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DINING


Cygnus 27 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-774-2000 ECLECTIC. High atop the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Cygnus 27 offers breathtaking views of Grand Rapids, a cosmopolitan setting, and a broad menu featuring globally influ- enced American entrées, an extensive selection of small plates, plus a first-rate wine and cocktail list. A AA Four-Diamond restaurant that offers “fine dining without the fine dining price,” says Chef d’Cuisine Werner Absenger.


7 days. GO THERE FOR: Seasonal Sunday Brunch. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Open


Derby Station 2237 Wealthy St. SE. 616-301-3236 TAVERN. Like its near- north side counterpart, Graydon’s Crossing, the East Grand Rapids restaurant has an extensive list of beers – including a hand-pulled cask ale every day – and a unique menu that mixes English, Indian, French and American influences. Perhaps the best example of this is the Nachos of the Gods, a humongous plate of nacho chips covered with braised pork, bleu cheese crumbles, tomatoes, arugula and Sriracha Sour Cream, with curried salsa for dipping. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Chef Flaska’s Monthly Menu, Great beers on tap.


Fat Boy Burger 2450 Plainfield NE. 616-447-2200 DINER. The north end landmark is a no-frills burger joint that just happens to serve up one of the best olive burgers – made from beef that’s ground fresh every day – on the planet. Onion rings on the side, thank you. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Burgers.


Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville SW. 616-776-1195 BREWPUB. A beer-lover’s paradise with a national reputation for flavorful, award- winning beers. Likewise, the brewpub’s menu consists


mainly of flavorful handcrafted deli sandwiches that can stand up and complement the beers (or vice versa). » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Award-winning beer, handcrafted sandwiches.


Fred’s Italian Restaurant Pizzeria and Grill 3619 Plainfield NE. 616-361-8994 ITALIAN. The lengthy name above might confuse most locals, who know this NE side institution simply as “Fred’s Pizza.” Yes, they serve up seafood, prime rib, chicken and great salads, but the traditional oven-baked pizza is the star here. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: A varied Italian menu.


GP Sports 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-774-2000 SPORTS BAR. High-energy sports bar with a high-energy menu for both lunch and dinner. 40 TVs and two large screens for games; wings and 10-ounce char-grilled Score Big Burgers top the menu. Casual fare in a friendly, laid-back atmosphere.


ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Score Big Burgers. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN


Gilly’s 20 Monroe NW. 616-356-2000 SEAFOOD. Gilly’s may not be the biggest name on the seafood block, but it takes second place to no one in regards to quality, freshness and inspiration. A vast array of exotic fish is line-caught, flown in and prepared fresh daily. Every facet of Gilly’s speaks to impeccable attention to detail. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Fresh seafood at a great price.


G.R.P.D. (Grand Rapids Pizza and Delivery) 340 State St. SE. 616-454-9204 ITALIAN. The current Grand Rapids location was opened in 2004, and it was the first established pizzeria in the Heritage Hill district. The location


serves as a common meeting area for local folks, business professionals and college students, a place where one could gather for a quick meal or a reflective lunch. It offers both hand-tossed pizza and Chicago-style stuffed pizza, as well as pasta, sandwiches, salads, and chicken wings. It also offers online ordering. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza.


Grand Woods Lounge 77 Grandville Ave SW. 616-451-4300 AMERICAN. The restaurant’s interior exudes a warm, casual ambiance reminiscent of the great eateries of the Pacific Northwest; the outdoor porch features two outdoor bars and a fireplace. Menu stocked with affordable appetizers great for sharing, plus salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Lots of domestics and microbrews, plus an array of martinis including the “Woodstini,” a tasty mix of Stoli Orange Vodka, mandarin oranges and raspberries. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cocktails.


Graydon’s Crossing 1223 Plainfield NE. 616-726-8260 TAVERN. An authentic take on the English Pub, with a huge selection of beers on tap and a menu that includes classic English dishes like Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew, as well as Indian specialties like Tandoori Chicken and Tikka Masala. A great casual atmosphere for drinking and dining. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and authentic pub food.


