Text: Karla Jeltema
The enjoyment of fine, French dining, complete with tender steaks, decadent mushroom mixtures, potato creations stacked high—and so flaky and delicately draped in creamy sauce that they melt in your mouth—has returned to Grand Rapids, Michigan. These dishes, among others, await to be relished in a 20th century, luxury hotel that has created the ambiance of France in the downtown area in the newly re-named and re-opened Mertens Prime.
Located at 35 Oakes St. SW, the former New Hotel Mertens & Brasserie, not only updated their name, but also a few items on the old menu and created new inviting tastes for the new name. Popular items returning to the menu are the veal-bone-broth, French Onion Soup; steak tartare; and the Mertens rolling cheese cart, which offers table-side, hand-cut European cheeses. The escargot has also been updated and now features farm-raised, fresh snails shipped via overnight delivery from rural New York State to Mertens.
“We are steadfast in our desire to not change who we are at our core and to retain our French menu and sensibilities,” said Anthony Tangorra, founder of Mertens Prime and executive at Mertens Hospitality LLC. “When you choose a steak at Mertens Prime, it will be done with a flair and polish unique to the area.”
This includes the Chateaubriand-for-two, which is a hand-cut, 25-ounce beef tenderloin, carved table-side by the Mertens Prime team. Mertens Prime will also continue to offer its exact replication of the New Hotel Mertens cocktail list circa-1939, which comprises an array of more than 50 cocktails that were offered at New Hotel Mertens nearly 80 years ago. They will also continue to expand their displays of early 20th century, Grand Rapids hotel history.
Mertens Prime is currently open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET, and reservations can be made at mertensprime.com