Hitting the Road at Kingfisher

Kingfisher is one my favorite restaurants in town and apparently I am not alone. Whenever other people in the industry are asked to name their top three (five) places in town, Kingfisher comes up again and again. People not involved in restaurants feel the same way.


The reasons for Kingfisher’s popularity are many. The food is always great and dependable. The service is top notch. And the vibe, especially in the bar, is tough to beat.

Sure, Kingfisher isn’t “trendy”IMStools, but that’s what makes the place so wonderful.

Jim Murphy and Jeff Azersky have been at the helm in the kitchen for over two decades. (A third partner, Tim Ivankovich, who died in 2012, ran the front of the house.) And Marianne Banes makes outstanding desserts year round.DSCN2280

Every summer Kingfisher takes an American Road Trip and offers specialized menus from various regions of the country. And while The Southwest is behind us the Great Plains is going full tilt. There’s a little bit of the Great Lakes thrown in.

Here is the menu (Where in all that is holy will you find smelt? That’s a dish I grew up eating – in season. And lake trout…oh my!) Note that drinks are part of the tour.

Great Plains Menu


Potato-Chive Pierogis, Sour Cream, Wild Mushroom Relish. 7

Chilled Leek Soup, Pickled Shallots, Yogurt. 6

Deep Fried Great Lakes Smelt, Green Tartar Sauce. 8

Asparagus and Heirloom Tomato Salad, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette. 7


A Mess of Pan Fried Lake Perch, Green Tomato “Chow Chow”, Red Potato Salad, Green Beans. 25

Grilled Bison Burger, Pork Belly, Caramelized Onions, Sharp Cheddar, Potato Bun, New Potato Salad. 16

“Top Knot Farms” Chicken Pot Pie, Brined-Roasted-Picked, Summer Vegetables, Veloute, Pastry Crust. 18

Grilled Walleye, Plum Tomato Jam, Watermelon Gastrique, White Bean Ragout, Grilled Asparagus. 26


Warm Blueberry Buckle, Vanilla Ice Cream. 8

Shaker Lemon Pie, Lemon Syrup, Freshly Whipped Cream. 7


Dearborn Tonic, Za’atar Infused Hendrick’s Gin, Muddled Cucumber, Mint, Tonic, On the Rocks, Lime. 10.5

The Sting of Cin!, Brandy, White Crème de Menthe, Housemade Barrel Aged Cinnamon Bitters, served in a Snifter. 10.5

Silk the Shocker, Tullamore Dew, Lillet Rouge, Corn Silk Syrup, Lemon Juice, Egg White, served up, Popcorn Garnish. 10.5

Founders All Day IPA, Session Ale, MI. 6

And, of course, fresh oysters are always on the menu.


Here is the rest of the Road Trip map:

July 27th – August 9th – California/Hawaii, menu by Chef Fred Harris

August 10th – August 23rdBack East, menu by Chef Jeff Azersky

August 24th – September 4th – Down South, menu by Chef Jim Murphy