When you think of small town America, fine dining is not typically the first thing that springs to mind. You may think of the local home town diner or the bar that has that great burger. Well, Riverwalk Grill in Gladwin offers a wonderful menu in a beautiful setting that is a step above. Owned by DeVere Denings, the Riverwalk is more than just a restaurant, it is a destination. In addition to the restaurant the Riverwalk Place offers professional offices, upscale women’s clothing stores, a jeweler and a spa / salon. There are overnight suite accommodations and a 1.3 mile paved trail that follows the Cedar River from Gladwin’s North Park to the City Park. The restaurant offers dining room seating, a handsome bar area that is separate from the dining room and a banquet facility that is perfect for weddings, business meetings or family Christmas parties.
However, today, we were not there for any of those things, we were there for the food. Upon arrival we were welcomed by the hostess and seated at our table near one of the many large picture windows that overlook the river. We started out with a drink menu that includes no less than eight different wines that are produced right here in Michigan. Today, however, we decided to start with the fresh ground coffee. As we enjoyed our coffee, we were able to relax and watch the river slowly meander by and listen to the soft jazz music in the back ground.
Next, Jennifer, our waitress brought us our appetizer. A marvelous Spinach and Artichoke Dip highlighted by the Riverwalks own home made Fried Pita Chips. Light and delicate, these treats are the perfect accent to the spinach dip.
Our salad was a Grilled Chicken Salad, but with several twists. This Chicken Salad had dried cherries, apple slices and Swiss cheese over a bed of mixed greens and lightly seasoned grilled chicken. Topped with a light and tangy Lemon Poppy Seed dressing. This salad could easily be a meal in itself.
Let the Main Course begin!
We were beginning to wonder if we would have any room when the main courses came out. We started out with a sandwich that was recommended to us by our waitress, but not one that either of us would have chosen by looking at the menu. The Turkey & Swiss Sandwich was a welcome surprise. Served on a pretzel roll, this sandwich had stacked turkey breast and Swiss cheese with a honey dijon mustard in just the right amount so as to complement the sandwich, but not over power it. On the side were their very own home made potato chips.
The Linguini Alfredo with chicken is always on our favorite list whenever we visit. This time was no different. Some dishes do not need a ton of ingredients to be fabulous. This is one of them. Served with Italian style toast, this dish is simple. Linguini noodles with a generous portion of grilled chicken mixed with alfredo sauce and fresh ground parmesan cheese, how can you go wrong? And the Riverwalk didn’t on this one.
Gladwin has Ribs.
Finally, restaurant manager, Curtis and Jennifer both recommended the ribs. We are so glad they did. Grilled to perfection with barbeque sauce, and then served with a generous amount of the same delicious sauce on top. The meat was literally falling off the bones as we ate. The ribs were served to us with garlic redskin mashed potatoes. And what’s a rack of ribs without a beer to go along with it? But, not just any beer! The Riverwalk Grill has local brews on tap and I couldn’t resist trying Midland Brewing Company’s Pale Ale. Brewed 40 minutes away in Midland, Michigan, the lingering Hop flavor of this beer is the perfect accent to the Ribs with their Zesty Sauce.
Year Around Dining
During the summer there is al Fresco dining on their spacious porch or out on the patio by the Tiki Bar. There are photo opportunities in the gazebo, by the beautiful landscaped water falls and near the river. You may even see one of the Mallard Ducks that call the river home during the summer. Whether you plan on a weekend spa getaway, or stop in for a quick lunch, you cannot go wrong with the Riverwalk Place and Riverwalk Grill.
777 West Cedar Avenue Gladwin