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Grand Rapids

It takes two



Meet 5 of the city’s most creative couples

Amy and Erin Wilson, at Wealthy Theatre






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West Michigan Based. Nationally Recognized. As one of the largest full-service, independently owned insurance agencies in the Midwest, we offer employee benefits, risk management, and a single source solution for your benefits, HR, payroll, employer retirement plan consulting and compliance needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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oyster perpetual, cosmograph and daytona are trademarks.

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February 2014 / Vol. 51 / No. 02


FeAtUreS 34 / Creative couples Five local couples share each other’s compulsion to push the boundaries and live life a little differently. BY terrI FInch hAMILtOn

40 / Getting fit in 2014 Workout trends include highintensity interval training, bodyweight and TRX suspension training, functional fitness and personal training in small groups.



44 / Food + beer = a natural The second annual Cool Brews, Hot Eats, sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids, will feature special beer-and-food pairing menus at many restaurants around the city.

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S 4 \ February 2014

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FREE LEATHER UPGRADE* with purchase of any Stressless® seating or ottomans. Savings up to $500 per seat! February 7 - March 24 THE INNOVATORS OF COMFORT™

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contents February 2014 / Vol. 51 / No. 02

departments back & forth 8 / From the Editor

Food & Drink 46 / Dining Review: Marco New American Bistro

8 / Letters, social media and more

48 / Restaurant listings

10 / Contributors

51 / Nonna’s Café

Life & style 12 / Noteworthy items include Sip juice bottles, Festival of the Arts poster winner, Apsara Spa, Anne Pageau’s flasks and “Pocket Full of Dreams.”

52 / Pints of Interest: Beer month in Beer City 56 / Chef Profile: Austin Gresham at Butch’s Dry Dock 60 / Nosh & Sip: Wine-loving sweets

13 / Renee Austin Wedding


14 / Gail Lowe, long distance hiker

Near & far 66 / South Hill

16 / Link Love 18 / Living Local: International comfort food 20 / Reading Room: Susan Lovell

62 / HeFedSheFed: Unique treats for Valentine’s Day

Support the fight against heart disease in women by wearing red on Feb. 7, National Wear Red Day, and again on Feb. 27 at the Go Red For Women Luncheon.

Out & about 70 / February highlights 71 / Calendar 72 / Nightclub & comedy listings and highlights


76 / Museums & attractions listings and highlights 78 / Snapshots


104 / After Thoughts: Q&A with Janet Korn of Experience Grand Rapids

46 60 Art & Design 24 / Artist Profile: Rick and Brenda Beerhorst


J f r J f e D l f w f

27 / Art Talk: Robert Motherwell 28 / Art gallery listings and highlights 30 / Justagirl: Valentine’s project for parents 32 / Frame Works: Chateauesque style

On the cover: Amy and Erin Wilson are one of five local couples who share each other’s compulsion to push the boundaries and live life a little differently. Photography by Adam Bird.

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KEH 12

Four more ways to get a fresh perspective. We’re proud to announce that John Gardiner, Allison Sleight, Peter Kosydar and Stephen Staple have joined Kreis Enderle. Like all of our attorneys, they provide a fresh perspective that makes a difference in the lives of our clients. It’s a way of working that has enabled us to continue expanding all areas of our practice: Corporate & Business Planning, Real Estate and Environmental, Labor and Employment, Municipal, Tax, Banking, Estate & Probate and Family Law. | 1.800.535.4939

Kalamazoo • Grand Rapids • Battle Creek • St. Joseph

John D. Gardiner

Allison E. Sleight

Peter J. Kosydar, III

Stephen J. Staple

John graduated with his B.A. from Kalamazoo College and received his J.D. from St. John’s University. His primary focus is litigation, but his experience with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and local law firms, qualifies him for a variety of projects. John works primarily out of the firm’s Portage office.

Allison earned her B.A. at Michigan State University, B.A., and her J.D. at Valparaiso University magna cum laude. She specializes in family law including all aspects of divorce: business valuation, property settlement, custody, and support. She works primarily out of the firm’s Grand Rapids office.

Peter graduated with a BBA and Masters of Accountancy from the University of Oklahoma, magna cum laude, and earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame. His practice focuses on business law, estate planning, and transactional issues. Peter works primarily out of the firm’s Portage office.

