About Michael and Marion's:
Located just a few hundred metres from Heritage Park and Barrie Waterfront, Michael and Marion’s fine-dining restaurant began life in 1990 with only two employees alongside owner and chef Kent Smith. From those humble beginnings, it is now a bustling, busy place to eat and ranked number fourteen out of all the restaurants in Barrie by TripAdvisor, who also awarded it Certificates of Excellence in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Smith, along with general manager Kim Riley, aims to offer patrons an intimate, yet casual fine-dining experience. The one-hundred-year-old building has been tastefully decorated, with one Google reviewer describing it as having a warm, intimate atmosphere with perfect lighting and a roaring fireplace. The décor is clean and smart – wood panels, exposed red brick and dark wooden floor create an elegant and inviting eating space, while outside there is a wood patio and pergola with plenty of seating.
Kent’s mantra is ‘love all, serve all’ and the food choices at Michael and Marion’s aim to reflect that: it offers lengthy menus for lunch, dinner, tapas and dessert. The lunch menu alone contains fourteen different meals, ranging from simple soup of the day (typically whatever Kent has been inspired to prepare fresh that day) to grilled octopus with pork belly, while dinner features a similar number of choices but introduces dishes such as Moroccan braised lamb shank, confit rabbit cassoulet and 7oz certified Angus beef tenderloin.
- Extensive menus
- Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options
- Warm, inviting atmosphere
- Great for families and groups
- Wonderful looking food
- Owner and manager who seems to care about their restaurant and its customers genuinely
- Can be quite noisy during busy periods
- Some diners complain of tight space with tables ‘on top of one another’
- Service can be slow during peak times, with a handful of complaints about cold food
Online reviews for Michael and Marion’s are predominantly positive, with one patron adding to her Yelp review that she had heard nothing but good things about the place since moving to Barrie and that it seemed to be everybody’s favourite restaurant for a special occasion. Meanwhile, on Facebook, the reviews are glowing, with one user stating simply, ‘Amazing food, amazing service. Our first choice for dining.’ And another, regarding the venue’s wedding preparations, remarked that choosing Michael and Marion’s for their special day was one of the greatest decisions they had made, as the staff there exceeded all expectations.
Of the smattering of online complaints, most appear to relate to the restaurant’s busier times when the venue becomes nosier, and the kitchen backed up so orders are a little slow. Kent Smith, the owner, does seem to helpfully try to resolve any issues with disgruntled customers and often responds to their complaints with offers of vouchers, free meals or to give him and his staff another chance to make things right.
As well as the restaurant, Michael and Marion’s offers occasional live music nights, catering for weddings (where they advise customers to ask about their food truck), off-site catering services for corporate and private functions such as cocktail receptions, and the premises also boasts a private lounge that can be rented for a get-together of any kind.