Enable JavaScript to run this app.
Skip to Main Content
OpenTable logo
  1. Home
  2. United States
  3. Grand Rapids / Western Michigan
  4. Grand Rapids
  5. Grand Rapids
Mertens Prime, Grand Rapids, MI

Mertens Prime

4.4
4.4
1187 Reviews
$31 to $50
French
Mertens Prime, named a Top 10 restaurant by Grand Rapids Magazine for 2 consecutive years, is a French brasserie and steakhouse set in a historic 1914-built former hotel lobby and dining room that preserves and celebrates Grand Rapids' past. We offer a variety of French classics along with an impressive French-touched steak menu, including Chateaubriand. The Mertens cocktail list is an exact replica of the drinks and menu design from the New Hotel Mertens bar, circa 1939, and includes the same 50 cocktails served in 1939 that are as relevant today as they were 80 years ago. Mertens also operates a Cafe adjacent to Prime. Cafe Mertens offers warm beignets & poutine every day and does not offer table service. The restaurant's rooftop cocktail lounge, Mertens Rooftop, is open seasonally and it is *not* possible to make a reservation for the Rooftop via Mertens Prime.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 54 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    French, Steakhouse, Steak

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (616) 551-1713

  • Payment options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Anthony Tangorra

  • Private party facilities

    We offer a private room that has all of the turn-of-the-century charm as our main dining room. The rooftop is also available for private events. See mertensprime.com for details, including complete event guides with menu and pricing options.

  • Private party contact

    our Private Event Coordinator: (616) 551-1713

  • Neighborhood

    Grand Rapids

  • Cross street

    Oakes St SW, between Ionia Ave and Commerce Ave

  • Parking details

    Mertens Prime diners receive 100% 2-hours credit parking validation for either the Weston or Cherry city parking garages. A loading zone is located directly in front of the restaurant. Street parking is free on Saturday and Sunday and after 6PM on weekdays.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 1,187 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.4
4.4 based on recent ratings
  • 4.3Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 3.9Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Grand Rapids / Western Michigan

    Good for business meals

  • Grand Rapids

    Good for business meals

Sort by

Filters

  1. N

    Nick

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall2food2service2ambience3
    Steak was undercooked, you had to pay extra for sauce and the sauce was not very good, would have been nice to let you try a sample of it before committing to something you would not consume. Bread super hard. Good to try something new but that was a fail
  2. JR

    JeffreyR

    Grand Rapids

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on January 29, 2023

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    We continue to enjoy dining at Mertens. The food and service are always excellent. Only negative is the lighting at some tables is pretty dark, especially for older folks. Still recommend going there, just be prepared to use your phone light.
  3. AB

    AdamB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 28, 2023

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    Fantastic restaurant. One of my favorite across the country.
  4. AJ

    AJ219

    Detroit

    30 reviews

    5.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Good diverse menu, and always attentive service and staff. Only area of criticism is limited bar choices/inventory.
  5. M

    Monica

    Grand Rapids

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Beautiful restaurant and beautiful food. The menu is very diverse. Strip was perfect and a very big portion. French dishes were spot on. The dessert presentation was very fun. Highly recommended.
  6. A

    Anonymous

    Grand Rapids

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on January 22, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service Lovely music

    Mertens PrimeResponded on January 26, 2023Thank you for the kind words!

  7. HH

    HollyH

    Los Angeles

    8 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on January 22, 2023

    overall3food3service2ambience5
    Unfortunately everything was difficult start to finish with our visit to Merten’s. The food was good, but they couldn’t get the $66 steak quite right. I ordered medium and it went from rare to medium rare to well done. The server didn’t come to the table for the first 15 minutes of being seated and did not provide a warm welcome, just stood there with his pad to take our order. Really strange. The soup, poutine, and Brussels sprouts were fantastic but the steak needed more flavor. Bartender was great and helpful before we were seated, but spending $40 on two drinks was sobering to say the least. The owner charging a “service fee” on top of the outrageous prices and mediocre service is enough to keep us away. We thought this was “our new place” since this was our second visit, but I guess this was our last visit.

