I was delighted to entertain my friend, writer and reviewer of Midwest restaurants Jane Ammeson at The Reserve, which opened in Grand Rapids Michigan during fall 2010. Jane knows how to peruse and taste selections off a menu as a veteran food writer. We started with the pork fat fries, which Jane was excited about, as well as the mouthwatering cheese and charcuterie platter, five selections for $26. The quality cheeses and meats are served with tastefully selected breads and condiments to compliment each item. The cheese, charcuterie and wine are what The Reserve is best known for. Two of the charcuterie items, the Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Pate and Pork and Garlic Rillette, are handmade in the Reserve’s Kitchen and most of the cheeses are from farms in the US. Three of the cheeses on the current cheese menu come from Evergreen Lane Farm in Fennville, Michigan.
However, there’s so much more to try here and the other items such as the Spinach and Poached Egg Risotto and Duck Leg Confit creatively prepared by chef Mark Millar are exceptional. Fine meats, artisan cheeses and small plates are designed to share. The Reserve features over 100 wines by the glass.
This is a must try restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids and a destination stop for many who will visit during a convention to Grand Rapid or a trip here to experience the city’s many fine events and attractions including ArtPrize, 5/3 River Bank Run, the Gerald R. Ford Museum, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, the GRAM (Grand Rapids Art Museum) or UICA (Urban Institute of Contemporary Art). The Reserve is next to the 4-diamond Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, an historic landmark hotel in the heart of downtown and adjacent to the ultra-modern JW Marriott Hotel situated along the Grand River.