In anticipation of the 8th annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer and Food Festival, Reserve Wine & Food held a special “Meat & Greet” event on Nov. 13 to provide a little window into the type of palate-pleasing food this featured restaurant will offer festival goers.
And while the small plates that we sampled were different than those that will grace Reserve's festival menu, they absolutely showcased new chef Josh Adams' skill in the kitchen.
Adams brought his education from the French Culinary Institute and Illinois Central College, as well as his experience and notoriety, which includes recognition in a 2009 Wall Street Journal article, to Grand Rapids just a few short months ago. His technique is a cool blend of fresh, local ingredients and food science, a farm-to-table meets molecular gastronomy kind of thing.
When we sat down to the beet salad, it looked amazing. But it was Adams' description of what he had prepared that solidified the fact that we were in for something special.
“This first salad, there's some Visser Farms beets, some dried nasturtium flowers, then you have some little chunks of beets you see that are like cubes. Those are beets that were over-roasted for four hours then dehydrated for twenty-four, and they're reconstituted in their own liquid,” he explained. “Then you have some mustard seed caviar, a cocoa nib vinaigrette which is made from lots of different things. It's almost like a caramel base of cocoa nib, then you take cocoa nib and infuse it with butter for 12 hours then you kind of emulsify the two together.”
In addition to the salad, we tried a variety of Reserve's standard dinner menu dishes including Loup de Mer (Mediterranean seabass) and even sweetbreads with fennel – it was pure culinary magic.
As for the establishment itself, Reserve also offers one of the best wine selections around, whether you're looking for a $24 Riesling from right here in Michigan or a $216 Cabernet from Napa Valley. The staff, including Chef Adams, are all firm believers that wine and food go hand-in-hand, and are happy to help you decide on the best one to compliment your meal. They also have pairing suggestions right on the menu.
To visit Reserve is an experience, one that aims to delight all of your senses by not only providing patrons with quality food and drink, but by recognizing the importance of where it came from. The space itself, formerly a bank, is definitely classy, and is a place where the social aspect of the dining experience really shines.
Get a taste of what Chef Adams and Reserve have to offer at this year's Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer and Food Festival, Nov. 19-21. You'll find them at Booth #30 at DeVos Place.