Foodies, the time is finally here | News
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Foodies, the time is finally here. Grand Rapids Restaurant Week kicks off Wednesday. This means you can choose from 61 restaurants and enjoy three-course meals for $25, or two meals for two people at $25.
If you took part in last year's event, your taste buds may notice a difference in flavor this week. Restaurant Week moved from November to mid-August to coincide with the West Michigan harvest, and the emphasis on "Farm to Fork" is also greater than ever.
We stopped in one popular restaurant, The Grove, to see just how Farm to Fork works.
What sprouts from Mike Lundberg's soil eventually makes its way into his delivery truck.
"There's squash, baby beets, more herbs...zucchini, tomatoes," he said
And The Grove is one of a handful of restaurants that benefits at least once a week.
"Everybody we work with picks their vegetables in the morning and delivers to us that day," said Grove Executive Chef Patrick Wise.
Ninety percent of what arrives at Wise's door comes from area farmers, most of which will be highlighted during Grand Rapids Restaurant Week.
"We try on every dish to represent as many different farms, but then on some of them, do something everything strictly from one farm. So it's like head to tail," Wise said to Lundberg.
Lundberg says the 11-day event is a boost to his business.
"We definitely seeing the orders increase...a 20-30 percent increase," he said.
He said it's also a boost to most surrounding farms.
"Which is great, because they need another outlet for their products to get out to the restaurants to get more exposure," he said.
And there's no better way to show off tomatoes at their peak than at a top-notch restaurant.
"Literally everything going on your plate is just hours old, so there's going to be a crunch, a snap, a freshness," he said.
That's because vegetables have their highest sugar content right now, so everything is going to taste sweeter than it did during the event last November.
Another perk is selection.
"Absolutely we'll have more to work with," said Wise.
So if you order the locally-sourced lamb, drizzled with sweet corn cream sauce, or one of dozens of others dishes around town over the next 11 days, know the bursts of color are coming straight from the farm to your fork.
"Simpler is even better. We can put a great dish on the table by just highlighting the quality of those vegetables."
To check out what produce restaurants are putting on their menus, click here: