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Mertens Prime, Grand Rapids, MI

Mertens Prime

4.5
4.5
1039 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 41 times today
Experiences are available.

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

Experiences

  • Mertens Rooftop Special Occasions

    $36.00 per person

    Prepaid

    Jun 1 - Oct 31, 2022
    Mertens Rooftop is a first-come first-serve facility due to our small-size. We accepted reservations in the past, but no-shows significantly hurt the team & the business; and having cancellation fees didn't work well with our guests. To solve this, for occasions where making a reservation is essential (proposal, anniversary, etc.) -- Mertens opens up a limited amount of reservations about 7-10days out on a rolling-basis for up to 12 guests that require a flat $360 minimum amount of food & beverage spend which is pre-paid and non-refundable. Please disregard the number of guests when booking, we will contact you for those details. If weather becomes a barrier, we will ensure a table instead at Mertens Prime where the same terms apply.

Popular dishes

What 1,039 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Grand Rapids

    Neighborhood Gem

  • Grand Rapids

    Romantic

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Filters

  1. A

    Anonymous

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful experience. The menu is big and the mix of French/steaks is just right. Great candle-lit ambiance, esp for Grand Rapids.

    Mertens PrimeResponded 1 day agoThank you! We love our menu too. : )

  2. J

    Jessica

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely must come to this restaurant! Drinks were amazing, food was superb especially the beet salad ugh so good. Service was great and attentive without rushing us through our meal. We ended our night with table side performance of making banana foster then rooftop nightcaps. Worth every penny and the portions are insanely huge. We will be coming back for more.

    Mertens PrimeResponded 1 day agoThank you so much for the kind words!

  3. RV

    ReneeV

    Detroit

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Special night out downtown. Hoping to get to rooftop after but short, light rain shut it down. Highly recommend but save up before hand.$$$$$

    Mertens PrimeResponded 1 day agoThank you for the nice review! Let's hope for sunshine on the next visit. It's incredible when the post-dinner rooftop drink times-up with the sunset.

  4. CM

    ChristineM

    Chicago

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Great food! Great service! Josh was awesome!!! The manager (young man) from Houghton was also very attentive and helpful!!!

    Mertens PrimeResponded 1 day agoThank you for the kind words! We'll pass on the compliments to our wonderful team! : )

  5. TK

    TomK

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The meal exceeded our expectations. Great food and service with much history.

    Mertens PrimeResponded 1 day agoThank you so much Tom!

  6. R

    Runandeat

    Grand Rapids

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First time and it was great except for the music. I suggest classic music

    Mertens PrimeResponded 1 day agoThanks for the great review and the feedback! It's appreciated!

  7. G

    Garrick

    Houston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First class service and delicious food, highly recommend
  8. RS

    RobertS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The entire experience was exceptional. The food was fantastic, the wine list, and the ambiance. The staff in particular took it the the next level. Austin and Justin were great, they were attentive and knowledgeable without being stuffy. I can't wait to go back.
  9. J

    Jeremy

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience4
    Skyler, our server, was great. We had poutine and Valdion cheese, both of which were good (but not great), as well as onion soup that was not good at all, lacking flavor and color. Tried to replace it with the turtle soup, which was like a bland minestrone. Prices were high, and the ambiance reflected that. Food was not to the same standard as the prices and decor. Staff and service were great.
  10. JE

    JulieE

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great place for a nice night out or a special occassion!
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fiancé ordered the herb roasted chicken and I ordered the Rib-eye. Both were excellent! Wait staff was inexperienced but very nice. Went to the rooftop after dinner for a drink, beautiful view and cool vibe. Will be back.
  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 2, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience4
    the food was ok, for the price could have been better. the ambiance was cool but the chairs were so uncomfortable! I almost couldn’t wait to leave because it felt like i was sitting on a rock. the service was ok, waiter was nice but took so long to come back and it wasn’t busy.
  13. NG

    NorwayGirl

    Seattle

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Celebrated our 35th anniversary with dinner, drinks & dessert! The Mediterranean-spiced lamb tagine and peach-topped pork chop were delicious! The table-side dessert presentation was a treat.
  14. M

    Mmf60

    New York Area

    4 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience5
    Food was ok, server was great The option to go to the rooftop was a plus
  15. C

