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“Fancy, Expensive, But Disappointing; Exquisite View” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blu

Blu
Ranked #4 of 13 Restaurants in Glen Arbor
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$25 - US$45
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, View, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Located in Glen Arbor on the shore of Lake Michigan with panoramic views of Sleeping Bear Bay and the Manitou Islands, Blu has a location unparalleled by any Michigan restaurant. With thoughtfully executed cuisine, our award winning wine program and gracious hospitality we seek to excite, inspire, and transport guests for one memorable evening.European techniques fused with local ingredients and the finest from afar will influence Chef Randy Chamberlain's daily changing menus with an emphasis on the products, simplicity and flavor. The carefully chosen wine list includes vintners from around the world including local favorites as selected by Sommelier Mari Chamberlain.Since opening in 2008 Blu has received numerous accolades including a James Beard nomination for Best Chef-Great Lakes and high praise from Wine Spectator and Travel+Leisure. Blu continues to set the standard for fine dining with a modern interpretation in Glen Arbor; we look forward to your visit.
Albany, NY
Level Contributor
193 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
“Fancy, Expensive, But Disappointing; Exquisite View”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2013

This was by far the most expensive meal we ate during our several days in the Lelanau Peninsula and by far was the worst. The setting is absolutely gorgeous and that was the draw for us. We should have known better as we rarely go to restaurants like this, preferring instead to frequent more reasonably priced establishments. I ordered a chop (a single solitary chop) that was surrounded by a lonely broccoli spear. My wife’s dish was much too peppery, and while they did replace it (with what then was a very bland meal) , the staff seemed to have lost interest in us when we asked for this (and maybe because we didn’t order wine). In fact everyone else in the restaurant was served their dinner with bread or rolls, but we were not. Again I acknowledge that this is not our style of restaurant so maybe our opinion is somewhat colored by that inclination, so for those who like this style may have a better experience

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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169 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    135
    19
    5
    6
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
ohio
Level Contributor
319 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“Early Bird Special is Great Value”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

We took advantage of the early bird/fixed price menu as we wanted to try the food, but didn't want to spend a fortune -- and glad we ate early as we didn't have the right clothes to feel comfortable with the posh later crowd. We went on a weeknight, after the summer season but it still filled up.

Liked - very fresh local food well prepared with some originality. Nice selection of choices even for the early bird specials. Love having three courses already chosen. Portions might seem small to some, but we thought it was just the right amount. Attentive service.

Didn't like - you are required to be there at 5:00/ no later then 5:15) and must order by 5:30. I know they want you out of there by the time the full price customers come, but it makes me feel like a second class customer. And the 15 minute window is a bit tricky when you are on vacation and have to cut your day short to get make sure you don't miss that window.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
132 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Nice view, great service, food over salted...ask your server before you order....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2013

Made reservations weeks before showing up, asked for a very special table to watch the sun set for our 25th wedding anniversary, asked if I could do anything to make it special for my husband...was told they would note it and take good care of us. We were seated at a smaller table for two, in the corner, where only one of us could see the sunset, the other viewed a wall. Shame on me, I should have asked to be moved, but assumed they were already booked? Small restaurant, maybe 10 tables? Nice and quiet, a few table outside to eat weather permitting. We went early, and were one of the first there. About 1/3 of a way into our meal, several other twosomes showed up, and were seated at table for 4, where they could both see the view. Again, my fault, I should have asked to be moved... but thought a 25th Anniversary, early reservation ,special request, thought we would have been given a bit more of a view. Next time, I will specify my request.

Eddie was our server. Ultimate gentleman, ultimate server. Ask for him. Very gracious and knowledgeable about the wine and food. Crab cakes very fresh and very good. Husband and I split the beet salad, again very fresh beet, a smaller app type portion, but served nicely. My husband had the turtle soup, again, not bad, nice portion. Here is were it changed a bit. Two rolls were served with some sort of whipped butter with what appeared to be a black salt on top. Large grained salt, very salty and crunchy, not to our liking. But hey, I will try something new anytime.

We ordered the Duck Confit, and the Beef Tenderloin. I have had duck in many places, some good, some average, some not so good. The duck was served with a certification, which was very nice, but it was SO SALTY, it was difficult to finish. Not sure if it was brined, or just over seasoned. The same for the steak was true, unfortunately. The steak was done medium, but a bit tough, and the sauce it was served in was very salty. Some folks like salt, I guess they were just both over the top for both my husband and me - I know there is a fine line between flavor and seasoning, but I would rather err on the light side, where you can always add more, than to find it too salty to eat. Small portions of locally grown veggies were served with both dinners... a nice touch.

Dessert was a Turtle Sunday, served with a candle to signify our anniversary. Nice little ender for the evening, nice pecans on top to finish off. Owner and chef both came to check on our meals, after they were completed and served. Prices were a bit high, as to be expected in the level of restaurant they strive to be... but $4.00 for a cup of coffee was a bit over the top I thought, considering everything else was pretty pricy. I commend the owners and he chef for such a beautiful location, and they clearly seem to want to make the food special. I have read several other reviews about the saltiness of the food. Maybe have the wait staff advise customers that it is "well seasoned"? Again, a very nice view and location in Glen Arbor... give it a try when you are in the area if you are looking for a nice view and great service! Nonna's is another nice place in the area, comparable level of food and service, but NOT the view!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank sheeeebs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgman
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“It's got everything!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2013

A stunning location, a romantic atmosphere, and outstanding cuisine! What more could you ask for? My husband had the duck, which he hasn't stopped raving about since. I had the Veal Agnolotti and I ate every single delectable bite. What a wonderful treasure in Glen Arbor!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jomma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City
Level Contributor
128 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting but overpriced”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2013

Nice 5 star setting and menu. I did not like my wine and was offered another and was not charged at all for this on my bill.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank otisokansascity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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