The Blackbird Waterhouse

4.3
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103 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Open year-round, The Blackbird Waterhouse features 6,600 square feet of tastemaker quality dining, escapism experiences, an events + culinary center, outdoor patio + more! Our entire kitchen is a from-scratch kitchen supporting local farms + vendors, and proudly serves up a menu that is almost 100% gluten-free! Our front pub offers familiar favorites including our own extensive selection of hand-crafted cocktails, beer + wine.
What 103 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MP
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Fantastic food!

They were a little understaffed on Labor Day Sunday.

Could also use some sound dampening panels in the back room. Talked to the manager and she said that was in the works.

Will return and give this place another chance. Mainly on the strength of their food.

OT
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

Fun atmosphere, terrible service. Meal took 3 hours total, as most of that was wait time in between courses. All food would have tasted great, however was completely cold. Within those 3 hours, we only saw our server 2-3 times, and she never apologized once for the length of time we waited the minute we sat down to order, until the time we finally left. Was not a cheap meal for such a horrible experience.

OT
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Our waitress didn’t tell us about the specials, took our order and 1 hour and 50 minutes later our food came out. The waitress came back several times to tell us they were running behind and then finally the owner admitted that our check was lost. He promised food in 10 minutes and at 15 minutes we walked out just as the food was being served.
We have eaten here several times, the food is usually excellent. What a shame their service is clearly lacking. Horrible experience.

MC
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

As always the food is excellent. Great presentation. Noticed a more informed wait staff. Only negative thought is the main dining room is way too noise. Also lighting in main dining room way to bright during dining hours. Need to work on ambience.

IE
Indiana
5 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our group of 6 was staying in South Haven and I found this place because it was nearby and took reservations. It’s an easy drive to get there—about 25 minutes on a Friday evening. The place has a lively vibe and waitress had good recommendations. We tried several appetizers—yummy crab cakes and the smoked blue cheese cake. Delicious. We also loved the fresh corn chowder. Entrees were varied and all good—fish tacos, salmon, pork tenderloin and several others. Everyone was happy with their choice. Great wine list and wide variety of beers and other drinks. Fresh farm to table food creatively prepared with vegetarian options and gluten-free choices. Casual attire was fine and the place felt comfortable and not stuffy. Even the foodies in our group said they would definitely return though because the menu was interesting and the food was great.

B
Naples
2 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I ordered the 15oz ribeye. I wish it was only 8 oz or less. The average person doesn’t need 15 oz of ribeye.

NC
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 1

Service was excellent. Food wasn’t so good. Ribeye dip sandwich was mostly bread. Fries are not that great. Truffle fries are better. Chicken taco salad was not good. Mushy shredded chicken globbed onto lettuce with some cheese & taco strips that were ok. Gigs were supposed to be in season, I guess, but they weren’t ripe enough therefore taste less. Sat in big back room that had no ambience at all, like a hall. Our second time here, first time was a lot better and sat in a smaller room that was nicer. Maybe it’s hot or miss.

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A unique and diverse menu. We had the truffle fries, salmon and French dip rib eye sandwich. All were very good. Service was attentive and friendly. Would definitely recommend this gem.

MP
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent brunch! Especially enjoyed some of the more special items, such as the crab claws!!! Owners, chef and staff were very attentive and interested in feedback as well! Will definitely come to enjoy this place again!!!

l
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

There were a lot of people here for dinner. We were seated upstairs, so it was relatively quiet for us, which we prefer so we can hear our own convo instead of others. Our food was outstanding! I think they change their menu by the season. At first the service on the drinks was lacking (waiting too long for a drink order), but then waitress realized it and made up for it by comping our first round. Our bill was over $200 for the 4 of us, so be prepared to stretch the wallet for your dinner, but if the food is that good, I don't mind spending a little extra or being an extra good tipper.

MS
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our experience at Blackbird Waterhouse was excellent.
We did not inform them we required wheelchair accommodations and they quickly adjusted the upstairs spot they had planned for us to a main-level table. And for a table of 10 that was a lot of juggling. We so appreciated their understanding attitude.
The service and food were terrific!

SM
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Enjoyable and delicious as always. Wonderful service.

ED
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good to go back for another excellent meal.

N
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food is good, some things a bit overpriced (I know farm to table) but $17 for 2 (very tasty) chicken tacos and pork rinds? $16 for 3 firecracker whatever those appetizers were. Drinks are weak, 2 $9 margaritas and barely a buzz. Wine selection - too much MI wine and most glasses are in the $10+ range, sadly no wine for me. Salmon was excellent and a fair price ($24 I believe), mac and cheese always good, service was ok. My second time there, might be awhile before I return.

ME
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Food overpriced.

CM
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

This is a great spot, love the atmosphere. We enjoyed our meals but both felt they were a bit too rich in flavour, could have done with a little less of everything. PEI mussels in the summer is a nice treat though. Be sure to order your appetizer before your meal otherwise they’ll show up at the same time which is disappointing. We’ll return for a second visit in hopes of a slightly better experience but overall this restaurant is a solid 4 out of 5 and I’d recommend it to others.

JF
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

missing the old food from the menu a month ago. also the desserts changed which was good but again i miss the old ones too. could you just extend the menu? thank you

j
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our anniversary.

a
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

The waitress was inexperienced but nice. She asked if anyone wanted a drink and when the first person responded "just water", she assumed that went for the other 5 of us. I asked for a glass of wine as she was leaving the table, when she returned with my glass, the rest of the table hurriedly gave their orders as well. The salmon was dry, the French dip tasteless, the prices were high for what we got. The waitress started clearing the table and talking about dessert before all of us finished our main course. We were whisked in and out of there in less than 1 hour. It was our first night of vacation and it kind of soured our feeling about the week ahead.

f
Indiana
20 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was great! I loved the atmosphere and the outside seating. The food was excellent and the service was too. We had the blue cheese cake appetizer and the braised beef entree. Both were so good!
I would highly recommend this restaurant!