    Chedda

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience3
    Was expecting much more due to such a high price tag. Food was okay, but not spectacular as I had hoped. Steak was undercooked, and the knife I received wasn’t sharp. Hacked away at the meat for 20 min before I gave up and finished my wine so I could get out of there. Aside from that, the ambiance was decent and the bar looked very nice. Wide selection of nice wine and spirits. Wouldn’t recommend for food.
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall1food1service5ambience4
    The service and ambiance were great, but the food was incredibly terrible for the price. I’ve eaten at many great steakhouses and if I’m ordering a $63 filet mignon my expectations are pretty high. We could’ve made it ourselves at home on the grill for a quarter of the cost. The star of the show were the French fries. Those were great, everything else about the $300 meal was a severe disappointment.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delightful
  18. RW

    ReneeW

    Detroit

    22 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Food was excellent. Service good. Would recommend
  19. S

    Steakoscar

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 27, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience4
    We chose to dine at Merten’s for my wife’s birthday. The lady at the front was not very pleasant or welcoming. The bartender was very nice and helpful. Our server was very helpful, pleasant and nice. However, my wife ordered her steak medium and I ordered mine medium-well. When our steaks arrived at our table, they were very under cooked. Our server took the steaks back and brought them back. Both steaks were very over cooked. My wife’s steak was so dry and over cooked, she could only eat half. My steak was over cooked as well. We have eaten at your restaurant many times and this was the worst experience. We hope that this gets corrected but we’re not sure if we’ll be back anytime soon.
  20. C

    Charlie

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Really interesting facility & decor, professional staff, excellent food---flavorful and well presented, and throwback drink menu. I would suggest a variety of cheeses for the cheese plate. Will certainly return for special occassions.
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We were celebrating our wedding anniversary. Our waiter was very attentive. We enjoyed the Petit Filet and Pork Chop; both very tasty!
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Service was phenomenal, ambience very cool, but food took quite some time. We were there on a Sunday night and our food took almost an hour.
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Dinner before the symphony. I have always loved the ambiance of this restaurant. I love that they have embraced the vintage vibe of the building. I always feel like just around the corner I’m going to time travel back to 1940 Grand Rapids, it’s kind of magical. I’m really glad they survived the pandemic and I think the menu is better now. Simpler and the food is very good. The French table wine (@$7/glass) is the best wine value in Grand Rapids. It’s this lovely dry crisp Sancerre served very cold. I had the salmon, perfectly done and not overwrought with “toppings,” and my husband loved his New York Strip. The cheese course was also fun and a nice change from routine apps. Even their basic coffee tasted better than other restaurants. All in all, I am glad Mertens is still here and we plan on going a lot. This is not even mentioning the rooftop is also is very fun…
  24. P

    Paul

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    The food was good but, not great. The pork chop that my date had was well seasoned but, dry. My salmon was very good, not outstanding
  25. G

    Greg

    Caribbean

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 20, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience3
    Service was excellent. We were taken care of by one of the bartenders who also serves as the Sommelier. He was very knowledgeable and attentive. The main courses (pork chop and duck) were lacking flavor and quite disappointing. I feel like this place lacks a true vision- do you want to be a French restaurant or a steakhouse? My two cents: focus on perfecting your French cuisine. This place was wonderful when it was New Mertens Hotel. Food was great, atmosphere was more lively, and the price point was much more approachable. Once again, service was great, food was average at best.

    Mertens PrimeResponded on May 21, 2022Hi Greg, thanks for the kind words about Matt! We do wish you enjoyed your dishes more and appreciate the feedback as always!

  26. MT

    MoradT

    Chicago

    26 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on May 20, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience3
    Great NY strip, well prepared to order. Bernaise sauce was balanced. Cheese platter lacked verity and was poorly presented , the bread was cold. Deviled eggs and bacon bits were delicious. Poutine (Mustard) basically is an order of fries mixed up by the sauce of choice. Very limited seafood choices. Salmon was adequately prepared but lacked flavor. Wine selection is relatively expansive with some good French wine choices.
  27. JH

    JohnH

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great atmosphere Great food Great Service -Justin was excellent!
  28. GR

    GRTom

    Detroit

    8 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on May 17, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    First time visiting Mertens Prime. Service was very good but not great due to what I suspect was a staff shortage. We were not rushed and things came on time. The beet salad was delish but the vichyssoise was more like mashed potatoes in a bowl than a soup. The 8 oz filets were done med rare to our order, just right. Sides were big enough to share. The Bananas Foster was New Orleans good! The price was Chicago style $$$$ which is a bit rich for Grand Rapids.

    Mertens PrimeResponded on May 21, 2022Hi Tom, thanks very much for all of the kind words! As a small, family-owned restaurant that doesnt have the size of many others, it is certainly getting more and more challenging to keep up with the pricing changes to ensure that the business can recover. Please know that we're looking at menu changes all the time to try to balance the happiness of our guests, team and restaurant. Thanks again!

