by John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman about Michigan beer, food, festivals and the people who make it happen! It airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on WOOD Radio (1300 AM & 106.9 FM) in Grand Rapids.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.


Watch the video: Happy valentines Day (November 2021).