The Green Well 924 Cherry SE. 616-808-3566 ITALIAN. REVUE’s “Hanging out…” columnist Steven de Polo writes, “Green Well Gastro Pub is the best restaurant in Grand Rapids.” The East Hills gastro-pub serves up an ever-changing menu featuring local ingredients, and its beverage offerings include a wide array of local craft brews and wines. The green refers also to the LEED© certified building and management’s commitment to leaving behind a small carbon footprint. »


SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Baked local goat cheese, Michigan maple whiskey chicken over risotto (DePolo).


The Grill at 1913 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-774-2000 STEAK. A classic big-city steakhouse, and one of Grand Rapids’ best at that. Specializes in USA Prime Steaks, as well as fine cuts of beef, lamb, veal and pork. Á la carte side dishes, and a full wine list and cocktails.


Lunch (M-Fri) Dinner (M-Sat.) OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Hand-selected cuts of Prime grade steak.


» SERVING:


Honey Creek Inn 8025 Cannonsburg Rd. NE. 616-874-7849 AMERICAN. Located in the Village of Cannonsburg, Honey Creek is one of the oldest pubs in Kent County, dating back to the 1930s. It’s a warm and cozy spot with a diverse menu, though it’s best known for fresh fish, prime cuts of beef and baby back ribs. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: BBQ Ribs, Whitefish.


HopCat 25 Ionia SW. 616-451-4677 TAVERN. Rated the 3rd best beer bar on the planet by Beer Advcoate, HopCat’s spin on its food is thus: “It’s the food your Mom would feed you, if your Mom loved beer.” That’s specifically true for HopCat’s beerbar cheese, cheese ale soup and porter braised beef, but mom would also love the Hippie wrap (it’s vegetarian), the crack fries (they’re not real crack), and the Killer Mac and Cheese. Because what mom doesn’t like mac and cheese? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Widest variety of beers, crack fries.


CHEAP EATS: XO Asian Cuisine


IT’S NOT OFTEN THAT you can pick up great sushi for a steal like you can at XO Asian Cuisine. The restaurant’s half-off on Tuesday deal covers all sushi and sashimi (think unrolled, piecemeal sushi) all Tuesday long—you won’t be able to take advantage of the sushi entrees, but at an avgerage of $2.50 for two rolls, you can indulge in spicy yellowtail and salmon roe or octopus (which is al dente delicious) and squid. For two people, you can expect to spend at least $50 for something entirely filling. Here, the price is cut in less than half with three specialty rolls of your choice for $20 everyday a top the already insane Tuesday deal. And unlike other fishy places that reuse last Friday’s fish order resulting in not-so-fresh fish, XO assures it’s fresher and fishier (in a good way). —Matt Simpson Siegel


XO Asian Cuisine, 58 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids / xoasiancuisine.com, (616) 235-6969


PHOTO: DAVID CARSON 54 | REVUEWM.COM | MARCH 2011


J Bar 20 Monroe NW. 616-356-2000 STEAKS. Highly lauded and oft-awarded as Grand Rapid’s top steakhouse, featuring grass-fed beef selection plus an ample selection of sea- food, chops and house specialties. Extensive wine cellar and tastefully upscale ambiance that’s comfortable rather than stuffy. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Choice-cut prime rib, 10-oz. Baseball Filet, 14-oz. Top Sirloin.


J. Gardella’s Tavern 11 Ionia AVE SW. 616-459-8824 TAVERN. A popular Grand Rapids restaurant and nightspot, J. Gardella’s is conve- niently located next to Van Andel Arena. The architecture and decor is much like that of a Chicago tavern, complete with wooden floors, an embossed metal ceiling, red brick walls, and gorgeous hand-carved moldings. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Low priced beverages, large portioned meals, selection of single malt scotches and microbrews.


Leo’s 60 Ottawa NW. 616-454-6700 SEAFOOD. With high ceilings, wood floors and nautical murals, Leo’s just feels like an upscale-but-casual place for a business dinner or a special date. The menu features a broad selection of seafood, from perch to scrod to swordfish, as well as pasta, chicken, beef and vegetarian options. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Seafood.


Louis Benton Steakhouse 77 Monroe Center NW. 616-454-7455 STEAKS. Award- winning big-city steakhouse with rich mahogany wood, tapestries, and a warm fireplace as backdrop to white linen, candlelit tables. Features USDA prime and all-natural steaks, plus fresh seafood. Great selection of appetizers. »


SCHEDULE


DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


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