  29. JB

    JimB

    Grand Rapids

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience3
    We went to Mertens for our first time to celebrate a big birthday. The food was absolutely outstanding! To no fault of theirs, the restaurant was understaffed and our dinner turned into a three hour long meal. The bartender was actually serving because of the staff shortage and he was amazing. We will definitely be back!
  30. R

    Ryan

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 13, 2022

    overall2food1service3ambience4
    I would avoid if you are seeking a good steak. As a steakhouse you would expect an $80 steak to be cooked to perfection. Our table of 4 was celebrating a special occasion and all ordered different cuts. All 4 of the steaks arrived well done, even though most of us ordered medium-rare. We asked for this to be corrected and they did go back to try to deliver properly cooked steaks. The next time they arrived they were not as overcooked, but still cooked further than medium-rare/medium and actually were very un-evenly cooked this time. The manager blamed the issue on new kitchen equipment that the staff was still getting used to. To me this would seem to indicate that patrons at the moment are paying full price for a testing/calibration plate of food? Incredibly disappointing - I'd definitely go elsewhere for steak. Other than that the drinks, sides, servers were pleasant.
  31. N

    Nash

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 12, 2022

    overall3food3service1ambience3
    The rooftop is always great. The service in the restaurant wasn’t the same. We sat at 5:20 and it wasn’t until 5:55 we got our drinks (two people.) One in our party is allergic to dairy and they told her she couldn’t substitute the sweet potato mash for something else. Overall slow, bad service for a Thursday when it wasn’t that busy. Food was alright though. Won’t go back any time soon.
  32. SS

    StevenS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The overall ambience was cool and sophisticated. This is a historical building with many classic craftsman touches which made me feel like I was somewhere special. The lighting was soft and at just the right level. The sound level was quiet with just enough sound to remind me I was not dinning alone. The food was well presented and delicious. The service was excellent just what I would expect from a fine dining establishment. I'm looking forward toy next dinner there.
  33. KL

    KLPW

    Chicago

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall3food2service2ambience3
    I was very much looking forward to dining here as they offered coquilles St. Jacques which is one of my favorite meals. While the scallops were mostly tender and flavorful, the sauce was dominated by minced mushrooms that hid any flavor nuances that should have been there. The dish was topped by cheese made tough by too long under the broiler. I was also looking forward to the pot de crème Which had a good flavor but the consistency was strangely grainy. The service was sub-par. Our water and wine refills were forgotten and there was an unfortunate incident with the water bottle falling into the slushy ice water bowl meant to keep it chilled. Our waitress had at least 4 tables to serve and servers had to make flambé desserts which took a lot of time away from other tables.
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Poutine, Duck, roast chicken, cheesecake were all incredible. Best meal I’ve had in a long time.
  35. WO

    WarrenO

    Jacksonville

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    Did not care for the “rustic/beat up appearance of the dining area we were seated in.
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful Mother’s Day family dinner. Everything was perfect.
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The staff at Mertens is top notch. Patty called me personally after I made my reservation to let me know that there was a handicap accessible entrance for my mother and was there when we arrived to assist us. She also gave us a table near the door to minimize how much walking my Mom had to do and waited with her after our meal while I ran to get the car. Our server, Justin, was delightful in every regard. He gave us personalized recommendations when we had questions about the menu and took great care not to rush us but also made sure that our needs were met at all times. Candace checked on us just enough to make us feel welcome but not so often as to pester us. All in all we had a lovely Mother’s Day celebration and I look forward to dining at Mertens again.
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Bad experience, will not be coming back. Planned to have a nice dinner with my mother who was visiting, it was our first time dining here. After being seated for over 30min we decided to leave since no one came to take our order. There are many other nice restaurants in Grand Rapids with better service.
  39. PK

    PatrickK

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Amazing food quality, service was good. Would definitely visit again in the future.
  40. R

    Rachel

    Grand Rapids

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 6, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience5
    Great ambiance and experience. Still working out some service bumps, which is to be expected as we navigate covid-level staffing (missing napkins, which were quickly provided once we asked - and not great knowledge of the menu from our waiter.) But all the staff were friendly and responsive, which I appreciated. My duck was expensive, and while the crispy leg was DELICIOUS, the duck breast was a little dry and the "risotto" tasted like white rice. We loved all our cocktails - and were impressed with all the options for drinks. We had a great time, but would expect more for the price.

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 4.5 stars by 1039 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 41 times today
Experiences are available.
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

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