If you’re in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, I’d suggest you work in a trip to visit one of the areas’ most interesting and unique new dining options…Reds on the River.
Located approximately 10 ~ 15 minutes north of Grand Rapids in Rockford, Michigan, Reds…which sits astride the banks of the picturesque Rogue River is quickly becoming a much loved dining hot spot.
My interest in Reds on the River was peaked by a blog post by a colleague & fellow Grand Rapids broker, Eric Webster. Although it took me some time to head over to check things out for myself, I recollected his enthusiastic, yet balanced description of how much he and his wife enjoyed their dining experience.
Yesterday evening, on a whim, we decided to head ‘up north.’ The restaurant is located in the quaint, historic Rockford Village downtown area. It’s a huge building with a Tuscany inspired architecture. Walking up to the door, I marvelled at how large the place seemed to be. Well, that’s because there’s more to this restaurant than the main dining room. Included in the complex are a very well stocked wine shop, banquet and catering facilities, business offices in the upstairs area and a patio dining area which runs the entire length of the building; providing an unrivalled view of the riverfront.
We choose outdoor seating as it was a beautiful summer evening. The service was superb. From the moment we stepped into the restaurant, the wait staff were attentive, prompt and well informed about the menu.
Now let’s talk food…The menu presents an interesting and somewhat eclectic mix of options. Reds prides itself on it’s extensive array of wines…particularly the red wines, and the steak and seafood selections. According to their site, the seafood is flown in fresh daily.
Our waiter informed us about the fact that their steaks are aged on site for approximately 3 weeks. In addition, the restaurant works with local farms to provide fresh produce of a seasonal variety. The bread which was also from a local Grand Rapids, Michigan bakery was deliciously warm, moist and hearty. I, in particular appreciate a restaurant which cooperates with local farms to benefit it’s patrons and our community.
For starters, we ordered the chicken empanadas which were served on a bed of lettuce greens trickled over with a seasoned mayonnaise. An inventive touch to the empanadas was the addition of raisins…a nice complement to the savory blend of spices in the filling. My husband had a crock of French Onion Soup.
I decided to try the Torch Lake Chicken for my main entree and my husband opted for a Cuban inspired dish, the Ropa Veija. I wondered if the pristine, upper mid-Michigan lake was the inspiration. The cherry glaze was the hint. The chicken was succulent and the cherry glaze was not overly sweet. A bed of whipped Yukon potatoes served as a robust base atop which curly crisp onion rings added a whimsical touch.
Saving room for dessert is highly recommended as the sweets selections are prepared on site. There were many options, but I decided on the Tres Leches Cake on of my favorites. Reds on the Rivers’ twist on Tres Leches included a fruit compote (in red syrup of course) and a raspberry sorbet.
As the sun began to work it’s way down and the evening cooled, the Meijer White Pine Trail allowed walkers, joggers and cyclists to enjoy the view too. After dinner, we strolled around the building along the river…a perfect way to end a lovely evening.
photo courtesy of mandj98’s photostream on flickr.com @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mandj98/225328319/
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