We were pretty excited one Saturday as we shopped at the Rockford Farmer's Market, when we saw a beautiful new building under construction on the banks of the Rogue River in downtown Rockford MI. We'd seen an item in the newspaper that a new restaurant was coming, and from the look of the building and the location it had great possibilities.
After allowing some time for the new restaurant bugs to be worked out (we tend to not visit a new place for a month or two after they open), we made reservations at Reds on the River for dinner. It was a rare, late fall day with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine so we opted to be seated on the huge patio area.
River provided a very peaceful view, and the sound of the water made it even nicer. The trees were in full color, it just couldn't have been prettier.
Our server greeted us promptly and warmly. She was professional, knowledgeable, unobtrusive and efficient. She made some menu recommendations and took our drink orders. The wine list is wonderful and there are many wines by the glass, which I appreciate.
Long story short, the food, the service the atmosphere were all wonderful. The 500 degree plate (ala Ruth's Chris Steakhouse) that my steak was served on provided some additional warmth that was needed as the sun went down. The portions were perfect. It seems the trend is to portions that are HUGE (it's because American's aren't quite fat enough).
The desserts were all house made, and sounded too good to pass up. But because they knew we'd have trouble picking one, they had a sampler plate with smaller portions of 4-desserts. We shared one of those and it was the perfect amount. The coffee was brewed table-side in a French Press, another new experience for us.
Even though they'd only been open a short time, Karen and I agreed that we'd put this place on par with many of the wonderful downtown restaurants, and because we live about half way between downtown and Rockford (which is 10-Miles north of Grand Rapids), it was one that was destined to remain on our list.
We've been back many times, have enjoyed dinners with clients and friends, have given gift cards as gifts too.
Lest I present an inaccurate total picture though, not every trip was the dining perfection of our first trip. We've had servers who seemingly forgot to bring their brain to work, one night there was live music on the patio that was good (and I'm very much a music lover), but was loud enough that we couldn't have a conversation during dinner, so we moved inside. I guess I'd characterize the service as a bit uneven. It's either WONDERFUL, or can be a bit inconsistent the the quality of the restaurant. But overall, the pluses greatly outweigh the occasional minuses.
The food has always been WONDERFUL. Hot items hot, cold items cold. Fresh, tasty, interesting combinations.
There are meeting rooms, Reds is open for lunch and dinner. They also have a wine store in the building, so if you found a wine at dinner that you loved, you can go buy a bottle or a case to take home.
Rockford has a charming downtown area. With the Rogue River and dam on the edge of downtown, the White Pine (bike trail) running alongside, it's a very user friendly area. Cute shops, lots of artsy places make strolling the streets very pleasant. Their Farmer's Market is a normal part of our Saturday morning from summer into fall. We found a vendor who brings the BEST BLACK RASPBERRY JAM EVER!
Photos from TheRockfordNetwork.com