Attention fellow foodies and connoisseurs of fine dining! I have a new restaurant for your dining bucket list: The Heritage Restaurant in Grand Rapids, MI. Run by the culinary arts students at Grand Rapids Community College, diners can enjoy lunch or dinner on Tuesdays-Fridays.
Chad and I visited for dinner this past weekend. The first dish was a small taste of vegan miso soup, complements of the chef. The broth included slices of shiitake mushrooms, tofu noodles, and edamame, enjoyed with homemade french champagne bread and herb butter.
Next came a difficult decision: Appetizers. Chad selected the Mock Eel, a house specialty, a sweet and crispy plate of uniquely cut shiitake mushrooms (also voted Best Vegan Dish by Grand Rapids Magazine). I am not a big fan of mushrooms but was surprised to discover they didn’t taste or have the texture of a mushroom! Chad enjoyed the dish but found it too sweet for his palate.
My choice of appetizer was The Rock. If you enjoy entertainment with a meal, order this dish! Servers brought out a basalt stone on a bed of rock salt, heated in a 500 degree oven joined with another plate of thin sliced filet mignon in a ponzu sauce. The server coated the rock with sesame oil and instructed me to begin cooking the filet on the rock, right at the table! Delicious and fun!
For the main course, Chad chose the Osso Bucco, a marsala wine braised veal shank with baby arugula, butternut squash with walnuts, and homemade Pappardelle pasta in cream sauce. The dish included a sizable helping of marrow, considered a delicacy. The veal was tender, the marrow rich (delicious on French bread), and homemade pasta is always a treat. I ordered the house special, duck breast on a bed of Heritage rice served with carrots surrounded by a black garlic sauce. The duck was delicious, medium rare served skin on. The rice, carrots, and sauce complimented the main dish.
On our way out, the server boxed up a molten lava cake, another complement of the chef. I can’t comment on that dish as our daughter ate the entire thing. She highly recommends the dessert!
I look forward to a future visit to try duck confit with waffles and the bacon wrapped sirloin. Beer and wine are also available. In fact, the school developed a beer brewing program and will soon offer a certificate through their newly hired brewmaster. The Heritage also offers many vegan dishes.
So fellow foodies, educators, and supporters of the culinary arts, enjoy an afternoon or evening out tasting delicious food and helping students develop their trade. Be patient and understanding if the service isn’t perfect. Get to know your servers, too. We enjoyed learning about our server’s upcoming graduation, future plans, and dreams, and feel proud to be a small part of his journey.