Midwest Living Review
Whitneys, Charlevoix's 20-year-old oyster bar, packs in crowds year-round. They are drawn to by simple seafood dishes along with classic sandwiches, steaks and pasta dishes. Located across from Round Lake's harbor, the restaurant looks more like a New England bar than a northern Michigan restaurant. The three-story, wood-paneled Whitneys decor consists of nautical flags, sailing posters and the diners, who look like something out of a yachting magazine. Guests sporting Top-Siders, crisp polo shirts and pressed khakis show up before 6:30 p.m. to take advantage of early-bird dining. This might include just-caught whitefish, a plate of oysters, or seafood chowder. Fish is the strongest suit, and when it's lightly broiled with lemon, it's like Lake Michigan sunshine on a plate. Oddly, though the restaurant is called an oyster bar, they only carry one variety -- the Malpeque -- and they are not always served as icy cold as befits the great bivalve. Because Charlevoix is a seasonal resort town, service can be spotty as th enumber of employees increases in the summer, only to diminish in the fall. Another reason Whitney's is a great spot for summer is Topside, an open-air deck on the third floor that surely qualifies as Charlevoix's only tiki bar. Adorned with palm trees to complement buckets of rum beverages, it's also the only local spot to channel your inner Jimmy Buffett through karaoke. Sandwiches and starters from $6, main courses from $11.