Today is another one of those days. It’s J’s one year anniversary at work and, more importantly, it’s her birthday. She had a few gift cards for a couple stores in the mall that expired today so I suggested we get up and go shopping. After that, I planned on taking her out for a nice lunch.
The stores we needed to go to are in both malls, so I could make a choice based on where I wanted to eat lunch. I ended up choosing the Lansing Mall because there was a nicer restaurant near there that we haven’t been to and a birthday lunch was a perfect excuse to check it out.
Christie’s Bistro is inside the Sheraton Hotel on Creyts Road near I-496. You enter the hotel at the main entrance. Once inside, there really aren’t any signs or any indication on where to go. I actually noticed the hostess station in an area that looked more like a lobby than a restaurant. She was on the phone taking a reservation when we got there. Once that was finished, we were shown to a table in the back of the dining room.
The dining room is interesting. It’s not what you expect when you hear the word “bistro.” It was nice, but it looked more like a hotel lobby or a conference space than a fancy restaurant. There was a big fountain in the middle of the space that looked a little out of place. There are also some private party rooms along one wall.
When we got there, there was only one or two other tables being used, but we were all seated near each other in the rather large dining room. As more parties came in, they kept seating them in the same space instead of spreading people out. Most of the clientele were obviously business people and many were there from a convention. Not long after we were seated, it got loud. There were a lot of people around us when they could have utilized the rest of the dining room.
Our waitress came over with our Cokes and took the lunch orders. While we waited, a basket of bread was brought out. Of course, I filled up on bread instead of waiting for my meal, but it was so good. The bread was little dinner rolls with Italian spices and oil on them. A plate of butter was also brought out. Each individual pat had a unique design. The rolls were delicious. I should have pulled an Andy Rooney and stuck one in my pocket for tomorrow.
I ordered the Bistro burger. The half pound, char-grilled burger came with a choice of toppings on a home made, toasted bun. I had the burger cooked medium and only added cheese. The burger was slightly pink, but still juicy. The bun was really good. The edges were toasted really crispy. The burger was good, but it wasn’t a stand out, gourmet burger that I would expect from a place like this. Still, it was a really delicious sandwich and really filling. The sandwich came with home made pomme frites. I still will never understand why fancier restaurants insist on being pretentious and calling them “pomme frites.” They were really delicious fresh cut french fries.
J ordered Grilled Havarti and a side salad. The salad came out first with a balsamic vinaigrette. She said the salad was good and there was a lot for a side salad. She stopped after eating half only so she would have room for her sandwich. The Grilled Havarti came with grilled vidalia onions, tomatoes, and a honey mustard. She asked to leave the tomatoes off, but actually got the onions which surprised me. She loved the sandwich. She said the sweet onions gave the cheese a great flavor. Her sandwich came with home made potato chips which surprised us both a little because the menu said it came with the same “pomme frittes” that came with mine. We didn’t say anything because the chips were also really good.
When we first got there, service was great, but as the meal went on and more people were seated, things got slow. We sat with empty plates for quite a while before a check was dropped off, but once I gave her my credit card, she came back pretty quickly to finish things up. The bill came out to just over $27 which is higher than we usually eat for, but it was a special day, so there were no complaints from me. I knew it would cost more than a bar when we pulled in.
Christie’s Bistro gets kind of a mixed review from me. The food was delicious and there were more entrees that sound tempting, but the atmosphere is that of a hotel conference room. It’s not really intimate nor is it what you’d expect from a bistro. I’m sure they’re just working with the space they have and they do a really good job with that. I’d definitely go back. The atmosphere isn’t enough to keep me away from the food.