Do you want to eat in? Do you need take-out? How about room for a birthday party, a wedding shower or a wake? Are you having a picnic and want your catering needs to be professionally handled? How about a business meeting where you could have a delicious menu and free Wi-Fi? A place for all of these locations: Michael's Restaurant & Lounge on Churchview Avenue in north Baldwin Borough.
John and Joanne Dziadyk will help to make all of your needs a reality. Their restaurant has been a staple in the Baldwin-Whitehall community for nearly 50 years.
Michael's lunch menu consists of over 30 items plus daily specials, and its dinner menu offers over 50 items plus specials. Varieties include seafood, steak, veal, liver, ham and pastas. The restaurant even offers economy busters: five homemade items for less than $10.
On Friday night at around 6:30, my husband Gary and I had dinner at Michael's. Neither the owners nor their staff were aware that I was reviewing the place until after we ate. The owners wanted it that way and insisted that a surprise would not affect their performance.
Upon arriving, Gary and I were escorted through Michael's bar, which allows for smoking. We requested a non-smoking section of the restaurant and were quickly escorted to a non-smoking room adjacent to a party room that was being used for a birthday party that evening. We were told that the party room can hold up to 120 guests.
We detected some smoky smell in our area of the restaurant but not an extreme amount.
For many of you who have followed my restaurant reviews, you're aware that I critique service, taste, variety of the menu and the menu's ability to be adjusted to "lighten" choices, making them more diet-friendly and healthy.
Our waitress, Chrissy, gave us our menus and was very friendly. However, she did not introduce herself. We discovered later that Chrissy is one of John and Joanne's children.
Chrissy offered us several drink choices, was very knowledgeable about the menu and was very accommodating. I chose to have a cup of coffee, and Gary had a glass of riesling. Both were served in a timely fashion.
We chose a shrimp cocktail and a delicious zucchini marinara as appetizers. The shrimp wasn't as fresh as it could have been, but the zucchini was "very tasty," according to my husband. The appetizers were of such ample size that we boxed some to take home.
We were impressed with the variety of menu items and specials. I was somewhat disappointed that the menu lacked a salmon feature, as that is one of my favorite seafood items. Instead, I chose the broiled scrod. I asked how the scrod was prepared, and a waitress said that it was broiled in butter. She quickly added that they can prepare it anyway that I would like, so I had it broiled in a small amount of orange juice.
The scrod was tasty, but it lacked a little seasoning. It came with three sides, so I chose green beans, a salad and a baked potato. The beans were also prepared with butter, so I asked for them to be served plain. That was a mistake, as they lacked flavor and were undercooked.
The salad was very tasty, and the red wine vinaigrette—the only "light" dressing available—was very good. The baked potato was cooked to perfection—moist and delicious.
Gary chose prime rib as his main course. He asked to have it prepared with a "little pink" in the middle, but it was well done. In the staff's defense, the waitress asked Gary to cut the middle of it to see if it was acceptable, and Gary said that it was fine. I'm certain that the staff would have corrected his steak had he said that it was done too well for his liking.
Dinner was served with a choice of fresh rolls, crackers and a baked filo dough, which Gary found to be very tasty.
We were given time to enjoy our meals, we weren't rushed, and three waitresses were always handy to meet our needs.
No dessert menu was available to look at, but Chrissy knew it and told us what our choices were. We chose a Hawaiian cake that was a yellow batter with pineapple filling. It had a light whipped cream icing. We shared it, and it was just enough. Yummy!
All told, the entire meal would have cost around $45 before tip.
Michael's is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It has a happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with drink and appetizer specials.
To summarize, Michael's offered a very delicious dinner in aesthetically pleasing surroundings. There were many choices to offer for an array of different wants that you might have.
I would have liked to have seen a few more "lighter" choices, but as I always say, that depends on the accommodating service of those who prepare the food and those who serve it.
Michael's was all of that. They took care of me and my husband in a very professional and courteous manner and at a very reasonable price.
Michael's will be one of my top picks for future dining, meetings, parties and catering—maybe even a picnic!