Stephen received his B.S. from the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University, magna cum laude and his J.D. from Michigan State University, summa cum laude. His practice focuses on real estate, estate planning, elder law, and general transactional matters. Stephen works primarily out of the firm’s Battle Creek Office.

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back & forth CONNECT WITH US

Get your games on


Carole Valade Editor, Grand Rapids Magazine


What will you do for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? “Dinner for two at Mangiamo! The low lighting. The live piano. It’s all so perfectly romantic!”

“Flying out to Oregon for a week to see my lady! Camping, running a race, etc.” – Joshua Odekirk

“Make him one perfectly shaken martini … maybe two.”

Staff suggestion: Consider a Chocolate Club membership at The Local Epicurean’s new Chocolate Lounge, 111 S. Division Ave. $50 buys a year full of chocoholic goodies. See Facebook.

– Diana Nowak

“Staying in and watching Season 2 of ‘House of Cards’ on Netflix.” – Amanda Brunzell

– Jill Raby

“I always write him a love letter or a poem and craft a painting or drawing. We will go out to dinner or he will make it for me! I will have a chocolate martini at dinner.” — Karah Bradshaw THIS MONTH’S ONLINE QUESTION:

Who makes you laugh?


Join Managing Editor Marty Primeau at 9:45 a.m. Thursdays as she presents City Beat with Shelley Irwin on WGVU Radio FM 88.5 and 95.3.

IT’S ANOTHER FIRST for Grand Rapids, and it is not likely to be the last: Meijer State Games of Michigan — Winter Games. Modeled on its successful summer games, the West Michigan Sports Commission has orchestrated a myriad of events in various locations for Feb. 14-16 with the sponsorship of Meijer Inc., “headquartered” at Cannonsburg Ski and Ride Area. Participants of all ages and abilities from across Michigan join together in events purposefully designed to replicate the Winter Olympics. Those who have participated in the summer games attest to the reality factor. That’s likely to be reinforced as the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, begin Feb. 7 and conclude Feb. 23.

In addition to the anticipated winter-related events — skiing/snowboarding, snowshoe/trail runs, speed skating, hockey and even snowball softball — during the state games, the sports lineup will include indoor BMX racing, bowling, wrestling and racquetball, among others. The frigid temperatures this winter give participants a reason to work up a little sports sweat, but even those of us who prefer the cheering section have ample opportunity to turn up the heat as event volunteers — and hospitable Grand Rapidians. Get your game on! Foodies in this city also may have special reason to celebrate another New Year this month, selecting among the increasingly diverse “Asian” restaurants. The Chinese New Year is celebrated Jan. 31 as the beginning of a festival spanning 15 days to the Lantern Festival Feb. 14 (a date even for non-foodies to celebrate). Wikipedia notes the Chinese New Year is a version of the East Asian New Year, and also is the Spring Festival. (That’s a warm thought for February revelers.) Grand Rapids Magazine staff is witnessing the big increase in sushi lovers among foodies, based on reader polls and restaurant reporting. February is notable for at least one more thought: We’re half way to the season of water sports!


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contributors BEHIND THE SCENES


imagine it.




create it. 2/ 3/








How I’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day: Bake a heartshaped cake with pink frosting, just like my mom always did. Exchange homemade valentines with my family. Tell my husband I’m glad he’s mine. Stay in where it’s warm. My favorite local brew: Don’t have one. Call me when they make one that tastes like Sangria. I’m surviving winter by: Turning my electric blanket on high.

How I’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day: Buy a box of children’s valentines and leave them in odd places for strangers. My favorite local brew: New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk. First tried it for the name. Love it because of the ABV (10 percent). I’m surviving winter by: Always wearing two pairs of socks.



“THRIVING AMIDST ITS CHALLENGES,” page 66 How I’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day: Tucked away in a cottage with roommates from college, complete with our babies, pets and husbands. My favorite local brew: Farmhand by Brewery Vivant. I’m surviving winter by: Cranking up the heat to keep our 6-month-old daughter warm. And, of course, lots of cuddling.

