- 310 W. Grand River Avenue
- Williamston, MI 48895
- (517) 655-4300
- No Known Website
Back in January, I made reservations for Valentine’s Day at the RiverHouse Inn in Williamston. It’s a place that I have been wanting to eat at since it opened late last summer. It just looked like a neat place. Our Valentine’s plans changed a couple times and we ended up back in Chicago after having to cancel a trip to Dayton. I told J as we were heading to Hot Chocolate (review HERE) on Chicago’s north side that I actually had reservations for a place in Michigan that I canceled. It worked out for the best. We loved our dinner in Chicago and the lunch menu at RiverHouse Inn was actually more our style, so our first weekend back in Lansing in quite some time, we decided to brave a snow storm and head to Williamston for lunch.
The RiverHouse Inn is a gorgeous old house that sits on the banks of the Red Cedar River on the west side of Williamston. The building was actually built in 1929 and for 77 years, it was a private residence. The current owners of the building planned to remodel the place into a bed and breakfast, but that never really happened. Instead, they opened a restaurant. The inside of the building still looks like a house. When you walk through the front door, you come to a hostess station in a hallway between two rooms. The sign said “please seat yourself” so we started looking for the best place to sit. There were no people in the two rooms you can see when you walk in, but I could kind of see a staircase that led down to a bar area. I figured that was the best place to go since there would at least be a bartender who could see we were there.
We headed through what was probably an old living room or dining room that had just a couple tables in it on our way to the bar. Every table in the house is in a pretty intimate setting. It’s really hard to describe the ambiance. It looks like they used the existing layout instead of trying to open everything up and only keep load bearing walls. The place just had a charm that you can’t get from a new building.
Once we found our way to the bar, we made our way to a pub table on the lower level of a split level dining room. The table was a big piece of granite surounded by bar stools. There are a couple other regular tables in addition to the few pub tables. The bar only has a handful of stools but the view from those stools is amazing. Like I said earlier, we were getting a pretty bad snow storm the day we were there and there are huge bay windows looking out to the Red Cedar River behind the Inn. The falling snow made the river and trees look really pretty.
After getting settled in, a waiter came over with menus and took drink orders. We both just ordered a Pepsi/Diet Pepsi while we looked over the menu. The lunch menu is made up of salads, sandwiches, and a couple entrees. I think we each found three or four sandwiches that looked really good.
I went with the Riverhouse Inn Burger. The sandwich is fresh USDA prime grade beef topped with organic field greens, tomato, red onion, and your choice of cheese on a toasted bun. The got Gorgonzola on my burger and took off all the veggies. The burger was really good. It was really juicy and there was a lot of cheese. The bun was toasted, but it was still soft and flaky. It was a very delicious burger. The sandwich came with fries on the side. They were thick cut fresh cut fries that were a perfect golden brown with a little Cajun seasoning. It didn’t look like there was a lot of food on the plate, but I left full and really, really happy.
J ordered my second choice, the Smokehouse Panini. Her sandwich came with house roasted turkey, hickory smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, onion, and homemade BBQ sauce on sourdough bread. She left the tomato and onion off. The sandwich was awesome. It was smokey. It was nice and crispy. It was just a really good sandwich. Her meal also came with fries and she got a house salad on the side which came with a balsamic dressing.
Our bill was just over $25 for lunch. On most days, that’s a little more than I like to spend on lunch, but the quality of food at the RiverHouse Inn is more than worth the price. They do things the way I would (will) do it if I ever (when I) open a restaurant. The sandwiches are made from fresh, quality ingredients and they take time to pay attention to the little details. The RiverHouse Inn is really a hidden gem in Williamston. I heard some buzz when it first opened, but it’s been a long time since I’ve read anything about it. This is a place that really should be on everyone’s short list for a great meal in an amazing atmosphere.