Epicurean escape on Lake Macatawa

By land or sea, Boatwerks is a solid port in the storm
Boatwerks' deck offers a stunning view and serene atmosphere. RedWater courtesy photo.

This spring, my girlfriend Val and I ventured over to tiptoe past the “tulip troopers” who were representing from all over the world, as usual, and thankfully! Tulips were blooming, and passersby turned into a newly minted gaggle of gal pals from Ohio. They were sailing by for happy hour and said “hi.” We said, “hi,” too. We were all Boatwerks virgins, so I went straight to the top and summoned Chris, the General Manager to guide me in ordering. (Even though I may not look like it, I am highly coachable.)

Baja shrimp ceviche. Courtesy photo.

He steered us to the new seafood entrees. I zeroed in on the seafood chowder— tout suite! Was it because I was harkening back to the days of Great Lakes Shipping Company in Grand Rapids? Or because I just spoke to the head bartender from the same place? I threw caution to the wind and Val followed suit. Every taste was a treat. Phenomenal. Not to be shared. Claim your own serving!

Next up to bat was Val’s choice, a warm cheesy dish served hot in a black spider pan like my Danish grandmother restauranteur. Yes sir, they did that right, too!

Boatwerks’ fish tacos. Courtesy photo.

Val likes to follow rules so she went for Fish Tacos. Was it because it was Tuesday, I wondered? She can’t be shoved around, so I stopped begging her to get the steak. I had laid eyes on the plate-covering, succulent steak across the hall. I had to get a closer look, so I did. The nice couple insisted I dunk my finger in the silver cup housing the cherry-infused steak sauce and I was glad I did. (Do they sell that separately? Inquiring minds!)

My entrée selection was a shrimp and scampi tortellini dish. Something I would never make. They make it and it is deli- cious. The red sauce had just enough kick to invite me to keep going for more.

Shrimp and scampi tortellini. Photo by Debby Buck DeJonge.

The pasta was perfectly prepared— firm enough to showcase the seafood which was delight- fully garnished like a well-dressed window in a NYC department store. The bar menu featured a blood orange margarita, which was just begging to be tried while I drank in the view. I counted at least six other cock- tails that piqued my interest. My palette
was tickled with a tricked-up Aperol Spritz introduced to me by another Valerie.

As I relaxed into the mood and music of Boatwerks I began to wish the performer would play The Monkees’ hit with the same name: “Valleri.”

We assuaged our epicurean palettes with the grand finale we like to call dessert. Always the right thing to do. Val’s selection was the New York Cheesecake drizzled with strawberries.

Debby Buck DeJonge and Valerie. Courtesy photo.

I went for our family favorite: Key Lime Pie. I know this “critter” well. My book publisher resides in Key West. The entire staff was so accommodating, I have every confidence they will make your dreams come true.

We saw a sign from above in the form of a rainbow cumulous cloud as we departed— red, yellow, and green bidding us a fond adieu…until we return and belly up to the bar like the patrons who like to call Boatwerks home. debbybuckdejonge.com

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