Custom Cabinetry & Furniture

616.956.3070 We’re all ears … tell us what you like or dislike in this issue. Please include your name, address and daytime phone number. Send to Editor, Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or email to Letters may be edited for reaFollow us Visit us Like us on @grmagazine sons of space and clarity. Facebook 10 GRMAG.COM \ FEBRUARY 2014

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Covering Grand Rapids Since 1964

PUBLISHER: John H. Zwarensteyn


Ira Craaven, Pat Evans, DK Hamilton, Elissa Hillary, Mark F. Miller, Amy Ruis

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Julie Burch, Chris Carey,

Alexandra Fluegel, Juliet and Jeremy Johnson, Daina Kraai, Tricia van Zelst

DESIGN PANEL: Joseph A. Becherer, John Berry,

Kevin Budelmann, Jim Caughman, Timothy Chester, Sam Cummings, Oliver Evans, James Ludwig, Ray Kennedy, Henry Matthews, Wayne Norlin, Wayne Visbeen


Scott Sommerfeld


Chris Pastotnik


Melissa Brooks, Kristen Van Oostenbrugge, Robin Vargo CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS:

Adam Bird, Michael Buck, Jim Gebben, Johnny Quirin SALES GENERAL SALES MANAGER:

Randy D. Prichard


General Inquiries: Emily Bernath, Theresa Henk, Kathie Manett, John Olsa ADVERTISING SALES ASSISTANT/COORDINATOR:

Karla Jeltema


Scott T. Miller


Alex Fluegel


Shane Chapin



Pamela Brocato, CPA


General Inquiries: Lorraine Brugger


(616) 459-4545

Grand Rapids Magazine (ISSN 1055-5145) is published monthly by Gemini Publications, a division of Gemini Corporation. Publishing offices: 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444. Telephone (616) 4594545; fax (616) 459-4800. General e-mail: grminfo@grmag. com. General editorial inquiries: Periodical postage paid at Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright Š 2014 by Gemini Publications. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444. Subscription rates: one year $24, two years $34, three years $44, in continental U.S.; Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and U.S. possessions, one year $35. Subscriptions are not retroactive; single issue and newsstand $3.95 (by mail $6); back issue $6 (by mail $7.50), when available. Advertising rates and specifications at or by request. Grand Rapids Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions.

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noteworthy interesting tidbits we thought you should know

Think summer

It’s always happy tidings when the annual Festival of the Arts poster is revealed — it means summer can’t be too far off. This year, organizers chose a design by Dana Ziebarth, an artist who has been involved with the downtown event since it began 45 years ago. Her 2014 poster features vibrant watercolors to evoke the spirit of Festival, happening June 6-8.

Hit the bottle Fans of Sip Organic drinks can now buy ’em in bottles. The nutritional juices are chock full of veggies and fruits, like this red one with beet, pineapple, cucumber, lemon and ginger. The 16-ounce bottles sell for $10 at both Sip locations, 6770 Old 28th St. and 423 Norwood SE. Visit

For the happy hour enthusiast in your life Looking for a clever Valentine’s Day gift? Consider a flask created by Anne Pageau, a Hollandbased graphic designer. The flasks are printed and finished in Holland and available for $16 at 6.25 Paper Studio, 40 Monroe Center; Blacklamb at 949 Cherry St. SE; or Frances Jaye, 50 Eighth St. in Holland. Visit

Treat yourself If you’re feeling ravaged by winter (who isn’t?), head to Apsara Spa in Eastown where Feme Naigow provides soothing body and facial treatments. She’s also carrying kai products (one of Oprah’s faves), including a body buffer — a large soft sponge infused with coconut and olive oil to cleanse,

Inspiring kids Local finance executive David B. Burch wants kids to believe in themselves. He has written an inspirational memoir recounting his childhood of poverty and abuse and how he was able to rise above it. Burch and his wife, Joan, are making appearances around the state, reaching out to troubled kids with a message: “Even if you start in a bad place, you can better yourself and do well in life.” The self-published memoir can be purchased at Schuler Books and Baker Book House. For info, visit

exfoliate and moisturize skin. Located at 1514 Wealthy St. SE next door to Capelli Salon. Facebook.

