Midwest Living Review
The Thistle Pub and Grille is located on the main floor of the three-story Kinlochen building at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa. The pub's entry has a living room feel to it, complete with a huge stone fireplace and a moose head mounted on the wall. The walls in the dining room are full of tall windows, and bronzed light fixtures hang from the ceiling. The tables are covered in white tablecloths. The house-made bread is delicious -- it arrives still warm from the oven, brushed with olive oil and topped with kosher salt. The squash bisque was velvety smooth and fairly savory ($4), and crumbled goat cheese and a house-made cherry-poppy seed vinaigrette dressing flavors the Little Betsie spinach salad ($5). Crystal Mountain's mission to be a place where wellness thrives and families can come on vacation and eat healthful, local food without indulging every day is shown in its new Peak Performance menu that launched in 2010. The menu includes helpful information about calories, grams of fat, carbs and other nutritional stats for each dish. The Michigan Turkey Medallions felt like just the kind of food guests should be eating in a resort like this -- dining-out special but healthful. It was served with morel-asparagus risotto, seared greens and roasted asparagus ($17, 421 cal/19.5g fat/25g prot/35.5g carb). The turkey was tender though not terribly juicy, and the morel-asparagus risotto was a creamy treat. Overall, the service was prompt, responsive and friendly, and although Thistle provides a kids' menu with lots of kid-friendly faves, we didn't see any kids there.