Quality dining in a small-town atmosphere is no further than 15 to 20 minutes from downtown Lansing.
Open since July, Gracie's Contemporary Bistro
offers upscale food in an informal atmosphere, building on the quaint, historic feel of downtown Williamston.
"We offer something a little different," says Manager Emily Gray. "We're not necessarily fine dining, and we don't want to be a bar. We simply want to be the spot where you can get out of the city and have a modern, dining experience."
Located at 151 N. Putnam, the bistro transitioned in mid-summer from the former Gracie's Place after being purchased by Nick Gavrilides, owner of the Soup Spoon Café
on Lansing's east side. The restaurant retained the tin ceilings, wood floors and granite countertops, and added a flair of black and white to accentuate the contemporary offerings on the menu.
Gracie's serves fine food with an artistic presentation. In keeping with a farm to table concept, the menu leans toward comfort foods prepared with local ingredients. Selections rotate, with signature dishes featuring lamb shank, pan seared rainbow trout, filet mignon and pastas made with shrimp or scallops. A selection of salads, soups, vegetables and bread round out the menu, as well as specialty cakes and puddings for dessert.
A full apothecary style bar features six beers on tap, bottled beer and pre-prohibition style cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices and house ingredients. A broad selection of specialty wines from Michigan and around the world is available.
The restaurant seats up to 75 people, and can accommodate groups for parties or special occasions. When the weather permits, an outdoor patio seats about 30 diners. About 25 staff from servers to chefs work onsite, including three from the previous Gracie's and a few transfers from the Soup Spoon.
"We’re called a contemporary bistro for a reason," says Gray. "We want you to come here and have a fabulous dining experience, but we also want to stay loose enough so someone can come here in their shorts or jeans. We play contemporary music, dim the lights at night for a little more formal feel. But we don't want you to feel scared to come in if you're not formally dressed."
Gracie's Contemporary Bistro is open Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner, with Monday hours on the horizon.
Source: Emily Gray, Manager, Gracie's Contemporary Bistro
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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