A week or so ago, I was having coffee with a friend on Saturday morning when she mentioned that she'd had the most amazing dinner the night before at Bloom in downtown Grand Rapids. She pulled the restaurant's website up and handed me the computer. I was immediately intrigued and impressed. It was a very creative menu that offered combinations that triggered my appetite.
Finally last evening that same friend and I met for dinner. It was as delightful as I'd hoped it would be. I was greeted warmly and seated immediately. Gwen, our server, and I had a chance to talk a bit as I waited for my dinner companion to arrive. She was very knowledgeable about the preparation of the offerings and checked with chef to help me quietly steer clear of dairy.
The menu has appetizers, in-betweens (small plates) and entrees. After our bottle of wine was served, we ordered the seared scallops, ham hock, dried apricot, pork rind, sage appetizer. I opted for the whitefish, kale, white beans, smoked turkey wing broth, my companion was so taken with the sirloin steak, roasted parsnip, swiss chard, w/ "hollandaise" that she broke her own rule and ordered it again.
We noticed that one of the signature drinks was based on a bacon-infused bourbon. It was an image that had us scratching our heads as to how that would be accomplished. Some images that will haunt me ran through my head, of a drink with a floating bacon fat layer. Gwen graciously brought us a sample of the bourbon and we sipped and swirled and picked up the subtle bacon flavor with a touch of maple and a slightly salty aftertaste. Next time, I'll have to order the signature drink...
While we caught up a bit, chef sent out a smoked scallop taster that was beautifully presented and delicious. If this was an indication of the way this evening was going to go, it was going to be a good night!
Each dish was delightful, flavorful, pleasing to the eye and palate. The timing was perfect for our leisurely pace, and Gwen was helpful and attentive without being intrusive.
Their website describes their mission statement much more eloquently than I could:
"here at bloom we are really into food, probably too much. we have a strong passion for ingredients and techniques that drives us to create the best possible meal for you, the diner. our focus is on progressive american cuisine with an emphasis on high quality, organic, local and natural products. not only do we like to make good food, we like to make food that is good for you, this just makes the world a better place. beer, wine, and creative cocktails are also a love of ours. our list features a lot of small estate grown wineries, as well as a great selection of artisan american beers. so please come and dine with us, enjoy yourself, feel free to ask any questions, we love to talk. food and drink is our passion, and we wish to share that passion with as many people as possible."
They absolutely deliver on those promises!
Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. There is on-street and lot/ramp parking nearby. It's just around the corner from Civic Theatre, up the block from St. Ceclia'sand down the block to the Leed Certified Grand Rapids Art Museum. While a reservation wasn't necessary last night, I would predict that as the word spreads about the high quality of food that's being served at Bloom, that won't be the case.
Appetizers from $6-12, In-Betweens- $12-16 and Entrees $21-26 with a menu that changes regularly to reflect the best, freshest ingredients available on that day.
Give Bloom a try, and tell them that you read about it on Eric Webster's blog. Know that I do not receive any compensation from any of the businesses that I highlight in this blog.