Creative, Conscientious Cuisine at Grove

I had already been to Grove, one of the new restaurants in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about three times when I realized I hadn’t blogged about it. Partly because it’s such an enjoyable experience that I want to savor it for what it is rather than worrying about how my photos turn out. But this place is one of Bill’s and my new favorites in town. So I just have to spread the word. Grove brings the earth to table with modern, authentic cuisine featuring fresh, natural, local ingredients.

One of our favorite things to do when we go out to dinner, especially at the end of the week, is to sit at the bar. You rarely need a reservation, the service is great, and you can ask the bartender a lot of questions. (I’m sure they just love the interruption!) Grove has a creative list of unique cocktails, many that include homemade infusions. (Check out the jars on the shelf.)

So last weekend, we started off with drinks at the bar, followed by not one but two of our favorite appetizers there: The Whole Barnyard and Otto’s Crispy Chicken Lyonnaise. I love seeing Michigan wines on their drink menu and I went with M. Lawrence GR from the Leelanau Peninsula, where I’ve spent a lot of time visiting.

After an amuse bouche of seasonal pickled vegetables, the appetizers made their arrival.

The Whole Barnyard is just what it sounds like: a sampling of meat dishes, including Otto’s chicken rillettes, Creswick pork spread, rustic pork terrine, and condiments that accompany these delicious flavors.

The Crispy Chicken Lyonnaise included a slow-cooked egg, greens, beans, and local potatoes all topped with a crispy drumstick.

Grove’s mission is to “responsibly source as many ingredients as are available from local, family and sustainable farms.” As their website attests, “We take great care in the preparation of these ingredients to demonstrate our respect for how our farmers raise or grow these products.” If you want to know the farms they source from , you can see the list on their website. The reason I love this place is because their menu changes daily, based on seasonality.

For dinner, Bill order the S&S Duck Breast while I ordered the Parisian Gnocchi with Zingerman’s goat cheese and local vegetables.

It seems we make it to Grove about every two months—just enough time for the seasons and menu choices to change. Truth is, we’d probably go more often if we lived down the street. Grove is one restaurant in Grand Rapids that’s doing things right with a focus on conscientious, creative cuisine.


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