    Mertens PrimeResponded on January 22, 2023Hi Elaine, Thanks for the kind words in your review. A Federal rule that we implemented in late 2022 costs the business over $100,000 per year is money that we simply does not exist for us. We are just a family of four that owns the restaurant; the moeny just does not exist. Unlike some other restaurants in Grand Rapids that have extremely deep pockets behind them, there is no pocket of money where that comes from for us. The 8% fee *hopes* to recoup the cost increase.

  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Detroit

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 22, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding service and great quality food!

    Mertens PrimeResponded on January 22, 2023Thank you so much! We're glad you enjoyed! That kind of feedback means the world to us!

  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Took my wife as a Christmas present. Had an amazing meal, great service, and the manager kept walking around and checking in things. Great experience all around. Will return.
  10. MK

    MichelleK

    Detroit

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 21, 2023

    overall2food1service4ambience4
    We were pleased with the story of the building and the decor. The service was very good. The prices were VERY high especially for the very poorly made 'classic recipes'. We enjoy food, my husband has made most of Julia Child's recipe's. The fish croquettes were fine, not warm, not cold but OK with a good sauce. We were told their was a sommelier but we saw him tending bar...not sure that is what a real som does at a 'good' restaurant My husband's french onion soup was oily and very bland. Nice and hot, but no flavor, there was no salt and pepper on the table to try if that was all it needed - his petite filet was really petite and not hot- tender and tasty but OVERPRICED. I had the salmon and it was delicate but bland, no particular flavor jumped out. We opted for cherries jubilee and the show was good but the taste was again BLAND. An 8% service was added - then a tip made this the most expensive dinner we've had in YEARS. The money isn't the issue, it's that it was a memorable meal for all the wrong reasons. Very disappointed. If a restaurant is claiming to be of the french classic influences then they need a chef that can properly make these dishes. Asher the waitress was very attentive and even commented that she's had plenty of people send food back. We will never go back and will tell others how bad it was.

    Mertens PrimeResponded on January 26, 2023Hi Michele, we're all very happy at Mertens to say that with the ruling today from the Michigan courts-- that we're not wasting one minute and eliminating the service charge tonight! Yay! Our team will revert to their usual great pay and our family-owned business will breathe a sigh of relief that we have a better shot of paying the bills. We appreciate the feedback on the other items; we take your words very seriously and have met to examine each and every part of your review. Thanks again!

  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 20, 2023

    overall2food2service2ambience2
    Way overpriced for the quality of food and drinks. Very disappointed
  12. JH

    JimH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 18, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our first time dining at Mertens was fantastic! The service and food was top shelf. The bartender makes a really good Old Fashioned. We look forward to eating there again soon.

    Mertens PrimeResponded on January 22, 2023Hi Jim, thanks so much for the kind words! We're glad you enjoyed the Old Fashioned.

  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 15, 2023

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Wobbling small table Service was great Steaks just ok / not much flavor Bananas foster was great
  14. r

    robin

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 14, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Beautiful preserved historic building in downtown GR. Had the petite filet. Cooked to perfection. Service was attentive and knowledgeable. Overall great experience.

    Mertens PrimeResponded on January 22, 2023Thank you so much Robin!

  15. DC

    DavidC

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 14, 2023

    overall3food4service4ambience4
    Service was great (Marcel was excellent) and food was above average. Very poor value for money, however; there is an apology on the menu about the beef prices, but it rings hollow, as the same quality steaks are available elsewhere in GR for much less money. Also, an 8% fee added "to comply with government rules," but since no one else is doing this, I assume this means that they were formerly paying their staff from tips, which they are no longer allowed to do, and instead of paying their staff a living wage from their immense profits from the steaks, they are asking customers to make up the difference. In spite of the food and the service, this leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.
  16. SD

    ShannonD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 14, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Incredible evening and first visit to Mertens. The service was excellent. The ambiance is incredible. The food….so great. The mashed potatoes are heaven and the Brussels sprouts top notch! I highly highly recommend the Millionaire drink. We mentioned it was our anniversary and the staff brought out an arrangement of fresh flowers to the table. This will be our new go to for very special occasions.
  17. A

