Posted by: Rae | June 30, 2010


Well, as you all know by now, the restaurant is closed.  I thank you all so much for the kind thoughts and words, for stopping by and asking me to please stay open, for continuing to greet me on the street with open arms.  I’m busy cleaning up the web site, removing old news, but I’m leaving some of my favorites here, old or not.  Engage in nostalgia with me, won’t you?

Posted by: Rae | May 29, 2009

Fathers Day Menu 2009

Fathers Day at the Alcove — June 21, 2009

Order from our regular menu or order one of our Fathers Day specials — omelets, meals-in-a-bowl, and more.

There’s something for every taste — traditional and adventurous, meat-loving and vegetarian, all delicious, made from scratch, with healthy ingredients.

See our complete menu by clicking on the link at the right.

No reservations.  Toga optional, but greatly admired.


Big three-egg or five-egg-white omelet rolled around a hearty serving of special ingredients. Served with breads and fresh fruits.  

Smoked whitefish with lemon-dill sauce  $9.95

Veggie: asparagus, leek, garlic, tomato, red and green pepper, wild mushrooms  $8.95

Local treasures:  sherried morels and other wild mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, wild ramps, goat cheese $9.95

Meat-eaters: bacon, sausage, ham, and cheddar cheese  $9.95

Smoked salmon with cream cheese, capers, & chopped red onion $9.95

Chorizo sausage, green onions, & cheddar cheese, topped with salsa  $9.95


Beef Bourguignon and noodles, side salad, & bread of choice $10.95

Seafood lasagne, side salad, & bread of choice  $9.95


Assortment of fresh fruits and berries, cheeses, cup of yogurt, nuts, and a fresh-baked scone or muffin of your choice  $9.95

Posted by: Rae | May 1, 2009

Mothers Day 2009

Mothers Day 2009 – May 10

Crepe Menu


Strawberry-Rhubarb & Chantilly Cream

Poppy Seed with Apricot Sauce

Strawberry Jam-Filled


Apple with Calvados Butter

Salmon with Dill Pesto Cream



Mediterranean Tuna


Any 3 crepes, mini-scones, fruit or bean salad, & beverage $11.95

You’re also welcome to order most items from our regular menu.  Have crepes or our orange vanilla rice pudding for dessert!

Posted by: Rae | April 24, 2009

30s Nostalgia: New Deal at the Alcove

Five-Dollar Depression Specials

(We mince garlic, not words!)

Breakfast 1 – One egg your way, toast, and fruit or potatoes or bacon or sausage patties.  Served with beverage.

Breakfast 2 – Our fabulous oatmeal topped with dried berries and nuts, and all the trimmings — brown sugar, cream or milk, cinnamon, …  Served with beverage.

Lunch 2 – Cup of our tomato-basil soup and half of an Alcove chicken salad wrap sandwich.  Served with beverage.

Lunch 2 – Steaming bowl of our tomato, gumbo, or southwest chicken soup, toast or bread.  Served with beverage.

While you wait for your food to arrive, our talented servers will share tips for saving string, washing and re-using aluminum foil, and darning socks.


Or Try One of Our Popular Bowls of the Day

Mediterranean Couscous with our roasted tomatoes, capers, kalamata olives, and fennel, topped with wild-caught coho salmon or wild-caught tuna steak.  Served with a side of fresh greens and bread of choice.  $9.95

Eggplant Raechel — eggplant rolls with fresh ricotta cheese, marinara sauce, green onions, and Parmesan cheese.  Served piping hot from the oven with a side of fresh greens and bread of choice.  $8.95

Posted by: Rae | July 21, 2008

The Alcove Cafe

Something sent to me by Steve Harris

Posted by: Rae | May 25, 2008

Park Avenue Prowl hits the streets

For several months, with the help and encouragement of many of my Park Avenue neighbors and other folks, I’ve been working on the Park Avenue Prowl.  Well, we made it!  Our website is live, we’ve printed and distributed 1000 brochures, and we’re all really excited about it.  In addition, Georganna Monk and I, mostly Georganna, have finished the history display in the restaurant.  It includes artifacts that were found in the crawlspace: dolls, school papers, and other children’s items, and cooking supplies. 

Check out the website:

To top it off, it’s Memorial weekend.  People are coming back to town, the weather is glorious, and everyone is in a vacation frame of mind, even the people working 12 hours a day. 


“Sally” left a comment the other day on my Staff page.  It was simply this:  “Good place to meet an old boyfriend for lunch!”  I’m curious.  I’m intrigued.   And I’m wondering …

Did “Sally” actually meet an old boyfriend here?  She was writing from Philadelphia (Internet magic – don’t ask).  Was she in Charlevoix recently?  And of course, if you’re meeting him for lunch, is he really an “old” boyfriend?  Is there any such thing as an old boyfriend, or are all boyfriend connections real, live, and forever? 

Is Sally sending a subtle message to an old boyfriend?  Maybe they periodically Google “old boyfriend for lunch” to find out where their next meeting place is — same time next year, Neil Simon and all that.  

My favorite story has an old boyfriend of mine posing as “Sally” and letting me know he’s going to pay me a visit.  No old boyfriends in Philadelphia, though.  If any old boyfriends are going to meet me, I need to lose a few pounds, quick.  And get my hair done.  So give me some notice, will you?

