The Blackbird Waterhouse

4.4
95 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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 95 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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 7 days ago
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!!!

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
10 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
7 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
61 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
6 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.

A
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 1

The food was super bland, way overpriced and the music lousy, plus the server wasn’t very friendly or attentive.

TB
Indiana
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

excellent taste and presentation. Staff was very helpful, knowledgeable of menu items and also attentive but not overly so. Will definitely be back!

MG
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious and unexpected. Enjoyed the heirloom tomato and goat cheese app as well as the short ribs and shrimp with pesto penne for the hubs. Perfectly executed! A little $$ for everyday but definitely a consideration for date night.

RK
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding as usual. I must admit I was missing the warm bread and specialty butter...but I’ll get some next time.

LD
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have eaten here at least 4 times in the last month. It's my new favorite restaurant. My fav is the Blue Cheese pie appetizer!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is amazing and Sayde was terrific!!!

ED
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great new discovery. Interesting drink selections, and extensive wine list including many local wines. Loved the truffle fries appetizer! We chose the filet and the salmon for entrees, and enjoyed both. We look forward to returning to this delightful new restaurant.

W
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I can’t escape the melt-in-my-mouth memory of the Balsamic Braised Short Ribs at The Blackbird Waterhouse. Although my wife’s Yard Bird (look it up) was equally is good (she was good to share a couple bites).

If you like good food, friendly and professional service and a relaxed, lake-appropriate dining vibe, this spot is worth considering. For a restaurant that has just been open three months, the polish on the food and the service was an unexpected joy. We both found a number of selections on starter, mains and dessert section to tempt us. However, we had to make a choice, due to normal-American-portion calorie counts, between a starter and a dessert. The only think that could have improved my chocolate cake with butter cream icing or her Pot de crème would be if I had ordered a coffee or a port or a glass of milk to accompany.

A nice dinner out. All expectations exceeded.

1
2
3