Nov 8, 2010

Restaurant Week Grand Rapids: A $20.10 Success

First Course - Fall Beet Salad: pickled & roasted beets . endive . smoked walnut .
concord grape vinaigrette

Grand Rapids is buzzing again but this time everything is "thumbs up" for the 50 restaurants who are participating in the inaugural Restaurant Week GR hosted by Experience Grand Rapids. For a meager $20.10, diners could enjoy a three-course meal at the city's amazing restaurants. Can you imagine spending only $20.10 at the AAA Five-Diamond 1913 Room? How about a Bistec con Pimienta at San Chez plus two additional courses? This is the best opportunity for
people to dine in style without breaking the bank. In fact, for that price, why not splurge on some wine - perhaps that killer cab you've been wanting to taste? But don't wait too long because this foodie celebration is done on Saturday!

I have been in Miami during the first few days of Restaurant Week GR. Tonight was my first opportunity and I couldn't have found a better reason than to take my eleven year old daughter, Francesca, for a daddy-daughter date after her teachers raved about how well she is doing in school. With the kids growing up so quickly, these one-on-one opportunities become more precious. 

Of course, we had to try out. Besides, the staff has been telling me that we've been selling a lot of the Rabbit Fricasse entree so I had to taste it for myself. The West Michigan palette is no longer "Bland" Rapids. There are a lot of foodies in this area and our rabbit sales is a pretty good indication that the residents deserve a lot more credit for their discriminating taste.  And you know what, the rabbit was stunning. Imagine a rabbit alfredo but with a lot more layers of flavor. This was a killer dish and it needs to stay on the menu after Wednesday. And you know what, Francesca tried several bites and she loved it just as much as I did.

The Fall Beet Salad taste epitomizes the fall harvest season with its earthy texture and depth in autumn flavors. The Apple Fritters or Zepoles as we have it on the regular menu is a bombshell of American goodness. Francesca ordered the Apple & Cheddar Salad to start which was a light and delightful. We split the Buttermilk Fried Frog Legs which was fried lightly and served with a remoulade. A little cayenne or even tabasco in the remoulade would have made this dish perfect. She then ordered her favorite flatbread, the Cheesy Pesto, a house favorite.

With five days to go, it almost makes me sick to my stomach that I can't try out all my favorite restaurants by this weekend. My only hope is that those who never make it to these restaurants on a regular basis, swing by more often as a result of Restaurant Week GR.
Second Course - Rabbit Fricasse: root vegetables  smoked bacon . pappardelle .
sage & chestnut cream
Third Course - Apple Fritters: spiced caramel . cinnamon ice cream
Francesca giving her "thumbs up" to Restaurant Week
Apple & Cheddar Salad: michigan apple . grassfield cheddar . arugula . red grape .
champagne vinaigrette ($8)
Buttermilk Fried Frog Legs: house made remoulade ($9)


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