Mt. Pleasant’s downtown district is known for its charm; home to small businesses, historic architecture, and regular festivals, it’s a lively destination. Visitors will also find no shortage of unique eateries. For locavores looking for a farm-to-table experience, Camille’s on the River offers upscale comfort food inspired by regional flavors.
Tucked beside Mountain Town Station Restaurant and Brewery, Camille’s is an intimate, 45 seat establishment with a menu that lets local ingredients take center stage. “We change the menu sometimes daily based on what is available to us,” says Brent Peterson, executive chef and general manager of Camille’s. “The ingredients are our inspiration.”
Those ingredients come from a variety of nearby sources, including Smith & Sons Meat Processing Inc. and Robaire’s Bakery of Mt. Pleasant. Produce is sourced from local farms such as Howard’s Farm of Remus, and Monroe Farms in Alma, as well as the restaurant’s own organic garden. Camille’s also features wild-harvested items like delicate mushrooms from Okemos-based Earthy Delights. Peterson admits that developing partnerships with these providers was initially challenging. “It was a bit difficult at first to start the ball rolling, but now that we have been around for three-plus years, it almost seems that the farmers are coming to us.” From soup to dessert, local flair is everywhere. Even cocktails feature homegrown tastes; this summer, Camille’s offered a unique mojito made with fresh lime basil grown in the restaurant garden.
With local ingredients at the heart of each dish, Camille’s mutable menu is also a product of mid-Michigan’s growing season. “We focus on seasonally available local ingredients for a couple of reasons,” Peterson said. Supporting nearby growers and businesses indirectly supports the entire local economy, which in turn is good for business. Choosing local providers, however, is also a matter of quality and flavor. “When something is picked vine-ripened,” Peterson says, “the taste is phenomenally different from that of something that was picked, then flash steamed and flash frozen.”
Even as the growing season comes to a close, new flavors are still arriving at Camile’s. Visit for lunch or dinner Tuesday through Thursday, or peruse the dinner-only menu on Friday and Saturday, or lunch-only menu on Monday. Sundays are available for private events and parties, and Camille’s also offers specialty catering, both at their 506 West Broadway Street location and for offsite events. Reservations for dining can be made at the Camille’s on the River website.