At the beginning of summer, Chad and I purchased a Groupon for an eleven course dinner for two at Henderson Castle in Kalamazoo, MI. We were so impressed with the quality of the French cuisine that we documented our favorites throughout the evening, so we could share our experience. At first glance, we were impressed by the beauty of this historic landmark, built by Frank Henderson in 1895. The grounds included a brick walkway, surrounded by late season flowers, and glimpses of the many marble statues that adorn the house. Guests could dine on the large covered porch or sit inside. We were placed inside where Chad particularly enjoyed our close neighbor, a large, marble statue of a topless woman.
Our first course was the Amuse Bouche, or Chef’s choice, a small taste of something special to start the night, a spinach and tomato quiche, delicious! Another memorable course was the Lobster Bisque, rich, creamy, mixed with the flaky texture of real lobster. My only suggestion would be to add more lobster! Quality French food must also include authentic French baguettes. The baker created a crusty on the outside, soft of the inside piece of magic!
In a later course, we had a choice of several appetizers. Chad chose escargot while I sampled steamed crawfish. Unsure how to eat crawfish, we had fun tasting something new. Unfortunately, the escargot was prepared in a puffed pastry, which presented an overcooked dish. I would encourage Henderson Castle to serve this dish in another way as the portions are so small, diners can expand their food boundaries without fear of ordering such a dish as an entree.
For the main course, Chad chose Cornish game hen, which came with a delicious crispy skin and juicy meat. I ordered the beef tenderloin with a Bearnaise sauce, a tender, melt in your mouth treat. Surprisingly, the veggies were the star of this dish. We were amazed by the perfectly cooked mix of carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, beet greens, and garlic. After dinner, we enjoyed a palette cleansing cherry sorbet, and for dessert, we sipped black coffee while enjoying bites of creamy, rich, authentic chocolate mousse.
Our only complaint from the entire evening was added gratuity on the check. While we understand the need for this service for large parties, we were surprised that all customers, regardless of party number, have an 18% gratuity added. This is a personal preference for Chad and me.
I would recommend Henderson Castle in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for any fellow foodies. While an expensive meal, they also offer a more economically priced luncheon. What Chad and I enjoyed most were the two hours needed to complete eleven courses. This gift of time allowed us a window to visit, sample small portions slowly, actually taste our food, and enjoy a slow, steady and memorable evening.
Thanks for reading!