Maybe “Sally” visits random blogs and leaves inscrutable messages to provoke speculation.  Just for the fun of it.

Well, Sally?  What’s your story?  We are all wondering how that lunch turned out.

Posted by: Rae | May 6, 2008

Mothers Day Celebration

The umbrellas are up! It’s spring! The window boxes don’t have flowers yet, but we’re cheating and buying some for Mothers Day. And, weather permitting, we’ll have live music. Marty Beneteau, a local bluesy guitar man will be playing acoustic guitar outside.

You can sit outside, too, weather permitting, and so can your dog as long as he’s on a leash.

Check out our special menu — click the link on the sidebar to the right. Meals are all-inclusive: beverage, sides, and breads are included in the price.

No reservations.

Posted by: Rae | May 6, 2008

Restaurant Comedy

Well, it’s been a funny week. Our new chef started. Aaron just finished his second year at Grand Valley State U., where he’s studying hospitality management with a specialization in food.  He’s doing a great job, and although he has some learning to do in the cooking department, he seems to be fanatical about cleanliness which is making me a very happy boss. On Thursday he was hurrying to grab something from the wire shelves and managed to dump a full container of our dried fruit and nut mix on the floor. (Trash, of course. There’s no 2-second rule in a restaurant. Or shouldn’t be, anyway.) Then I was pouring soup I’d just made into a storage container to cool and dumped half of it on the white cutting board of our sandwich unit. Which means it all runs under the white board, then down into the under-counter refrigerators …

Well, all of that is funny, but not that unusual. So here are a couple I would never have predicted.

I sent Ace to the bank to get some change (small town, remember — it’s down the block, around the corner, and he was looking for a reason to go outside in the beautiful weather), one roll of quarters and two pennies. He brought them back and handed them to Taylor, who was serving. She opened one roll of pennies and the quarters, and then instead of putting the remaining roll of pennies in the section of the cash drawer where we put rolls of coins, she for some unknown reason put them under the cash drawer.  How is that even possible?  Anyway, she shut the drawer, but when it was supposed to pop open when she rang up the next order, it opened about 1/4 inch, and then stuck.  For the next 20 minutes we wrestled with the drawer, and Aaron ended up disassembling it, removing the lock assembly and everything else.  With the help of my handy-dandy Leatherman tool, he shifted the roll of pennies far enough so he could grab it, and then we spent another 10 minutes putting everything back together.  Taylor was so flustered she fell asleep, head down on a table.  ????

The next day (Sunday), Alyssa was pulling a brand-new, just-baked breakfast tart out of the refrigerator unit we have in the serving area.  Somehow it “jumped” out of her hand, but she managed to catch it before it hit the floor.  The platter went down with a big crash.  We sold all 8 pieces of the tart in the next two hours, so it’s a good thing she caught it.  

And then on Monday, Lisa, Alyssa’s mother, was working.  Someone ordered a glass of our wonderful sparkling cherry juice, bottled like champagne and produced in Michigan.  So she pulled the bottle out of the refrigerator and then asked me to remove the top, because she hates doing that.  I was doing my know-it-all thing, and told her to use a clean towel so the stopper wouldn’t pop and fly across the room etc.  Then I got the towel and started pushing around the edges of the stopper only to find it was a fake, covering a screw top.  I felt like a fool.  We laughed so hard Lisa started choking (she has allergies this time of year).

The restaurant is so small our customers get to witness events like these.  Luckily they are good-humored about it.  Maybe we should begin billing ourselves as an improvisational comedy club.   

Posted by: Rae | April 28, 2008

Margherita and Pepperoni – Pizza Lesson

Here it is, in fewer words and some pictures.  A Margherita pizza and a “traditional” pepperoni pizza.

Grab one of our par-baked crusts.  Drizzle a little olive oil on it.

Do this for all pizzas; it helps protect the crust from the wet ingredients you put on top.

I drizzle it on with a squirt bottle, then smear it around with my gloved hand.

Make the Margherita.  Start by spreading roasted Roma tomatoes around on the crust. 

To roast the tomatoes, you quarter lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and spread on a  baking sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with herbs de Provence and salt and pepper, then bake until they look like this.  We always have a bunch of roasted tomatoes around.



Add chopped garlic, torn bits of fresh mozzarella cheese, and shredded fresh basil leaves.  Don’t crowd things, and don’t use too much mozzarella.





Top with some shredded Parmesan cheese. 

Bake at 450 for 7 minutes or so.





When it’s golden brown, pull it out of the oven.  Let it cool a bit if you have the time (we don’t at the restaurant), so liquids are somewhat re-absorbed and the cheese sets.   Cut it as desired, and serve.  Yumm….




And now for the “traditional” Pepperoni.  Spread a little organic marinara sauce on the crust (after the olive oil, remember).  I use a squirt bottle for this, too.  That way I don’t mix the olive oil and marinara sauce — I want the olive oil on the bottom.



Sprinkle with herbs de Provence, and top with pepperoni.





Top with a generous amount of shredded low-moisture part-skim Mozzarella cheese, and shredded Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 450 degrees for about 5 minutes.




Take it out of the oven, let the cheese set, and then cut and serve. 

What exactly is “traditional” about this pizza?  Sauce and shredded,  stringy Mozzarella.  Fresh Mozzarella is creamy, not stringy.  Still good, though.

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