Photography courtesy(clockwise from top left) Sip Organic Juice Bar; Festival of the Arts; Anne Pageau; kai fragrance; David B Burch/ book cover photo courtesy Joseph Naimo

Juice Bar’s healthy

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It’s about more than ‘the dress’

“This business is so personal to me. It’s not just about the dress; it’s about the whole experience. Brides like that we’re a one-stop shop.” — Maggie Feil

The full-service salon also carries bridesmaid and prom dresses, bridal accessories, change-out and rehearsal dresses, plus gowns for mothers and tuxedo rentals for the guys. Wedding gown brands include Anaiss, Anjolique, WTOO, Sottero & Midgley and Casablanca Couture. Feil and her sales consultants, who don’t work on commission and have been with her from the beginning, enjoy indulging customers. They focus on personalized service, only booking three appointments at a time and making brides feel special. “This business is so personal to me,” she said. “It’s not just about the dress; it’s about the whole experience. Brides like that we’re a one-stop shop.” Feil does all the buying, paying attention to what looks good on the runway, and only carries dresses from a designer’s current collection and best sellers. Dresses range from $800 to $4,300, with the average around $1,300. Dresses that don’t sell are donated to The Brides Project in Ann Arbor and resold to benefit families touched by cancer. A native of Roscommon, Feil studied marketing and sales at Grand Valley State University and lived on the west side of Grand Rapids while in college. She likes the shop’s west-side location, but said Renee Austin may eventually outgrow its current space. Still a newlywed and now expecting a baby, Feil said the early years of business were challenging and she was blessed to have the support of her parents, her thenboyfriend and her employees. “It feels so good that we’re nearly five years in,” she said. “Being so young, I dove right in.” For more information, visit renee or reneeaustinprom. — Marla R. Miller com.

Photography by Michael Buck

Photography courtesy(clockwise from top left) Sip Organic Juice Bar; Festival of the Arts; Anne Pageau; kai fragrance; David B Burch/ book cover photo courtesy Joseph Naimo

At age 22, Maggie Feil decided to chase a dream. The result is Renee Austin Wedding, a chic bridal boutique opened in 2009 at 442 Bridge St. NW featuring the latest designs in bridal couture. “I’ve always loved weddings,” said Feil, who got married last July. “Finding your wedding dress is the happiest time. I love the fashion of it all, too.” Wedding dresses — some with vintage lace and tight bodices, others strapless, elegant ball gowns — take center stage in the front of the store and in the shop’s window display. Located in a historic building, Feil’s boutique has an inviting atmosphere, with relaxing music, soft chandelier lighting and comfortable seating for brides-to-be and their shopping entourages.

February 2014 / 13

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“One day a voice went off in my head — ‘If you were to die tomorrow, what do you wish you had done?’” Her answer: “I wish I would have taken a nice long walk.” So she did.

Long-distance hiking isn’t for wimps. Just ask Gail Lowe, a 64-year-old Lowell woman who has twice walked the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail, as well as trekking the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. “People tend to think of distance hiking as frolicking with deer and singing ‘Kumbaya’ by the campfire,” she said. “Not so. You suffer and you cry.” Now Lowe is preparing to walk the 4,600-mile North Country Trail from New York to North Dakota, attempting to be the first woman to complete the hike in one season. “I lost my daughter to cancer last May,” she said. “Her greatest fear was that she’d be forgotten. I’m doing this for her. As long as I am remembered, she’ll be remembered.” It won’t be easy, but Lowe — a self-proclaimed “badass” — has had plenty of experience. She likes to point out that only 25 percent of hikers who start the Appalachian Trail actually finish. Most quit within the first 20 miles. Not Lowe, who first completed the trail in 1991 and returned 20 years later to hike it again. She’s had many memorable experiences. “I was struck by lightning. I had Achilles tendinitis. I got deathly ill in Pennsylvania and had gall bladder surgery. After surgery, I was housed in a log cabin for two weeks and then I finished the trail.” Lowe’s decision to hike dates back to her years as a respiratory therapist and intensive care nurse. “I saw people my age and younger dying or becoming ill,” she said. “One day a voice went off in my head — ‘If you were to die tomorrow, what do you wish you had done?’” Her answer: “I wish I would have taken a nice long walk.” So she did. As she gets older, Lowe said it’s harder to stay in shape for such grueling hikes. “I’m at the point where there’s never a time when I’m not in training.” Most days she straps on a 10-pound waist belt as well as ankle and wrist weights just to do everyday chores.

