Sunday, November 27, 2011

Minervas Restaurant and Bar

Minervas Restaurant and Bar inside of the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City.

The Park Place Hotel in downtown Traverse City holds quite a few gems.

It is one of the oldest buildings in TC, certainly one of the most recognizable (as it towers over downtown from its perch on the corner of Park and State streets), it has an amazing venue space "under the dome" or at the top of the Park, its lobby is beautiful, its rooms well appointed and its food and drink selections are perfect!

The bar at Minervas is always hoppin' at happy hour!

Minervas is situated quite prominently at the base of the Park Place. It consists of a lively bar and semi-formal dining areas. Dinner here after a stroll through downtown's shops fits nicely alongside of its long storied reputation as a place to take the prom date.

Minervas' pricing is quite nice as well. The bar serves a full menu, however their features are made up of some excellent forms of "bar food" fare with a Park Place touch of panache. Some great examples of the bar's limited menu include Whitefish Pate (7.99), a selection of some of the most amazing artisan pizzas in town (all less than $15), an amazing French Dip (8.99) and so on.

Kicking up the class factor a notch, Minervas' finer dining atmosphere surrounds the bar.

As I just mentioned, the bar will gladly serve you from either its limited menu or the wider Minervas' menu.

Highlights from that wider selection include Coconut Shrimp (9.99), Seafood Mac and Cheese (one of my favorites for sure! 17.99), Wild Mushroom Ravioli (17.99), Brandied Pecan Walleye (18.99), Creamy Seafood Jambalaya (16.99), Steak Michael (24.99) and so on. To read this menu is to produce a lot of salivation! Minervas is a well ensconced institution here in Traverse City and the people of Minervas work very hard to maintain their favored status! I have yet to be disappointed with a meal at this joint.

A neighborhood bar with some laid back class is wht you'll find tucked neatly within the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City.

The atmosphere of Minervas differs, depending upon the time of day that you choose to wander through the Park Place's lobby.

It works hard to give off a friendly, neighborhood feel, most of the time it's able to pull that off. As mentioned, there is an aire of elegance that accompanies a meal within the restaurant. That aire is purposely sloughed off at the bar. It remains an upper-class establishment for sure, but does not hinder your experience with stuffy or unapproachable and judgemental waitstaff or patrons. 

Whether dining inside or out on the patio, Minervas offers a grand atmosphere and great people watching in downtown Traverse City, MI.

This restaurant is a frequent stop-off for Lisa and myself. We enjoy the food, the atmosphere, the location (this joint is great if you're on your way to the State or to the Opera House!) and the people that inhabit it.

Happy hour runs from 4-6 and then again from 9-11. In the warmer months, their outside seating on the Park Place's patio is a true people watching extravaganza!

If you're there to sample the libations, DO NOT miss the Minervas' house brew. It is brewed especially for them by the Michigan Brewing Company. It's a delightful amber ale that refreshes quite nicely, finishes with a crisp, happy bite and goes well with anything on their menu. The martinis at this joint are also some of the best in town! Try the Bling-Bling or the Maui Sunrise. Holy yum!

If you venture here, enjoy it, savor it, take your time. This is what TC life is all about. Great food, good friends, amazing brews and mixes and a bit of that laid back lifestyle allowance we all need and deserve every now and then.

(All photos by Brooks Vanderbush)