By the time you read this list, it will probably be inaccurate. Ten years ago, the arrival of a new restaurant concept in little ol’ Grand Rapids was an extraordinary, blessed occurrence. Now, it seems not a day goes by without the announcement of a trendy new brewpub, small-plate restaurant, beer garden, artisan cocktail bar, tasting room or gourmet coffee purveyor, often attached to a mixed-use development and usually accompanied by a sleek Squarespace website.
If you want to see Shelby Kibler’s eyes light up, ask him about the miracle of fermentation.
His Field & Fire artisan bakery, one of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market’s original tenants, specializes in a style of baking consistent with the ethics of the “farm to table” movement, employing a two-to-three-day fermentation period for all dough awaiting its turn in one of the bakery’s two enormous wood-fired ovens.
Jenna Arcidiacono, a self-proclaimed foodie, is the owner and founder of Amore Trattoria Italiana. Arcidiacono brings authenticity and passion in every dish at Amore, having learned from her own observations in Italy, working alongside her husband and mother-in-law while studying other ristoranti e trattories.
Amore’s specialty is simple but striking dishes. While seemingly simple in nature, her menu is packed with high quality, local ingredients.
The proud “farm-to-fork, fork-to-mouth” advocate chatted with Revue about her humble beginnings and what’s most exciting about West Michigan dining these days. Here’s what she had to say.
We do, in fact, want fries with that.
Once upon a time, you would never be able to consume a plate of fries in public without leaving a bit of your dignity at the door. But we now live in the age of Fancy Versions of Ordinarily Inexpensive Things, so fries have gotten serious, becoming a canvas that allows chefs to play around with interesting flavor combinations and seasonings. Check out this list of must-try fries, with something in Grand Rapids for every fry craving.
Jules Winnfield, Samuel Jackson’s gun-toting character in Pulp Fiction, once famously said, “Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.” And while that was a scripted, flippant remark, a true burger addict would never turn down a mouthwatering patty at any time of day.
Luckily for you, Revue’s staff is stocked with extreme Hamburglars. Here’s some staff picks, detailing not only their favorite burger joints, but particular must-haves on their menus.
Maybe soon, West Michigan will finally get a Big Kahuna Burger… I hear they've got some tasty burgers. In the meantime, here are a few existing spots on Revue’s radar. —Rich Tupica
Of the pleasures that are acceptably indulged in public, few are more guilt-inducing than digging into a decadent dessert. Gluttony, after all, is the most measurably deadly of the seven so-called deadly sins.
But don’t you deserve to treat yourself? Who knows, maybe you don’t. Luckily, you don’t need our permission. What we can offer is guidance. Below is a list of top-shelf West Michigan spots that will fill the dessert-shaped hole in your life.
In February, BarFly Ventures closed the 10-year-old McFadden's restaurant, pub and dance club to redesign the space and replace the concept with a British-style pub, The Waldron Public House. With a completely revamped menu, The Waldron claims to serve the best fish and chips in Grand Rapids — a bold statement, but does it live up to the promise? Here is our dining writer's assessment.
Too often I’m guilty of turning down dessert at the end of a meal.
That was not the case this month, because I sat down with Katy Waltz, the talented head pastry chef at Brewery Vivant. Waltz, 31, of Grand Rapids, talked desserts and beers. Here’s what she had to say.
Every self-respecting person has a go-to chili recipe, forged and perfected in the foul depths of innumerable Michigan winters. If not, then at the very least, everyone should have a set of finely calibrated preferences for chili that is served to them.
Like, how much kick? What kind of meat, if any? How chunky/liquidy? Sweeten or don’t? What kind of beans?
How much garlic?
In any case, chili is personal and these equations are not to be messed with.
When I reveal that I’m a food writer, inevitably, I hear the same things. “That would be fun.” Yes, it is. “How do you find a good restaurant?” Well, the answer is simple. Choose a restaurant (really, any one will do), sit down and order food, then determine whether or not you’d come back. I promise, there are no secrets here.
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