City Vu mixes a perfect combo
One step inside the City Flats Hotel in Holland, and you’ll notice something that you won’t normally find in hotels — a gold medal. The hotel, which opened in May 2008, features modern, minimalistic rooms with a green-friendly, LEED Gold background. And its restaurant, City Vu Bistro, is no different.
Holland (and all of the lakeshore) is becoming a great place to find unique dining options. And though it is a relative newcomer, City Vu is leading the way. On a recent lunch trip, we realized that City Vu is not only a great place to eat, but it’s state of the art in the way it approaches dining.
We walked in and were immediately approached by the hostess. We hung up our coats and were seated at a small table right in the center of the restaurant. We were immediately struck by the atmosphere — perfect for a meal. The view out the expansive windows allows diners an almost 360 degree view of the city. During the summer, a patio is open so you can truly enjoy the lakeshore community to the fullest.
The environment is elegant and modern, which might lead you to believe the menu is going to be pricey. The meals fit right in with the environment, but surprisingly don’t have the prices to match. During lunch, you can order a buffet of salad, soup and flatbread pizza for just $7.99. And if the buffet doesn’t suit you, most of the entree items for lunch are around the same price.
Bryan: As a long-time favorite of mine, I had to go with the Monte Cristo sandwich, while Rob went with the flatbread buffet. While he started eating shortly after ordering, my sandwich was well worth the wait. It came out on a perfectly white plate, sided with a bowl of different sweet potato chips. And the sandwich? Well, let’s just say it was way more than I expected. In fact, it was huge.
After I had my first bite, I realized that this was in fact the best Monte Cristo sandwich I’d ever had. It wasn’t too heavy, and it featured a plethora of meat, cheese and cranberry sauce. The egg-batered bread wasn’t too obvious, and it made for a perfect combination. What’s more, the portion was overly large, and provided me some leftovers for later in the day.
Rob: Though I had eaten at CityVu once before and enjoyed it, I decided to with the flatbread, soup and salad lunch, mostly to try some of the restaurant’s wide assortment of flatbreads. There are 11 varieties served on a whole grain flatbread. Off the buffet, I tried samplings of the Pittsburgh, with blackened sirloin, caramelized onions, green onions and bleu cheese “fondue”; Memphis, with BBQ chicken, red onions, scallions, white cheddar, romaine and Caesar dressing; Parisian with wild mushroom ragout, fresh herbs and a boursin cheese spread; and the New Orleans with cajun chicken, andouille sausage, bell peppers, white sauce and white cheddar. All were excellent.
I also sampled the butternut squash bisque. But it was the salad that really stood out. The lettuce was fresh and a deep, healthy green and a variety of toppings made combinations almost endless. The bacon balsamic vinaigrette dressing was worth the visit on its own. It was one of the best dressings I’ve ever tasted. Make sure to order it when you are there.
To go along with the great food and environment, the service was also friendly and not overly-assertive. Our waitress came to our table at the perfect time, and there wasn’t a long wait for my sandwich. Drink refills were done at the right time, and we didn’t have to flag her down for any reason. We were surprised there weren’t more people eating there. The restaurant was nearly empty, which was surprising given the quality of food, service and reasonable prices.
CityVu is the perfect combination for any meal. They’ve proven that you don’t need to pay the high dollar for a great dining experience. Coupled with the fact that City Flats Hotel is the first hotel in the Midwest to earn LEED Gold status, CityVu Bistro is a extraordinary addition to the city of Holland.City Vu Bistro ( Rating: out of 5 )
Where: 61 East 7th St., Holland
Hours: Breakfast – Saturday, 8-11 a.m., Sunday Brunch 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Lunch – Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dinner – Monday-Thursday 4-9:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday 4-10 p.m.
Ambiance: minimalist chic
How much will it cost you: Lunch – $9-$15; Dinner – $12-$20
Credit cards: All major
Contact: (616) 796-2114