Restaurant Week and Grand Rapids are a Perfect Pair

Restaurant Week and Grand Rapids are a Perfect Pair

Restaurant Week Grand Rapids 2014 will be back and better than ever during the peak of the summer harvest in West Michigan. Featuring 12 days of unique, local, 3-course menus at over 60 restaurants from Wednesday, August 13 through Sunday, August 24, this event is looking to be a must have experience in GR. Each year there is a different theme, and this year’s is Perfect Pairings: a highlight of wines, beer, spirits, and coffee that pair well with the menu items that the restaurants plan to serve.

Grand Rapids is known for its real passion for local brews, and Restaurant Week partner, Founders Brewing Co., will help restaurants pair food with their celebrated beers. Well-known Michigan wineries, Black Star Farms and Fenn Valley Vineyards, are working with restaurants on wine pairings, while Ferris Coffee and Nut will suggest unique coffee pairings for many dessert courses. All of the 3-course menus are $28, as well as 2 people meals for $28 at some restaurants.

Restaurant Week and Grand Rapids are a Perfect Pair - Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Week GR

Some of the participating restaurants include:
Bobarino’s at the BOB
Brann’s on Leonard
The Cottage Bar & Restaurant
El Granjero Mexican Grill
The Green Well
Kitchen 67, A Michigan Bistro
Lindo Mexico Restaurant
Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine
Pearl Street Grill
Peppino’s Downtown Grille & Pizzeria Sports Lounge
Pietro’s Italian Restaurant
Red Jet Cafe
Stella’s Lounge
The Mitten Brewing Company

“Farm-to-Fork is a popular tradition of Restaurant Week GR. This summertime harvest timeframe gives chefs the opportunity to use great locally-sourced produce and products for creating their menus. Think fresh picked peaches, heirloom tomatoes and corn, as well as blueberries, cherries, raspberries, apples, kale, lettuces, beets, onions, peppers, farm raised grass fed beef, pork, chicken, fresh Great Lakes’ fish, homemade ice cream, homemade crusty breads, fresh farm butter, and much more. The combinations are unique, delicious and worth the trip,” said Sally Zarafonetis, project manager for Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week and Grand Rapids are a Perfect Pair - Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Week GR

Additionally, the event helps the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College with one dollar from every Restaurant Week meal sold being donated to the Institute. “Restaurant Week is paying it forward to students to help expand and enrich the culinary talent within Grand Rapids. We love the fact that Secchia Institute for Culinary is one of the top 20 culinary schools in the nation. As a community we all benefit from that talent. Many of the students and graduates of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education program remain in the community and work in the hospitality industry,” said Experience Grand Rapids President Doug Small.

This year, there are two contests taking place:

The “Grand Cocktail Contest” is for mixologists and bartenders to show off their drink-making skills. Participating restaurants enter their cocktail recipes in two categories: Best Summer Cocktail and Best Old-Fashioned using Woodford Reserve craft bourbon and well as other fresh, local ingredients. This contest begins August 6 and runs through Restaurant Week so the public can vote for their favorite cocktails. There will also be a judged competition to determine 1st and 2nd place winners in each category. The grand prize is a 2-day, all expense, paid trip for two to Wood Reserve in Kentucky.

Restaurant Week and Grand Rapids are a Perfect Pair - Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Week GR

The second contest is taking place on Instagram. Throughout Restaurant Week, diners can take photos and share on Instagram using the hashtag #RWGR to be entered into the photo contest. Those photos that get the most likes will win restaurant gift cards and be announced on social media.

For more information on this event, including a map of the where the restaurants are and the menus of each of the meals, check the Restaurant Week website and Facebook page.

Why not spend some time in a neighborhood or at a restaurant in Grand Rapids that you haven’t experienced and see all that Restaurant Week Grand Rapids has to offer?

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My name is Anthony Homolka, age 22 and a Writing major at Grand Valley State. I grew up on five acres in Ada, just outside of Grand Rapids. I am writing for the Awesome Mitten for an internship through Grand Valley. In my spare time I enjoy playing tennis and enjoying the great outdoors in Michigan. My favorite spots in Michigan would be around Lake Michigan, either in Grand Haven or the sand dunes around Saugatuck.