Restaurant Bloom - Grand Rapids, MI
A friend and I ate at Restaurant Bloom this week. New restaurant on Cherry Street near Diamond. We had a great meal. The tasting menu included such items as salmon belly with tuscan oil and fennel, and grilled sweetbreads with brown sugar and raisins. This place is really trying to push the envelope on the Grand Rapids food scene. And the food was damn good. Try it! Tell your friends to go too.
Last Friday night, I had dinner at Restaurant Bloom in Grand Rapids. This is my report.
Before I describe my own dinner at Bloom, I'm going to show the menu they were serving. AFAIK Bloom does not have their own website, unfortunately. I enjoy checking out a restaurant's menu before actually going there, to get an idea of what they serve. Hopefully, posting it here will do the same for others.
Sweet corn soup, bacon, lime $6
Veal sweetbreads, sweet corn, preserved blueberry, almond $8
Chilled tomato and watermelon soup, olive, pistachio, sour cream-horseradish sorbet $5
Foie gras, walnut nougatine, pickled tomato, nasturtium $11
Salad of baby spinach, herloom tomato, cucumber, manchego, vinagrette $6
Nature's bounty served warm, dominus olive oil, grey salt $7
Rabbit confit, red cabbage, peach, chanterelle mushrooms $8
Duck, brussel sprout, black mission fig, pink pepper $16
Side of pork, peaches, capers, cucumber $15
Ribeye, really good potatoes, natural jus $17
Scallops, carrot, braised pistachio, black olive $17
Chicken, beet, eggplant, soy caramel $14
Lamb sirloin, chanterelle mushrooms, tomato, sesame $16
Tofu, delicious vegetables, caramelized onion broth, mustard seed $12
Yellowfin tuna, sweet corn, edamame, chorizo $16
Malted blueberry parfait, oat crumb, white chocolate $5
Roast fig, olive oil ice cream, chocolate cramb, candied pine nut, cucumber $6
Peanut butter mousse, chocolate, bacon, banana, crispy marshmallow, sherry $6
Chocolate goodness, ginger sorbet, hazelnut, sea salt $5
Sweet corn cheesecake, graham cracker, tarragon, pecan $6
I was first served an amuse bouche of small bits of scallop served over a corn puree. Subtle flavors.
I then had the sweetbreads appetizer, and they were absolutely divine. One of the things I observed with the sweetbreads, and this was true of pretty much all the dishes in the meal, is that those extra ingredients listed on the menu didn't really add much to the dishes. Some of the dishes had crumbles and crumbs ("nougatine") of something, others had a tiny smidgeon of something on the plate, but they really weren't affecting the taste of the dish. There was corn and blueberry and almond served next to the sweetbreads? Really? I don't remember them and I didn't notice them. (Was that tiny bit of yellow sauce corn?) But the sweetbreads were delicious indeed. And that's what matters.
Next I went with a second appetizer. I wanted to try the foie gras. I was expecting it to be sauteed and served hot, and instead, it was cold - served like a miniature stick of butter. It was okay, and I guess it was my mistake for assuming it would be sauteed. Oh well, my bad.
For the entrée, I went with the scallops. These were really excellent also. (I requested that they be "cooked through", and they were done perfectly.) One oddity about this dish was the small dots of black olive around the dish; scallops, along with the carrots and braised pistachio accompaniments, are all mild flavored foods, but olive is a very strong flavor, and risked overwhelming everything else on the plate. Fortunately, all those accompaniments were spread around the plate separately, so it was easy to eat the scallops (and carrots and nuts) and to avoid the olive.
For dessert, I asked about the "chocolate goodness" (it's a ganache, fairly dense) and decided to try the corn cheesecake. It was a "no bake" type cheesecake, with a very subtle corn flavor. It had a nice flavor and it was very light.
All in all, I liked Bloom. I thought the dishes were odd, in a way - usually because there was so much attention paid to tiny bits of accompaniment/garnish that didn't really have much impact on the taste of the dish. But the dishes themselves (the main item in each course) ranged from pretty good to spectacularly, sinfully good (in the case of the sweetbreads), and that's why I liked it. (Prices are also quite reasonable.)
Bloom opened in March, in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids. It's quite small (perhaps half a dozen small tables around its open kitchen), so I would advise calling ahead for reservations.
Note - they accept Visa/MasterCard but not American Express.
I rate Bloom "3 stars (out of 4) - Very Good (worth recommending to others)"
962 Cherry SE
Grand Rapids MI
Lunch Tue-Fri 11:30-2:00
Dinner Tue-Sat 5:00-10:30
(no website AFAIK)
I totally get a kick out of this place. The last time we were there we had "bacon and eggs with toast...in the form of a soup", basically poached egg in bacon broth with croutons...it was the highlight of the meal. The "Natures Bounty" of fresh changing seasonal vegetables is a must. The food is beautiful, well presented, oftentimes a bit odd, but always enjoyable with a sense of humor. They have a full bar now that they are downtown. Hopefully more people will step outside of the Chains and try some new!
I ate there last week as well, as was very impressed. We had:
bacon, egg, and toast, in the form of a soup...5
mussels, caramelized fennel, roast garlic, peas......8
veal sweetbreads, lentils, pickled radish, salted caramel........9
potato gnocchi "carbonara," bacon, black pepper, confit egg yolk
the food was fantastic, especially the gnocchi which were feather light, and as you can see from the prices of the starters, the prices are very reasonable. I'll definitely go back again on my next trip to GR.