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Siren Hall - Elk Rapids, MI

w
Wakeley Bridge Mar 11, 2008 07:45 AM

Just read a review of chef/owner Michael Peterson's new venture in Elk Rapids, Siren Hall, in the Traverse City newspaper. Reviewer loved the place. I've always liked Peterson's Lulu's Bistro in Bellaire and it sounds like he's hit a home run in Elk Rapids.

Any chowhounds been there yet? It would be good to get a few more takes on the new eatery.

  1. d
    Docsknotinn Mar 11, 2008 07:54 AM

    Well at least they won't have much competition in Elk Rapids. I never put much stock in Newspaper critics but I'll have to try to remember this on the way home.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Docsknotinn
      w
      Wakeley Bridge Mar 11, 2008 08:07 AM

      As far as Elk Rapids goes, I've enjoyed many meals at Pearls. We find it to be the best of the Schelde chain.

      1. re: Wakeley Bridge
        d
        Docsknotinn Mar 11, 2008 08:14 AM

        I guess it's subject to individual taste and perception but that's not really a very good benchmark IMO.

        1. re: Docsknotinn
          w
          willygreen Mar 14, 2008 08:40 AM

          I totally agree. Pearls and Red Mesa and the other Magnum restaurants are typical fast casual chain fare. They don't use good ingredients. I couldn't even get a side of fried okra at Pearls because they only had canned pickled okra in the kitchen. Try the guac at Red Mesa--it is hard to taste the avocado. They put something in there to stretch it out and it makes it terrible.

          Lulus and Siren Hall make almost everything from scratch. You can tell when you eat there. Siren Hall is by far the best restaurant in Elk Rapids.

        2. re: Wakeley Bridge
          s
          spotteddog Mar 14, 2008 04:51 AM

          FYI
          Pearls is not part of the Schelde chain. It is part of Magnum Enterprise (Pearls, Red Mesa, the Fish). All are excellant restruants. Pearl's collard greens are the best!

          1. re: spotteddog
            w
            Wakeley Bridge Mar 14, 2008 07:29 AM

            Mea culpa, I knew it was the Magnum group. I must have had an attack of oldtimer's disease. Thanks for the correction.

      2. r
        rblaw Mar 22, 2008 07:28 PM

        Ate there tonight. Big crowd. What will it be like in the summer if it is this full in March? Food was excellent, but wait was about 20 minutes too long. Noise level was high and made worse by recorded music that was just audible enough to be annoying.

         
         
        1. r
          Renwood Apr 4, 2008 06:30 PM

          just had a great dinner at Siren Hall and I think I saw Sam Elliot eating with Mariel Hemingway.....

          1 Reply
          1. re: Renwood
            d
            Docsknotinn Apr 5, 2008 05:11 AM

            LOL

          2. w
            willygreen May 1, 2008 06:55 AM

            Just dined here on Tuesday evening. Had the iceberg wedge (avocado, bacon and bleu cheese dressing). It tasted great but some of the avocado pieces were a little overripe and brown. Then I had a white pizza with wild mushrooms, italian sausage and gruyere. It was cooked perfectly and the mushrooms were fantastic.

            Service was great. They even graciously accommodated some very loud fudgies that walked in at about 9:30 pm.

            Our server told us that they are changing the menu for summer. I'm going to check it out again in a month or so.

            1. c
              cvorbroker Jun 25, 2008 03:16 PM

              My family just hosted a private event at Siren Hall for about 90 people. Siren Hall and every member of it's staff made this event spectacular. I cannot say enough good things about this gem in Elk Rapids. We had people from all over the US, (many of whom are serious foodies), and they are all still raving about the experience, food and drink. Michael and Kim did an amazing job. I live in NYC, but my parents live in Elk Rapids and we all feel very lucky to have Siren Hall in town. I am heading back as soon as I land on July 3rd.

              1. c
                cohrs Nov 8, 2008 05:16 AM

                I agree Siren Hall is pretty good and I agree that Pearls is pretty bad (but don't tell the locals as they love it). Siren Hall does good burgers and pizza but avoid the pearch and fish and chips. The gumbo soup at Siren Hall is much better then the same dish at Pearls and the calamari is ok. The resturant is in an old garage and has a nice clean feel.

                Pearls is a mystery to me. Fast food at best and unhealthy in terms of ingredients and calories but it's always packed. Also the menu hasn't changed in years. Problem is that Elk Rapids really only has Siren Hall and Pearls as the Riverwalk Grill is truely awful, TJ's and Town Club are dirty and the Harbour Cafe has closed. Chef Charles is pretty good pizza but the restaurant isn't much

                1 Reply
                1. re: cohrs
                  l
                  loubug Jan 12, 2009 08:07 AM

                  I am a local from Elk Rapids and I love both Siren Hall and Pearls for various reasons. Siren Hall is undoubtedly our favorite for the quality, freshness, and variety of food and wine. We go to Pearls for more than just the "average" food the other posters mentioned. The staff at Pearls is always friendly and accommodating, the atmosphere always warm and festive. When you go to Pearls you see people you know and you have a laid back, good time. Pearls has been a staple in our community for about 10 years. As other posters stated, we don't have a variety of restaurants to choose from. We usually go to Siren Hall and Lulu's alone since some of our elderly family members have a hard time with the acoustics and temperature (cooler) of both restaurants. Certain items like the crab corn chowder or the cajun shrimp are always good at Pearls while the mussels and the jumbo lump crab are always great at Siren Hall. Remember, locals patronize restaurants for various reasons. Both Pearls and Siren Hall participate in the community by making donations to local charities and organizations. We support businesses who believe in making our community a better place. I must also say that both Pearls and Siren Hall outdo many Traverse City establishments because of their dedicated owners, oustanding managers, and hard-working staff. We strongly believe in supporting local businesses; therefore, we will continue to eat at both Siren Hall and Pearls on a regular basis (but don't tell the fudgies or it will be too crowded when we go)!

                2. m
                  manger beaucoup Feb 22, 2009 01:20 PM

                  A lot of my friends and I find it hard to understand why people continue to spend their entertainment dollars in restaurants that serve mediocre (at bet) food when places like Siren Hall and Lulu's are so close and give a much better value for the buck. You n ever go away hungry and the food is not only delicious, it is sophisticated and made on premises-have you tried the cinnnamon rolls and bagels at Siren Hall's new Sat. /Sun. brunch. Fabulous. I know a lot of people think it will be cheaper to go to Pearl's or Bellaire Bar or Toonies, but we've checked it out-not cheaper, just pretty bad food.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: manger beaucoup
                    w
                    willygreen Jun 12, 2009 04:40 AM

                    I go to Siren Hall quite regurlarly and unfortunately the experience is inconsistent. I have had really good meals and also some bad ones. I had bad mussels once and some boring pastas. You would expect everything to be homemade but the french fries are frozen. Last night I had a pasta special -- the chicken in it tasted like it was a few days old and was really greasy - all dark meat that had been sitting in the bottom of a pan.

                    The experience depends upon when you go and which server you get. I haven't had good luck with the pasta dishes. Usually the special appetizers are really good. As mentioned by someone else, I like the iceberg wedge. I like the pizzas very much as well. If you go and get a pizza and a salad and a bottle of wine you will be pleased.

                    1. re: willygreen
                      o
                      oldserver80 Aug 14, 2009 10:26 AM

                      I was a server at Siren Hall and found some of the dishes unsatisfatory and other delicisous. Unfortunately, Mike Does not treat his employees consistently well and for that and bad management I will never return.

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