    Anonymous

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 9, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    NY Strip and Ribeye were great. It's specified that the Ribeye is from the "chuck-end", which is great. That is the side with the extra marbling,/fat which I prefer. Cheesecake is very homemade. Just as expensive as every other steakhouse in town, but better quality and better ambiance than the others.
  18. A

    Anonymous

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 9, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Not the typical Grand Rapids restaurant. If you're a regular at Bistro Bella Vita or maybe Leo's and like bright lighting and American-type food, then Mertens might not be the best fit. I hear mixed things about Mertens and I think that explains it. Mertens reminds more of New York or Europe. And it really is excellent. The food, especially the French items, have a homemade, authentically French construction. As for steaks, the NY Strip is fantastic; I recommend it over the filet mignon. Great dessert options too.
  19. A

    Anonymous

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 9, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great menu and great food. Probably best ambiance in Grand Rapids too.
  20. A

    Anonymous

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 9, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Unique, historic steakhouse with many French options. Food was great. Good for out of towners to see some Grand Rapids history. Bananas Foster tableside was great final touch.
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 8, 2023

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Took too long to get our food and then when we did get our food it wasn’t that great and very over priced! Waited too long to get our check the whole dinner took over 2 hours and definitely was not worth it!
  22. S

    Sasha

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 8, 2023

    overall2food1service5ambience4
    One of the worst meals I’ve ever had. It was my birthday and I was looking forward to a great meal with family. 4 in our party, 2 of us ordered steak, 1 the duck and 1 the chicken. Duck and chicken were excellent, although quite salty, and the steaks were terrible - over cooked, dry, burnt. They brought out my meal 15 minutes after everyone else’s meal because of a problem in the kitchen, however brought out my steak toppings - mushrooms and bernnaise sauce, early. Both were cold by the time my steak came. Our server was great - attentive, aware there was a problem of a short staffed kitchen but said that is no excuse for the poor quality of the meal. Manager did charge us only half for the 2 steak meals and gave us 2 free desserts which were excellent. Very cool atmosphere, but I will not go back and if you go, don’t order the steak.
  23. F

    Fooddude

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 8, 2023

    overall3food5service4ambience4
    Food was great. Steaks cooked perfectly, sides and apps were very delish. Service and experience was good. My gripe is with all the fine print on the menu "beef prices are too high" and "US govt makes us have to bill a 8% service fee"... come on. We're all dealing with higher cost of goods including my own small business, so you set prices to where you can make money not pass on the blame. People will come for an exceptional experience, if you make it one.
  24. TO

    ToddO

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good stuff
  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall3food3service5ambience5
    Great service and venue. The Brussel sprouts were not as desirable as my date hoped for. The steaks tasted great, had a lot of fat left over. But for the price tag I was not all impressed.
  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Phoenix

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 6, 2023

    overall1food2service3ambience2
    Hair in food, steak wasn’t good.
  27. C

    Cocktailfan

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Mertens always delivers with excellent food and delicious cocktails! Our server was top notch…friendly and efficient.
  28. WO

    WarrenO

    Jacksonville

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    New Year’s Eve
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great servers and atmosphere, more on the pricey end but worth it for a special occasion!
  30. S

    Sukie

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience3
    They added an 8% service fee on the total for using/eating in their eating in their establishment. Manager said that all restaurants will be doing this in February 2023 Very expensive with everything being a la carte. Will never eat here again or give a recommendation. What a waste of $200.
  31. MA

    MelanieA

    Chicago

    8 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    They only will validate parking at the Cherry Street Ramp, not the Weston - Commerce Ramp. Wonderful Food, the lighting was a little too dark. We could barely read our menu. Generous Wine and Drink Selection.
  32. AC

    AlexC

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious food and attentive staff in a great atmosphere
  33. SP

    SteveP

    Detroit

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    The first thing we appreciated upon our arrival was the ambiance of the place. This is sort of a rustic old warehouse type building inside with some very old lighting (original?) fixtures. The food that we ordered was very good. My only negative comment was that the selection was limited a bit. The service though was top notch and we always that we were not left alone too long before being asked if we needed anything.
  34. K

