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DINING


regional Italian cuisine. Mangia Bene Paisano (“Eat Well, My Friends”).


7 days. GO THERE FOR: Freshly made pasta. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open


Real Food Cafe 2419 Eastern SE. /5430 Northland Dr. 616-241-4080 BREAKFAST. Locally owned breakfast joint with a clas- sic diner atmosphere. Friendly staff and “real food” highlighted by stuffed and inventive omelettes, as well as other breakfast classics.


OPEN ON: T W Th F Sa Sn. GO THERE FOR: Omelettes. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch


Red Jet Cafe 1431 Plainfield Ave. NE. 616-719-5500 ECLECTIC. The funky restaurant in Creston’s old library is the kind of place you’d find in Chicago’s hip neighborhoods, offering a non-sequitur of menu items that somehow seems to work. Seriously, how many other places in town can you find that serve high-end organic coffees, crepes, wood-fired pizzas and artisan baked goods. Is it a bistro? Is it a coffeehouse? Does it matter?


ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Crepes. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN


Reserve 201 Monroe NW. 616-855-WINE WINE BAR. Upscale wine bar in the shadows of the Amway Grand Plaza has an impressive range of wines by the glass – 102 in all – and a couple hundred by the bottle. While it’s a great place to sip, the food doesn’t take a backseat. The cheeses, char- cuterie and desserts are nice complements to the wine and bubbly; the small plates are flavorful and “right-sized” in terms of portion and price so you can indulge in more than one.


GO THERE FOR: Wine, charcuterie. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sunday.


Rio Grand Steakhouse 5501 Northland Dr. 616-364-6266 STEAKHOUSE. Inspired by western roadhouses, Rio Grand has been serving up big portions and high-quality mesquite grilled steaks for two decades. Soups are made from scratch, the salads are big (surprise!) and warm bread comes with dinner. Kind of a throwback in an era of chains and upscale, high-end steakhouses. Also offers a $5 lunch, which includes a soft drink.


GO THERE FOR: Steaks. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days.


Rose’s On Reeds Lake 550 Lakeside Dr. SE. 616-458-1122 ECLECTIC. The East Grand Rapids landmark is one of those places that has a different feel in each season. In the summertime, it’s a great spot to hang on the decks and have cocktails and light appetizers; when the snow is falling, it’s a warm and cozy spot for a hearty meal and big glass of wine. The menu draws from a multitude of influences including Mediterranean, Italian, and Casual American.


Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Root Chips.


» SERVING:


Sandmann’s 1200 Wealthy St. SE. 616-459-0900 BARBECUE. The smell of barbecue wafts through the air at Wealthy and Fuller, making it hard to drive by and not want to stop at this perpetual award winner for GR’s best barbecue. Great ribs, chicken and rib tips, plus Soul Food Sundays for down-home southern goodness.


Dinner OPEN ON: T W Th F Sa Sn. GO THERE FOR: Barbecue Ribs and Chicken.


» SERVING: Lunch


San Chez Bistro 38 W. Fulton. 616-774-8272 EUROPEAN. Back before downtown GR was bustling and small plates were the rage, there was San Chez. For the better part of two decades, San Chez has been one of the restaurants in Grand Rapids where you could bring your friends from Detroit, Chicago or New York and not have them look down their noses at you. The tapas bistro has excelled at serving up authentic European and Mediterranean cuisine in a fun, laid-back and artful atmosphere.


ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Tapas, Sangria. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN


Schnitz Deli 1315 E. Fulton. 616-451-4444 DELI. Locally owned New York-style deli. Sandwiches on the Schnitz’s fresh baked bread featuring slow cooked pastrami, corned beef, roast beef and other deli meats, cheeses and condiments. Hearty soups, salads and desserts made from scratch daily.


Six.One.Six 235 Louis NW. 616-242-1448 ECLECTIC. Inspired menus, sweeping views of downtown, and a sophisti- cated ambiance make for one of downtown’s premier spots for sipping cocktails or noshing at any time of the day. The dinner menu has both “small eats” and “big eats” that reflect a variety of global influences (e.g., gastro pubs, sushi), and the lunches are creative takes on familiar themes.


Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Variety and being seen.


» SERVING: Breakfast Lunch


SERVING: Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Awesome deli sandwiches.


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Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. 616-356-2700 TAVERN. The Chicago- style whiskey bar has more than 200 varieties of distilled spirits, old-school video games, a superexcellent jukebox stocked with rock and punk classics, and a menu filled with vegetarian and vegan bar food – and stuffed burgers. Did we mention you can sip cans of PBR, Blatz and other classic beers, as well as sangria, out of a mason jar? REVUE’s British ex-pat David Smith, the limey bastard who writes “Emails to Blighty” calls Stella’s his favorite bar in the world.


7 days. GO THERE FOR: Vegetarian and vegan bar food. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open


Sundance Grill 40 Pearl St. 616-776-1616 ECLECTIC. Much-loved break- fast and lunch eatery is a favorite for downtown business meetings during the week, and a great weekend spot to avoid the crush at suburban eateries. Sundance also serves dinner, with a tilt toward Southwestern dishes as well as fish, steaks and pasta. Two more words: Margarita Bar. Also has a location on 28th Street.


Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days (hours vary). GO THERE FOR: Southwestern food.


» SERVING:


» SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Bike Bar atmosphere.


Teazers Bar and Grill 819 Ottawa NW. 616-459-2481 TAVERN. Near NE side tavern has a biker bar feel and one of the best olive burg- ers in a town that relishes them. And the beer is ultra-cold, too.


PERFECT PAIR: Founders’ Dirty Bastard Sandwich + Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale


PAIRING FOOD AND BEER has come into style over the past few years, and that’s left some long-time quaffers with mixed feelings. It’s great that beer has taken on such gravitas, but the added pressure of picking the perfect beer to match your meal can be a bit daunting, not to mention entirely annoying. Fortunately, the fine people at Founders


Brewing Company have taken pairing food and beer to the next logical level: They’ve actually named several sandwiches on their menu after the beers that they go well with. Given the high alcohol content of some


craft beers, having a simple pairing system is a bit of a blessing. Take, for example, the Dirty Bastards Founders serves. That’s not a com-


ment on the clientele, but rather a description of its Dirty Bastard Sandwich and flagship Dirty Bastard Scotch style ale. Oh, what a couple of delicious bastards they are. The sandwich ($7.75) is a heap of thin-sliced pastrami dressed with Swiss cheese, lettuce, red onion and horserad- ish sauce on rye. The pastrami is lean and not overly spiced, which makes it a perfect com- panion for the Dirty Bastard ale ($3.75 pint), which is rich, smoky and malty with a bit of sweetness. At 8.5% alcohol by volume, it also lives up to the “Wee Heavy” moniker given to Scotch Ales. —Brian Edwards


Founders, 235 Grandville Ave. SW Grand Rapids, MI; (616) 776-1195; foundersbrewing.com


PHOTO: BRIAN EDWARDS 62 | REVUEWM.COM | FEBRUARY 2011


SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


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