Experiencing Great Restaurants and Delicious Libations

-MI-Grand Rapids

Osteria Rossa – Grand Rapids MI

16 Monroe Center NE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

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Visited March 26 2015

This restaurant was recommended by several people before I even traveled to Grand Rapids, and I was told it is a difficult reservation to get. Luckly, for this business trip, a consultant located in Grand Rapids invited us to dinner one night and they took care of getting a table.

This fairly recent newcomer to the Grand Rapids restaurant scene lived up to the hype. The space is a warm, simply decorated space with exposed brick walls, dark woods, and the ubiqutous exposed filament light bulbs. The craft cocktails, the entrees and the desserts were all delicious. I had the sea scallops (one of my favorites) with mushrooms. The desserts – well we could not decide which ones to order, so our hosts decided to order one of each. As you can see, we finished each and every one of them!

 

Osteria Rossa Website


Rockwell Republic – Grand Rapids MI

45 South Division SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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Visited March 27 & 28, 2015

Rockwell (and) Republic are actually two restaurants that share a kitchen, share a menu, and even share staff. Republic feels more like a restaurant with a bar, and Rockwell is more bar with some restaurant seating. The menu I found actually pretty amazing.

My first visit was on the Republic side. I had the kale and beet salad and a perfectly prepared filet with brussels sprouts, mushrooms, bacon, red onion potato hash.

It was delicious, so delicious I went back the next day to dine on the Rockwell side. As luck would have it the same bartender (Grant) was working on that side and again provided the same exceptional service as the night before. Here I tried some of their sushi as an appetizer, and then dove into their sea scallops as my entree. The scallops were accompanied by asiago gnocchi, asparagus, red pepper and citrus cream. It was amazingly good.

Their menu also has sandwiches, soups, pastas, etc. I can only imagine that they are all as good as what I sampled on my 2 visits. Everything about this pair of restaurants I liked. The only problem with them is that they are too far away from me to visit more frequently.

Rockwell Republic is within walking distance of both the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott.

 


Stella’s – Grand Rapids MI

53 Commerce Ave. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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Visited March 26 & 29 2015

I stopped by Stells’a with business associates after dinner. They boast that GQ Magazine voted them the best burger in America. I cannot vouch for that, but the ones I saw coming out of the kitchen looked great, stacked high (and I mean high) with toppings. It has a dark “college bar” atmosphere I would say, with arcade games in one corner and old rock and roll ticket stubs under glass on the bar. In front of me was a Woodstock ticket stub! I went back for Sunday Brunch before I headed home and had a spicy hot “Angry Joon” Eggs Benedict which was unique and delicious.

Stella’s Website