The Awesome Mitten - Food Dance

Day 317: Food Dance

The Awesome Mitten - Food Dance
Photo courtesy of Alex Beaton

With the farm-to-table movement catapulting cities and their restaurants to a new level of local food appreciation, Kalamazoo is lucky to be home to a place where farm-to-table was implemented far before it was cool.  Food Dance, located at 401 E. Michigan Ave. in downtown Kalamazoo, holds in utmost importance both their locally grown ingredients and a sense of community.

Food Dance, brainchild of owner Julie Stanley, has one mission: bringing the farmers market directly to your table.

“Shopping at a farmers market makes the food you are cooking taste so much better,” Stanley exclaims. “It is important to know the values and the practices of the people we buy food from.”

With a strict adherence to seasonal foods, the chefs at Food Dance glean all of their ingredients from primarily Michigan-based farms and farmers, with the exception of beef from California and Fish from Illinois. While visiting Food Dance last week for a Michigan Wine Tweet-Up, I was lucky to sample a couple of different dishes from their dinner menu, as well as a fantastic pairing of three different wines and cheeses.

First up in the wine and cheese pairings was Black Star Farms Arcturos Late Harvest Riesling with Swiss Valley Farms Mindoro Blue cheese.  The battling sweetness of the Riesling with the bitterness of the blue cheese was one of the most surprising, yet most delicious pairings I have ever eaten. Next, was the Fenn Valley Capriccio paired with Zingerman’s Manchester cheese. The red wine had a cranberry juice-like taste and was a good segue for anyone who doesn’t normally drink reds. The cheese was very smooth and almost like a cheesecake in consistency. Lastly, we sampled the L. Mawby Vinyards Blanc de Noir with Evergreen Lane’s Chevre cheese.  I took a sip of the bubbly and a nibble of the cheese and the combination literally melted in my mouth.

The Awesome Mitten - Food Dance
Photo courtesy of Alex Beaton

All of this delight was before I had even tasted any of the dinner options Food Dance offers.  To start the meal, I tried an appetizer of Curry-Dusted Popcorn Chickpeas.  To call these bites addicting would be an understatement; the chick-peas were crispy on the outside, smooth and creamy on the inside, and covered with a nice and balanced curry flavor.  For my main dish, I devoured Food Dance’s Squash Tart.  The tart contained roasted squash, feta cheese, and onions together in a walnut phyllo crust with a herb salad on the side. Amazing taste combinations made it hard to stop.

Visit Food Dance Mondays through Thursdays from 7:00am to 10:00pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 to 11:00pm, and Sundays for breakfast only from 8:00am to 3:00pm.  Experience Michigan’s farming industry with every bite of every meal at Food Dance in Kalamazoo.  Stay tuned for Food Dance’s future endeavors with farmland and additional initiatives.


Michigan vendors used at Food Dance:

Vegetables and Greens
Avalon Farms (Mattanwan, MI)
Blue Dog Greens (Bangor, MI)
Deleo Farms (Bangor, MI)
Eater’s Guild (Bangor, MI)
Evelyn Thomas (Decatur, MI)
Green Garden (Battle Creek, MI)
Jack Brown (Paw Paw, MI)
J&S Farms (Scotts, MI)
Kirklin Farms (Kalamazoo, MI)
Mud Lake Farms (Hudsonville, MI)
Scobey Farms (Wayland, MI)
Visser Farms (Zeeland, MI)

Evergreen Lane (Fennville, MI)
J&S Farms (Scotts, MI)

Carlson Farms (Decatur, MI)

Carlson Farms (Decatur, MI)
Otto’s Poultry (Middleville, MI)

Otto’s Turkey (Middleville, MI)

Young Earth Farm (Decatur, MI)

Niman Ranch (California)

Cedar Crest (New Era, MI)

Evergreen Lane (Fennville, MI)
Zingerman’s (Ann Arbor, MI)

Fourtune Fish Co. (Bensenville, IL)

Maple Syrup
Jack & Jill Maple Hill Farm (Paw Paw, MI)

Zingerman’s (Ann Arbor, MI)

Zingerman’s (Ann Arbor, MI)

Phone: 269-382-1888

Kristin M. Coppens: Media Relations Director

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *