Coldwater, Michigan – Fun-nomenal Dining


The Boathouse Restaurant

Just a couple miles off I-69 and located on the east shore of Coldwater Lake is a restaurant known by some locals and many from Chicago and Indianapolis but few other Michiganders.  If you are in the area for dinner any day of the week or for a late lunch 2-5pm (Saturday and Sunday only) The Boathouse is a must stop. Chef and part owner Chris Nixon has some surprises and special treats up his sleeve for you. We at Dine Michigan believe the owners Chef Chris Nixon, Michelle Nixon and Brian and Marcia Chambers really have something special here. Our last visit was by two of our writers, one of which is our main vegetarian writer, James,  and they could not stop talking about the courses Chris and his team prepared.

By Land or Sea!

Whether you are spending a day in your boat on beautiful Coldwater Lake, driving to a bar for a quick meal or looking for some fine dining from New York City you have found it.  Pull up to the dock, tie your boat up and come in to the Lower Deck for a burger or something much finer.  We love the choices available to you even with a full bar .  If you are looking for a nice casual meal with the family or a formal dinner then enjoy a short drive along the lakeside, stop in, and go to the upstairs, called the Upper Deck.  The main chef, Mr. Chris Nixson came to the area after working in some amazing restaurants in New York. He assembled a phenomenal team of professionals that will show you some outstanding food and on occasional weekends some culinary delights using liquid nitrogen that will knock your socks off!

Dining in Coldwater

The menu changes frequently allowing you to find a new favorite each time you are here.  Starting with the appetizers we recommend you try the crab cakes.  These flavorful morsels are made using whole lump crab. You may notice they have pickled jalepeno pepper.  Be not afraid!  The pickling takes away the kick and releases nothing but a nice flavor. The quiche was the best our main writer had ever eaten.  Have you ever seen a squash blossom?  The chef here will show you they taste better than you could ever imagine with his seasoned light cream cheese and Aleppo pepper sauce. Are you ready for an explosion of flavor from a small unassuming salad?  The Arugala salad with parmesan directly from Italy and 6 different forms of lemon from juice to lemon confit (pronounced con-fee) — WOW!

The main courses are as varied as the modes of arrival to The Boathouse.  On our last visit,  James tried the walleye and could not get enough.  This fish was prepared with amazing flavor and cooked absolutely perfectly.  Then there is the steak aged for 45 days, as all their steaks are. They are cooked sous vide (pronounced – soo vee d) which is a process chefs use to cook steaks in a vacuum seal for up to a few days at a lower temperature.  As the steaks are ordered they are then pan seared.  This process produces a tender steak to die for.  We recommend you order a steak prepared less cooked then you normally would, like medium instead of well.  It may appear undercooked but it will not be and this is a steak you will come back for.  If you want a steak to live for, step up to the wagyu ribeye for more naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness and prepare to get your calendar out as you will want to schedule your next visit.  For sides , first we had mashed potatoes, corn and green beans.  The vegtables and other fresh ingredients were really good as they are organically grown locally by farms  for The Boathouse.  If you don’t have or want the mashed potatoes, add the gnocchi for a perfect compliment.

Dessert, Dessert, Dessert

Indulge!  Here are the items we highly recommend.  To compliment a beautiful day on the boat the North 40 Blueberry Shortcake is a MUST! Out with the family or in love with chocolate?  Then try the Homemade Dark Chocolate Brownies.  Each batch is made with a pound of chocolate.  You will be suprised by the lightness and way the bitterness knocks them out of the park.  Finally, if you are out on a more formal interlude, the creme brule, creme brule, creme brule.

So by land, sea or by sea plane if needed, get to The Boathouse!  The food is freshly pure Michigan and as exotic as you’ll let it be.  If you’re ready to fall in love again come in the evening and dine as the sun fades away beyond the lake.


The Boathouse Restaurant

632 Lake Drive,   Coldwater



Don't stop reading we have lots more. Here are a few!

About Dave C

Dave comes from the Farwell area originally and does many of our breweries. Dave loves sports and day trips. You will often find him dining with his wife or with one of his good friends at a local brewery.

  • Denise H

    I am so bummed to see that The Boathouse is closed. It was our favorite dining place of all times.