Saturday, November 26, 2011

RyeBelles of St Joseph

Last evening D and I had the pleasure of dining at St Joseph's newest restaurant, RyeBelles. It opened last week and this is the first opportunity we had to check it out. RyeBelles is located at 518 Broad Street, on the 2nd level just above Bloomies and Cabanas.

You enter here and can take the stairs or the elevator to the second floor. RyeBelles is on the right and the Cassava Restaurant is on the left.

As soon we entered the restaurant we were greeted by the hostess and seated immediately. The first thing we noticed about RyeBelles was that it's a "bring your date" restaurant not a "bring your kids" spot.

The place is tastefully decorated in a subtle, dark, intimate way. With its black ceiling, dark wood walls, and dim lighting (we arrived just at 5pm as they were dimming the lights), it sets the mood for a relaxed dining experience. And in the middle of the room, making a statement by taking up most of the room, is the bar.

We were seated near the prominent fireplace which was both warm and welcoming. I'm sure this spot will be a big hit during the cold winter months. It threw a cozy heat that was much appreciated on a cold November day.

The tables wore black linen cloths topped with tan paper, white cloth napkins, and amber candle holders. It says casual, elegant dining. This restaurant would be right at home on the streets of Chicago and is a nice addition to the streets of St Joseph.

There are lots of windows in RyeBelles. Looking north you see Broad Street, looking south you see the Boulevard Inn, and looking west you get a stunning view of Lake Michigan and Lake Bluff Park. I believe there is a deck on the third floor for open air dining in the summer. Here are a couple pics of the view looking west.
The view of Lake Bluff Park will be absolutely charming once the holiday lights are lit for the season!

So then, let's get on to the food and beverage offerings. The menu offers appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizza, entrees, and a wine list. Each entree comes with fresh bread, a choice of soup or a salad, and a side dish. We opted not to have an appetizer because we're more dessert people. D had a beer as I glanced over the wine list. Here was my big disappointment in Ryebelles... only one local wine on the list! When a restaurant is located right in the middle of Michigan's "wine country" this is a real shame. I would have liked to have seen one third to one half of the wine selection be local Michigan wines. There are so many great ones to choose from!

Now, let's eat! The bread was perfectly done. I'm something of a critic when it comes to bread because my grandparents owned a bakery in Detroit and I grew up with smells of fresh bread baking in my mom's kitchen. So I was delighted with the warm, fresh, just-the-right-amount-of-crispy bread topped with Parmesan cheese and a generous serving of whipped butter.
I ordered soup with my entree. My choices were chicken noodle or roasted red pepper. I chose the chicken noodle because I adore a good chicken soup. My photo of the soup didn't do it justice so I won't include it here. The soup was fabulous. I really appreciate a soup that isn't over-the-top with sodium. This one wasn't. It was flavorful without tasting salty. Bravo!

D ordered a salad with his entree. The house dressing is an Italian style vinaigrette. He really enjoyed it.

For our entrees I ordered the white fish and D ordered scallops. We tend to order seafood when we dine out just because I don't like to smell up my kitchen cooking it at home. But there were many other choices on the menu including chicken and steaks.
The portion sizes were generous, the food was hot, the asparagus was tender crisp, the fish and scallops were cooked perfectly, and the baked potatoes were well cooked. I hate when restaurants under cook the potatoes, don't you? Happily that wasn't an issue here. We both really enjoyed our entrees.

Our dessert choices were limited to pumpkin bundt cake or lemon raspberry mascarpone cake. I would have liked to have seen more offerings but we were delighted with our choice of the lemon raspberry mascarpone cake. Yum!
We really enjoyed our first visit to RyeBelles and we will be back. We look forward to trying the other entrees, and the pizza, and coming back for the fantastic view of Lake Michigan and Lake Bluff Park as the seasons change.

I couldn't find a web site for RyeBelles but they are on Facebook.
Phone: 269-281-0318.
Attire: Not a tacky tshirt and flip flops kinda place. You'll feel more comfortable in nice jeans or khakis with a sweater or polo shirt as the season dictates. A sport coat or dress would not be out of place for evening dining.

Stop by and and enjoy a good meal... smacznego!

Hours:

Mon - Thu:4:30 pm-10:00 pm
Fri - Sat:4:30 pm-11:00 pm
Sun:3:00 pm-9:00 pm


5 comments:

  1. I must be slipping because I have never heard of this restaurant. Sounds like a winner but I am lost here. Is the entrance on Broad Street looking across at Gallery on the Alley? I am guessing this is part of the old City Hall/Fire Station?

    ReplyDelete
  2. No, it's at the other end of Broad st by the lake.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know now - it is where the former Elk's Club was and you entered at the same spot. The Elk's Club moved out about a year or so ago; used to have Medical Society meetings there all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. http://www.sdpnoticias.com/internacional/2012/10/11/echan-a-13-mujeres-de-restaurante-en-michigan-por-ser-mexicanas

    This was published in a mexican newspaper... shame on you RyeBelles!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Never go to this restaurant, the owner is Racist. He discriminated 13 ladies form Mexico, I know them so I am sure this story is true. Check the next link:

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g42673-d2513405-r142608341-Rye_Belles-Saint_Joseph_Berrien_County_Michigan.html#REVIEWS

    ReplyDelete

What d'ya think?