Restaurants & Bars 11

Tried Modern Food & Spirits in Keego Harbor, MI

boagman | Feb 8, 200806:37 PM

Hey 'hounds. After seeing the article in the Freep about the Top Ten New Restaurants in the area, I decided to check out the one closest to me, which is Modern Food and Spirits in Keego Harbor.

I'll start with getting there: it's interesting, in that it's currently only accessible coming from the south off Orchard Lake Road, as the bridge on Cass Lake is out. The good thing is that you can't miss the restaurant: you literally go as far as you can toward the bridge, and then take the last right possible...it's attached to the party store adjacent to it. Don't let that put you off, even though I understand that it's a bit understandable to wonder about that aspect. From the outside, the place is rather unassuming.

Inside, though, it's a warm, comfortable place that's pretty welcoming. They've done a good job in keeping a relatively open feeling in what amounts to a moderate space. I actually chose to eat at the bar, even though there were lots of tables and booths open at the time I was there. Since I was alone, I was feeling "bar-ish."

The servers are pretty down-to-earth and friendly, yet professional. I enjoyed my interaction with them, and I'm sure it helped that I was going at an off-peak hour when the place was pretty empty (3:45PM-ish). They can tell you what the soups of the day are, as well as the specials, none of which really enticed me away from what I had planned to order: the grilled salmon sandwich with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, along with a citrus aioli.

While I didn't know it, it was served to me with a side of cole slaw, which wasn't your typical cole slaw. I liked it well enough, even if it wasn't ultra-flavorful. It did taste a bit summery, which was nice...it kind of reminded me of the sauce in Seafood Louie, if you've ever had it, although without any of the seafood, if that makes any sense.

The "sandwich," however, was quite nice! I put it in quotes because, if ever there was a sandwich which was absolutely *not* supposed to be eaten like a sandwich, this is it. The salmon was a nice portion, correctly prepared, and most importantly: it tasted good. They know how to do it. The sandwich came open-faced, with the cucumber and tomato slices interspersed, which made it pretty to gaze upon. The bread was a ciabatta type of bread, and the citrus aioli came in a little metal cup. It looked appetizing.

I did try, and failed miserably, to eat the thing as if it was an actual sandwich. Since the salmon was done correctly, it was nice and flakey, and came apart too easily to stay within the confines of the bread and my grip. I ended up eating most of it with my fork, but that was just fine. It was awfully messy, anyway.

I liked the taste of what I had, and for all of $8, it was a very nice portion of salmon, with quality food. I left satisfied, for $10 out the door, after tax and tip. I also was intrigued by the dinner entrees they offered, but that'll have to be for a future visit. The sandwiches are available all day at the same price, and I consider what I had to be a real value, if not a bargain.

I asked about desserts, and they had a few at $6, but none of them really qualified to satiate my chocolate craving, so I passed. Appetizers are also all $6 and some of them sounded intriguing, too, but I didn't have any. Again, I'll save those for another visit.

So yes: Modern Food and Spirits left a good first impression with me, and I'll be going back. They're pretty busy during the weekend dinner hours, so reservations are going to be necessary. They were already booked up for tonight between 5:45PM and 9PM I think, and they were calling people to confirm their reservations. Nice touch.

Let me know what you other 'hounds think of it.

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