    Kate

    Columbus

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    I was so impressed with the delicious, hearty, flavorful brunch in a beautiful setting. 1000% will be back again.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Detroit

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience4
    We reserved Mertens for a special dinner to start the new year and we’re very disappointed. We were seated on a side of the restaurant that was empty and it created a strange vibe (there were 5 of us). Our waitress was very nice but seemed to want to rush us through our meal. When our food arrived my dish was cold and was basically comprised of a dog leg and a bunch of canned beans on a plate which were cold and my sons pasta wasn’t cooked. My husbands $80 steak was fatty. It was also very expensive considering the overall quality of the food and experience. We were less than impressed. Our overall bill was over $525 which would have been fine if the experience matched the expense. Will not return.
  36. S

    Snuggs

    Chicago

    36 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Nice location downtown, a few steps to the arena. Parking widely available in the area. Enjoyed the fresh and innovated drinks, after a warm welcome by the waitstaff. Food was well prepared and tasty. While our chateau was an excellent piece of meat, it was prepared other than as requested (rare, vs med rare), and sans any accompanyments. Nothing.
  37. J

    Jennifer

    Grand Rapids

    21 reviews

    3.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on December 27, 2022

    overall3food4service4ambience5
    My lower “overall experience” review is because my expectations were higher. I love the location/ambiance (more light to see menu would hurt though) and our server was very good. The food was good- but not stellar/memorable as I’d expect for the price. With a limited menu, each item needs to be wonderful. Also, apparently our reservation made through Open Table is not eligible for points. That’s pretty disappointing as well.
  38. BE

    BEAT

    Grand Rapids

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 27, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    Drinks were good, servers were attentive, and the Dijon Crusted Salmon was delicious. Beat salad flavor profile was off this visit but last time we had it it was excellent.
  39. c

    carriekp

    Detroit

    15 reviews

    3.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience2
    I *did* search for an email address to address these issues before resorting to a review. Also, I'd like to commend any and all industry staffers for Christmas Day service. The good: petit filet was perfect, alongside their potato puree. My dining partner had the lamb tagine and loved it. The old fashioned was good, as well. The bad: 15 minutes between being seated and even being acknowledged by a server or taking a drink order. Another 15 between receiving drinks and ordering the meal. The whiskey sour with egg white was far too sweet. The ugly: a rolling cheese cart is available, offering 3 cheeses. We received the wrong cheese, sat with it for 15 minutes before approaching the hostess with the issue. We'd ordered the brie and valdeon but received the brie and morbier and there seemed to be much confusion around what I was saying, which makes me think some training might be in order. The bone marrow first course was a disaster, clearly prepared at a temp too high, as the marrow itself was completely liquified and escaped the bottom of the bone, only to saturate the plate and accoutrements it was served with. Just wanted to give Merten's some feedback.
  40. GR

    GReatFood

    Grand Rapids

    28 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Great place for a wonderful meal and cocktails.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Mertens Prime is rated 4.4 stars by 1187 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 54 times today
Google Map for Mertens Prime

35 Oakes St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Oakes St SW, between Ionia Ave and Commerce Ave

  • Neighborhood

    Grand Rapids

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    French, Steakhouse, Steak

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Mertens Prime diners receive 100% 2-hours credit parking validation for either the Weston or Cherry city parking garages. A loading zone is located directly in front of the restaurant. Street parking is free on Saturday and Sunday and after 6PM on weekdays.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Anthony Tangorra

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (616) 551-1713

  • Private party facilities

    We offer a private room that has all of the turn-of-the-century charm as our main dining room. The rooftop is also available for private events. See mertensprime.com for details, including complete event guides with menu and pricing options.

  • Private party contact

    our Private Event Coordinator: (616) 551-1713

  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information
Copyright © 2023 OpenTable, Inc. 1 Montgomery St Ste 700, San Francisco CA 94104 - All rights reserved.
OpenTable is part of Booking Holdings, the world leader in online travel and related services.
Booking LogoPriceline LogoKAYAK LogoAgoda LogoRentalcars LogoOpenTable Logo