WH
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Blackbird Waterhouse!! Owners and staff are great!

PG
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

My boyfriend and I rented an Airbnb at Paw Paw Lake for the weekend and were looking for a local restaurant for a nice birthday dinner while we were there, when I stumbled upon Blackbird while doing my research. Blackbird did not disappoint! The charcuterie was huge and delicious, and everyone was very happy with their entrees as well. They also pour a great Old Fashioned! The only thing I was a tad disappointed in was the ambience. The outside is very cool and rustic/industrial looking, but the inside looked like it could use some décor. It was just a little 'blah'. But I'm just chalking it up to them being fairly new. It definitely did not ruin the experience at all. If we go to Paw Paw Lake again, we'd most definitely return.

HT
Chicago
64 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food is well-prepared, with interesting excursions into, or at least near the realm of fine dining. The wine list has a good variety for people who want to pay extra for a local wine, as well as for people who want to pay the regular price for interesting vinifera varietals from interesting far-off places. It is well worth the trip to go to this place,and well-worth revisiting to see how they improve and to "accentuate the positive."

MO
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 3

We were a party of 4... 2 of us ordered their margarita, 1 was sent back for being too sweet. They watered it down with something (who knows what) left it in the same glass. I drank mine but was not happy at all with it; again, too sweet no liquor to it and it was $9.
3rd person ordered a Coke, came out being diet Coke...sent it back and diet again. They had the wrong syrup box on the Coke... they also used the same glass as I was watching them pour the new one.
Food, entrees came out and I cut into mine pork and it was so raw in the middle. The manager was walking by and I literally held the plate up as he was walking by and he saw how raw it was. He took it back to the kitchen to finish cooking and it came out fine. He did do right by comping the meal.
Our server was sat a large table, she never came back to check on us when our meals came out... only seen her when it was time to pay.
Sad to say this but their prices are something you would see at a higher end establishment, the locals will not support this place in the off season. They really need to work on their service and find a way to cut food prices for the average person that lives in the area. Also, don't think that you tricked us with our margaritas, these things were horrible but I didn't want to complain with mine. I just know that I'll never be there again to spend my hard earned money there again.
Oh, the other 3 meals were not that good also. The rib eye steak $36 was this thin cut of meat and overcooked. The beef shank tasted like a bottle of vinegar and the tacos for the 4th meal were really dry.

MJ
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had excellent meals and great service. Love the creativity of their menu and attention to detail. It is also great how everyone on the team clears the tables. If they walk by and something needs to be cleared, they clear it. It's great to see a team work together like this.

CJ
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Not your typical bar food. Dishes were creative and succulent. Blue cheesecake was outstanding. A real find.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food! We will be back!

G
Palm Springs
56 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot with delicious food. Wonderful service too!

AW
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Our food was amazing! A little on the pricy side, but we were celebrating a special occasion and since it was so delicious, it was worth it!

TW
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service is a must to go back too

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Beautifully done brunch with a wide variety of options. A great value for the options offered.

K
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

So nice to have a local restaurant with good, more upscale food selections. Our server was excellent and very attentive. There were 7 in our group and each one raved about the quality of their food. We are looking forward to utilizing the newly renovated outdoor space.

MC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Have been several times and keep going back. Can’t say enough about the food. Game changer!

KR
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Wonderful service and amazing food! Took my family to dinner to celebrate my husbands birthday. He said the pork chop was the best he ever had!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Too expensive for the area

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent fresh food
Very accommodating

R
Detroit
32 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always struggle giving a restaurant 5 stars. After all, this isn't Paris or New York City and these aren't Michelin ratings. So taking that into account, you have to judge the food first and foremost and then go from there. My wife and I vacation on Michigan's west coast and get tired of the same old pub grub and foods obviously supplied by Cisco. My wife found the Blackbird Waterhouse through a TripAdvisor search and we decided to take a chance. The restaurant is situated in what seems like the middle of nowhere in a lake community. On approach, we found the parking lot filled with cars and the restaurant merrily busy. We were greeted with smiles and taken to our table through a new, tastefully decorated building where the waitress was friendly and helpful. The menu was filled with items that testified to both fresh and local, so we knew we were not getting pub grub.
Upon asking, our waitress assured us that the short ribs were worth trying. The restaurant butchers their own meat. So even though it was eighty degrees outside we decide to try it. We also ordered crab cakes to split between us. The crab cakes were spectacular. Besides a crispy outer edge there was no sign of a breadcrumb. They were held together by magic, and perfectly seasoned as well. The short ribs were essentially a large hunk of the most tender, juicy, flavorful meat I have ever had. My wife agreed-the best ever. Natural gravy and fresh vegetables accompanied the dish, and you can be sure that every drop was gone from our platter.
We were pleased, the waitress was pleased, and on the way out we tracked down the chef and let him know how we felt. So yeah, a five star experience for sure.

MB
Northern MI
17 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our first visit to the Blackbird and we are looking forward to returning. We were very pleased with all aspects of our experience. Note that we were there early in a Friday evening so I can’t speak to what things are like later in the night.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommend! The food is EXCELLENT!

s
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely presentation of creative food items; lots of gluten free gourmet items. Smoked blue cheese cake was outstanding.

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