Saturday, January 11, 2014

Grove - Grand Rapids

Grove was probably the best culinary experience we have had in Michigan. We didn't take any pictures because it was such a special occasion and a nice restaurant. Grove's mission is "Local, Exploration, Classics, and Conscientiousness." We each got the Taste of Grove which is three courses for $35. For the quality of food, this is definitely a great deal. We thought that this was very inexpensive for what we received. Plus the small plates allow you to sample more food.

To start off with, we had a bottle of Malbec wine with a plate of assorted breads and compound butters.

Our appetizers were Beef Tartare and Gnocchi. This was the first time we had ever had Beef Tartare, and it was very good. It had a mustard aioli and some crispy radishes which really complemented the soft beef. It doesn't really taste like raw meat. The gnocchi was spicy and had a lot of flavors going on. Some of the broccolini pieces had a strange taste and texture, but it was a fantastic dish overall.

For the next course, we had a Beet Salad and Smoked Trout dish. The Beet salad was so refreshing and bright. We loved the addition of hazelnuts and cheese. It was perfect. We liked the smoked trout so much, we wished there was more on the plate! They poured a broth over the trout at the table, and it was complimented by diced potatoes.
For our main course, we had Pork Two Ways and Walleye with Pork Belly. We love Pork Belly so much that we try to get it at every restaurant we go to (if they have it!). The Pork Two Ways came with a Pork Tenderloin, Pork Belly, and oats. The highlight of that plate was definitely the pork belly. It melted in your mouth and was so flavorful. Although the tenderloin was tender, there weren't any amazing flavors, and the oats were a little gummy and took over the plate. The Walleye with Pork Belly really complimented each other even though you wouldn't normally combine the two. The pork belly added a nice fattiness and flavor to the fish.

For dessert, we had espresso with dark chocolate ice cream and a salted caramel dark chocolate brioche. We wanted to try the chocolate gelato, but they were all out, so we went with the ice cream. The ice cream was really creamy, nice and refreshing. The Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Brioche was very rich and had some great contrasting flavors and textures. I loved the crispy grilled brioche and the salty flavors in the desert.

The dining area is pretty small, but we felt comfortable over in a corner without too many people around us. The bar had specialty cocktails that we would love to try on our next visit. Our waitress provided good service, but she seemed a bit sarcastic and wasn't very chatty or knowledgeable about the food. She seemed a bit rushed. When we go to a restaurant that serves such wonderful food, we are used to servers who are passionate and ready to tell you about the restaurant and ingredients they used. We have experienced waiters like this at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor and Chef Michael Symon's Roast in Detroit. I think that a passionate waiter really adds to the experience.

Overall, we had an amazing time at Grove. We can't wait to go back and try something new off their ever-changing menu. We really enjoyed the skill that was used to create our meals as well as the local ingredients. It was truly memorable, and we would recommend it to any foodie. You will really appreciate this food!

For more information and pictures of the food, please go to their website: http://www.groverestaurant.com/index.html


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