Starting August 14 and running for two weeks, Savor Summer, Farm-to-Fork Fantastic Restaurant Week Grand Rapids will explore what’s best in the city’s farm-to-fork restaurants with an emphasis on the area ingredients such as the season’s fresh produce, artisan breads, homemade gelatos and ice creams, Lake Michigan perch and whitefish, grass-fed and organic meats, house made sausages and locally harvested honeys, roasted nuts and coffees.
The idea is to offer great food at affordable prices to introduce diners to over 60 of the city’s great restaurants. Participating restaurants will present their menus as three-course dinners for $25 per person or two dinners (three-courses each) for $25.
There’s a wide range of options including beef tenderloin, served Sicilian style with fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic, pan-roasted asparagus and panelle cake at Licari’s Sicilian Italian Pizzaria, blue-lip mussels, sautéed in garlic and ginger, accompanied with coconut sauce and toasted pita bread at Ju Sushi, Bar Divani’s pan-seared soft shell crab, arugula pesto, grape tomato confit and the oven roasted chicken, harissa marinated, braised kale lollipops, cool cucumber tomato couscous with preserved lemon at Bistro Chloe Elan.
Diners can also vote for their favorite drink The Grand Cocktail 2013, a competition for the Best Creative Cocktail and Best Manhattan using Woodford Reserve craft bourbon and the freshest local ingredients.
For more information, visit www.experiencegr.com/restaurants/restaurant-week/
The following cocktails are in the running for The Grand Cocktail 2013 competition
Cyngus 27 Sunset Manhattan
2 ounces Woodford Reserve
½ ounce honey
1 ounce orange bitters
1 lemon wedge
Freeze one cherry with orange juice in jumbo 1 ½ x 1 ½ in ice cube tray.
Muddle one cherry, orange bitters, lemon wedge in rocks glass. Add bourbon and honey to muddle. Swirl to mix.
Tavern on the Square Floatin’ by Tavern
1 ¼ ounce Woodford Reserve
2 scoops Palazzolo’s Butter Pecan Gelato (Saugatuck, MI)
8 ounces Dog & Suds Root Beer (Grand Rapids, MI)
Bourbon and vanilla infused whipped cream
To infuse the whipped cream, add vanilla extract and Woodford Reserve to whipping cream. Serve in a frosted glass and top with the infused whipped cream.
The following recipes are from two of the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week Grand Rapids.
Tacos El Ganadero’s Fresh Cactus Salad
3 or 4 fresh cactus or24-ounce jar sliced or diced prickly pear cactus
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons white wine or vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano leaves
Dash of pepper
Remove needles from cactus. Boil with an onion and salt until tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Cut cactus into pieces. Place, along with tomatoes, chopped onion and cilantro into a glass or plastic container. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour oven cactus mixture and toss.
Serve on tostados, tortillas or as a side dish.
SpeakEZ Lounge’s Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup honey
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and serve over your favorite salad.