Boathouse Restaurant

4.9
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475 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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European
The cuisine of the Boathouse, created with distinctive flair is refined and contemporary, with an underlying element that echoes the classical French tradition of Escoffier.

The Boathouse experience begins with a drive along the shores of beautiful West Grand Traverse Bay and its sparkling blue waters.

When you dine with us, you get the best of both worlds: We are both locavores and connoisseurs of what the rest of the world has to offer, so you get the freshest, finest ingredients from near and far. Owner Doug Kosch adheres to the "farm to table" concept.
What 475 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.9based on recent ratings
4.9
food
4.9
service
4.8
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s always a wonderful place to go. Food is always fantastic.

MA
Northern MI
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

The Service was great, and the ambiance was pleasant. The waiter suggested things that he said were wonderful, and they were not. The lobster was dark in color and tasteless; not exactly top notch that you would expect from this restaurant. The soup was very good. The desert adequate. Bread a bit bland. Salad not great. A very expensive night for just a moderate experience and quality. Probably won't be back.

OM
Northern MI
21 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was it always is - excellent. Kathleen is an outstanding server and always makes us feel at home with no detail overlooked.

KD
Northern MI
4 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall2food5service5ambience1

We love the Boathouse but on Christmas Eve it was a major disappointment. We made reservations months in advance and requested to be in the main dining area. Instead they seated us in the "playpen" with all of the families with kids. It was so loud with kids and Ipads that we couldn't hear to order - we decided to leave after getting a drink. We just couldn't stand it. They should never have seated a couple in amonst all these families with screaming kids but they were clearly trying to optimize the money on this sold out night.

The owner recognized the error in seating us in the zoo and apologized and gave us a $100 gift card and offered to have our dinner be completely free on this night. We were very impressed with the magnitude of his gesture. But the damage was done. We graciously accepted the gift card but settled on paying for our drinks. We didn't have dinner - appetite was lost.

We will go back to the Boathouse as it's the best restaurant in Traverse City. But never again will we attend a holiday "special".

BS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We have dined at the Boathouse quite a few times and were always extremely happy with the food, service and ambiance. Our last visit was nowhere near as enjoyable. The food was good but not as outstanding as in the past. The sides were not as carefully prepared, and the salmon was not only undercooked but also had three pin bones in it. The server was polite and pleasant but not well trained. When pouring wine, he would touch the rim of the glass with the bottle - something that should not happen at a high-end restaurant. So, yes, I would still recommend the Boathouse to a friend but not as enthusiastically as I used to.

ME
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just great! Worth every penny. Best dinning we had since coming to the US a year ago.
Would love to come every day...

SM
Indiana
5 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Excellent service wonderful food. We have never been disappointed with the food or service. The chef is quite gifted--such a grasp of taste and deep flavor. If you have an opportunity for a great special or the tasting menu--take it!! They are also great at pairing wines with the menu

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambiance, water view with a fireplace. Incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff. The food was outstanding

GB
Northern MI
4 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, and they had a birthday card & fudge more my wife.

DD
New York Area
84 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

PEFECT at every measure. Kathleen is perhaps the most skilled server in the entire state. Her service level and attention to detail is impeccable.

JH
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

By far the best food in traverse along with our other favorite restaurant alliance..... These restaurants are different as in food but are the top restaurants we’ve been to in traverse and around. Nobody comes close.... thank you for the exquisite food... 💯

FJ
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to Boathouse specifically to get lobster for my elderly mom and found a great menu, excellent food and service. The soups were delish—we tried all of them—and the wagyu beef was a dream. Logan, server, was knowledgeable, kind, and patient, which we appreciated so much! We will definitely come back and highly recommend!

SN
Detroit
12 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was an outstanding experience from the moment entering the restaurant til leaving. The friendly, dedicated, friendly and knowledgeable staff assisted in our meal selection. Wonderful wine selection. The food was outstanding with great selection of appetizers, main courses and desserts.
This is a well suited place for anybody wanting impress someone or a group, for special occasions or just to be spoilt by staff and cook.

KD
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was Devine, wonderful service; a very special meal. You can’t do this at home!

EE
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The wild salmon was excellent--noticeably better then the farmed variety. Two of us had the Italian sub...delicious with good quality ingredients, but it was served in club sandwich style vs a long bun....not a bad move but unexpected. The menu is somewhat limited, but there are plenty of choices. There were relatively few people dining, but waiting time was a little protracted. Server was very attentive. This was our third time dining here; we'll be back.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic evening. Food was delicious. Service was amazing. We will be back.

TC
New Orleans
8 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

“Date night” at the The Boathouse was a very nice experience. The date night menu was very good with an opportunity to ‘upgrade’ to a full pound lobster tail to share with the perfectly prepare filets. The mushroom bisque and cream brûlée rounded out the delicious food. Will provided excellent service and our request for a window seat was honored.

S
Detroit
9 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Lovely meal. Drunk on wine women at next table. Very loud. At least they weren’t giggling. Food was delicious

OT
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server Darrius was fantastic and had great recommendations. We enjoyed the morel mushroom soup, wagyu filet, one pound lobster tail and lemon dessert— all were delicious. Thank you for the wonderful experience, we will be back!

K
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the meal, our server, Logan, was excellent! This is a special occasion place! Thank you!

KS
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Never had a bad service, meal or experience here! Highly recommend this place to celebrate a special occasion!

KK
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Was a very pleasant experience. wait staff was excellent

DC
Detroit
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We ate here for our anniversary. It was spectacular both food and service.

R
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience5

The atmosphere and ambiance in the restaurant was excellent. We were given a table with a wonderful view. This was our second visit to Boathouse. A couple of years ago we greatly enjoyed a delightful lunch. We decided to celebrate our anniversary at the Boathouse on this visit to the area. We started by sharing the smoked Whitefish pate and a glass of wine each. The whitefish was very good. It was a warm pate, which we found unusual but quite tasty. Off to a good start. We then ordered the Chateaubriand for 2 and a bottle of wine. Things started to slip. We were forced to signal the waiter that we would like to start the bottle of wine while waiting for dinner since we finished our glass of wine while leisurely enjoying the appetizer. The waiter was not intending to bring new glasses with the new bottle of wine until we requested the change. The presentation of the Chateaubriand was terrible. I want to be clear. The roast tenderloin was excellent, cooked exactly to temperature, though it lacked seasoning. The chateaubriand was delivered to table cut and splayed over asparagus most unappetizingly. The other sides were delivered in bowls family style. Chateaubriand is a special dinner for two. It is presented on the menu in that manner and priced accordingly. This did not come close to expectations based on the menu and ambiance created by the restaurant. Chateaubriand should be presented whole and sliced table side. The waiter should create the first plate for the couple and leave the rest sliced and ready for the couple to add if they so desire. The potatoes were ordinary. The asparagus was very large and full of lignin. The creamed spinach was good as was the demi glacé. The service and presentation were not worthy of the restaurant Boathouse aspires to be and that we experienced in our prior visit. Our evening turned into a very expensive disappointment.

OT
Indiana
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful dining!
Attentive and knowledgeable staff
Food and drinks were amazing
Oysters, soup, salad, and the whitefish were delicious

K
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Oh my! What a delicious meal in a beautiful restaurant with an amazing view! Our waiter was wonderful! We had the halibut special with risotto, as well as creme brûlée. A perfect, memorable evening!

N
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite go-to restaurants whenever I visit Traverse City. The food is exceptional, the restaurant is beautiful, the setting is amazing and the service is top-notch.

P
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Doug’s Birthday!

KM
Grand Rapids
4 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful, Chef owned restaurant! Food was excellent and everything was fresh and delicious! Also, their craft cocktails are delicious. We had Will for our server and he is excellent!

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent TC OMP experience!

J
St. Louis
26 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding fine dining venue with beautiful lake views. Very well executed high quality ingredient cuisine. Service is experienced, knowledgeable and attentive. Table settings were notably well placed which is not exactly the norm nowadays even for supposedly fine dining restaurants. Highly recommended!

LA
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had oysters and they were AMAZING! The best EVER. I had Main lobster tail 1#, and it looked like it was a 2# tail! My honey had rack of lamb and he loved it! Views were very nice and we even sat on the patio with the heater and enclosed sides - very nice!

SA
Portland
15 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent View - red of the setting sun among the clouds above the water.
Food was excellent - very nice selection. Everything was delicious.
Service exceptional - Our Server (Kathleen) knew the menu and the wines well and helped to make this a memorable event.

I gave the restaurant a heads-up that we were celebrating our Anniversary. We were greeted with Happy Anniversary, a small gift for My Wife, Kathleen asked about our celebration - nice touches all.

OT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Chef’ choice dinner for two.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant has a beautiful sunset view. We made a reservation through open table and they sat us with a window view of the bay at sunset. It was stunning. And the food was absolutely amazing. Until our table was ready we sat at the bar and the bartender and the locals sitting there were great company. When we were sat at a table the waiter was immediately at our table and expertly recommended a few dishes. We shared a mushroom bisque (ah-Maz-omg!) and an order of the poutine fries. For dinner I have the filet au poivre and my fiancé had the NY strip. It was like butter, it cut so easily and melted in my mouth. I highly recommend this restaurant for a special dining experience while you are in the Traverse City area.

K
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was my husbands birthday meal and we brought our 15-month old with us. The staff were great with him. The food and location are amazing.

JJ
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very nice location for a romantic dinner. The ambiance, service, and menu are all fitting for a high-end restaurant. The menu was more limited than expected, they have the high-end options you would expect, lobster, steak, oysters, etc, but we hoped there would be more fish options given the name of the restaurant.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was creative & delicious!

GT
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I would say this is the finest dining establishment in the state of Michigan! The lobster and steak was incredible!!

OT
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From start to finish one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had. Kudos, can’t wait to come back.