Is it possible? Have I really never blogged about my favorite restaurant? For shame. Sorry, favorite restaurant. We are going as a family tomorrow night for the first time. Sometimes I really miss the coziness of the ‘baby stage’ of life; but this is one of those things my husband have looked forward to our kids being old enough to do. Like Disney, only (slightly) cheaper.
Grand Rapids is ridiculously fortunate in the restaurant category. We might be a little chubby, but we have a lot of good food here so cut us some slack. There is no threat of a shortage either, since the Secchia Institute at Grand Rapids Community College keeps cranking out award winning chefs. One of the instructors is Angus Campbell; who even has his own TV show. You can have Paula Deen and Rachel Ray – I will take Angus any day of the week.
Those fine students have to practice on someone, and I am more than happy to be a guinea pig at The Heritage Restaurant. Note to vegetarians – they do not actually serve guinea pig; but they do have some incredible vegan dishes. The food is interesting, and different, and expertly prepared. In a ‘real’ restaurant (not affiliated with a school) the prices would be about three times what you pay here.
The servers are actually culinary students, so they might not be as smooth as you have had at a fine dining place but for me it is an advantage. I keep them at my table for way too long asking questions and they are thrilled to be able to tell me all about the funky ingredients and preparation techniques. I am getting horribly distracted by the menu and may never finish this post if I don’t just choose a few items, so let me tell you what I would like to try tomorrow.
For an appetizer, the Crispy Duck Ravioli: “stuffed with duck confit, caramelized onions, dried cherries; served with tangerine sauce and orange marmalade.”
I want the kids to try The Rock: “thin slices of beef strip steak in a soy, garlic, and ginger sauce grilled at your table on a very hot rock.”
I also want to try the Duet of Asparagus Salad: “marinated and grilled green and white asparagus with fried quail egg and toasted pinenuts; served with asparagus soup and lemon mascarpone cream” because I just want to have eaten a fried quail egg.
I’m stuffed by the time the entree gets there, so I try and find a good take home option. They wrap the leftovers in little swan shaped tinfoil packages. It’s so cute.
I think I’ll go with Choucroute Garni: “grilled country pork chop braised in a clay pot with sauerkraut, dark beer, slab bacon and house-made sausage” ’cause I have never eaten out of a clay pot before plus beer and bacon in the same place is just awesome.
The deserts are not on the menu because they change, but they are all amazing. And I should know, because I don’t care if I have to be wheeled out on some kind of cart; I am going to eat desert. The servers are great at suggesting wine pairings because they know so much about food and what tastes compliment each other. If you don’t live in Grand Rapids, look for some sort of culinary institute around you. If there aren’t any – ROAD TRIP! I love the Heritage and you will too. For more Things I Love Thursday, head over to the Diaper Diaries.