Taste This: Top 5 Brewpub Menus

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Thursday, 21 February 2013 10:03 |

Brewery Vivant has an ever-evolving rotation of French, Belgian and Bavarian-inspired dishes that deserve a published cookbook. Dinner specials change often and past plates have included roasted half-chickens in a vivacious pan jus and a cumin and bee pollen rubbed pork tenderloin sided with rosemary scented beets.

Cool Brews. Hot Eats. — Tasting Beer in a New Way

Written by Audrey Sochor | Wednesday, 13 February 2013 08:58 |

With so many businesses devoted to craft brews, and new ones constantly popping up, it's safe to say Grand Rapids loves beer. Recently voted Beer City USA and named one of the Top 10 Vacation Cities for Beer Lovers, the city is home to dozens of microbreweries and counting.

Taste This: Licari's Sicilian Pizza Kitchen

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Wednesday, 23 January 2013 15:25 |

Chances are you already know last year was chaotic for couple Gianni and Lisa Licari, having been featured on the Food Network's "3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay." The couple opened the only authentic Sicilian restaurant in Grand Rapids last April with Flay's help, whose greatest accomplishment was convincing Gianni's mother to share several of her secret recipes. Nearly a year later and the Licari's kitchen has settled into a north side pizza staple.

Heated Patios

Written by By Jennifer Cuffman and Stephanie Kang | Friday, 21 December 2012 16:54 |

Food and drinks just taste better outside. But winter always seems to ruin this luxury by making it unbearably cold. Defy Mother Nature this winter by going to any of these four locations that harmonize our love for the outdoors with our love of reasonable levels of body heat.

January Dining: Radix Tavern

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Thursday, 20 December 2012 14:11 |

Farm-to-table Radix Tavern serves up southern-style cuisine with local ingredients courtesy of Chef Jayson Leek, a Kansas transplant and former sous chef of Judson's Steakhouse and Gilly's.

Local Farms Put Food On Restaurant Tables Throughout West Michigan

Written by Charlsie Dewey | Thursday, 12 April 2012 13:36 |

Every Wednesday afternoon, local chefs and West Michigan farmers converge in a warehouse located at the corner of Hall and Godfrey Streets to buy and sell produce and other products produced by the farms.

Know Your Chef: Bartertown's Ryan Cappelletti

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:06 |

Why did Ryan Cappelletti become a chef? "Basically, I dropped out of high school and worked in a lot of kitchens. I was eating a lot of fast food. I couldn't sit around and just play Nintendo. I had to do something. I was in a lot of bands, travelling the world, trying a lot of food across the board, and then getting into vegetarian food and then vegan food."

Our October Candy Land Sojourn

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Wednesday, 22 September 2010 13:52 |

When October evenings begin stretching shadows into twilight and the only notable mass holiday on the horizon is Halloween, all I can think about is pure comfort food.

Spice Up Your Life

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Friday, 27 August 2010 09:25 |

After Labor Day, September becomes a month that triggers a spontaneous whimsy in me that I attribute to some Pavlovian imprint from my hedonistic years. It is rooted in grade school-era visits to autumn apple orchards, indulging in cider and coffee; naked collegiate nighttime soirees in apple orchards, indulging in spiked cider and coffee; the return of the doughnut as an acceptable carbohydrate to the diet.

Some of the best local apples and cider comes from two of the oldest apple orchards in West Michigan. Instead of picking up some hum-drum cider at your grocer, try some from the farm in Kent City at Fruit Ridge Hayrides (11966 Fruit Ridge Ave.). This scenic farm has been operating for more than 125 years. A great excuse to come would be around the third week of September, when owners Kirk and Nancy Briggs launch the Fall Harvest Festival.

The Barbecue Menagerie of Tasty Dreams

Written by Matt Simpson Siegel | Thursday, 29 July 2010 11:10 |

Sitting in my cabin up north, where the walls are lined with dead mammals, I couldn't help but think of hiring a taxidermist to wall-mount my favorite dishes for the kitchen. My first Chateau Briand steak lingering in limbo with wood-fired asparagus would hang next to my first Weber-grilled T-bone; Venetian gelato in a Dixie cup could sit next to an old Sweetland's malted.

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