“I walk trails around here. I did 24 miles of the North Country Trail that goes through my backyard into Fallasburg Park.” On her first Appalachian trek, her backpack weighed 75 pounds — more than 50 percent of her body weight. She’s pared it down to a reasonable 26 pounds. “Part of that is that the gear has improved,” she said. “And I’ve gotten better at hiking.” Lowe is also mentally prepared. “When I did my first hike, I looked at my watch every five minutes. Now I never look at my watch. I don’t worry about what’s ahead. I hike from crack of dawn to evening and I’m very accepting of what the trail brings me.” Follow Lowe at backpackinghiking — Marty Primeau

Photography courtesy Gail Lowe

A nice long walk

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Photography courtesy Gail Lowe

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Love homemade sausage? You’re not alone seasons. In summer she incorporates Michigan cherries for a surprisingly sweet creation. In the fall, she opts for such ingredients as Gouda and apples. There are some varieties that have become instant hits, like the kalamata olive and feta blend. “It’s got a pretty strong following, and you just can’t find it anywhere else,” says Fauson, who sells her links at Fulton Street Farmers Market, Downtown Market GR and through the West Michigan Co-Op.

Sweet Onion & Fennel Sausage and Mushrooms with Parmesan Polenta 1 pound Link Love Sweet Onion & Fennel Sausage 3/4 cup chopped onion 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced 2 large cloves of garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained 2 1/2 cups fat-free lower-sodium chicken broth 1 cup water 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 cup uncooked polenta 8 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded 1 tablespoon butter Preparation: 1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook until done. Set aside. 2. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the pan. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add in 1/8 tsp. salt and tomatoes. Slice the sausage and return to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Other popular selections include a traditional hot Italian sausage, and for those looking to step outside the box, a sweet onion and fennel variety. For more info, visit — Alexandra Fluegel

3. Bring broth, water and cream to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add polenta, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/8 tsp. salt, Parmesan cheese and butter. Serve with sausage mixture.

Photography by Michael Buck

Kristen Fauson’s affinity for artisanal sausage began while living in Washington, D.C. Now the entrepreneur has launched Link Love and is bringing “crazy-flavored” meat treats to local markets. “I’ve always been passionate about my local food scene,” says Fauson, who moved to Grand Rapids in 2010. She spent 16 years in the nation’s capital working for the U.S. Agency for International Development and in defense contracting, and when she wasn’t managing contracts eliminating missiles in Ukraine, she was a regular at local food markets. Each week, she would purchase a new variety of sausage and create exciting dishes. Once she landed in West Michigan, she was sad to see there weren’t many options for unique pork links. So Fauson decided to make her own. “I started doing some research and quickly realized you couldn’t just make meat products out of your home,” she recalls with a laugh. She knew she needed a commercial kitchen, and it just so happened another culinary-focused startup was emerging at the same time. Enter Uptown Kitchen, the community kitchen in Eastown that opened its doors in February 2012. Fauson’s Link Love was among the first occupants of the culinary incubator and she embraced Uptown’s emphasis on locally sourced and highquality ingredients. “I wanted to make sure I was getting pork from farms that raised their pigs in a humane and ethical way,” she said. She creates her sausages from whole cuts of pork, instead of the typical trim cuts many companies use. “That way I know there’s nothing going into the sausage that I don’t like,” she said. Fauson gets all of her product from Heffron Farms in Belding. Her inventory rotates with the 16 \ February 2014

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Health & Fitness Destination Fitness | Group Exercise | Aquatics | Basketball | Tennis | Kid’s Area

Best of

Photography by Michael Buck

2013-14 Readers Poll

Grand Rapids Downtown GR Holland Rockford GRM_02.14_PG14.23.indd 17

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International comfort food

elissa hillary is executive director of Local First, a nonprofit organization supporting locally owned businesses in West Michigan.

Little Africa, located at 956 E. Fulton St., is my favorite takeout restaurant for those times when we don’t have time to cook.

Lemiem Gebrehens mixes up some comfort food in the kitchen at Little Africa. One of the restaurant’s popular dishes is a platter with cabbage, carrots, potatoes, lentils, beets, chickpea flour, collard greens, soybeans, split peas and squash served with flat bread.

dishes at home. There’s nothing quite like the rich aroma of palek paneer or butternut squash curry to warm up your house. While West Michigan is home to some of the largest supermarket chains in the country, it is also chock full of great, family-owned grocery stores. Many of these specialize in specific types of cuisine and carry products you won’t find at their larger counterparts. Here are a two of my favorites: mediterranean island: This international market, 4301 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, is our go-to destination for injera — a flat African bread used to scoop stews — baked right in Grand

Rapids. The market carries a wide variety of Middle Eastern pantry staples including grains, beans, lentils and spices. You can also find meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and hard-tofind ingredients from all over the world. supermercado mexico: Last spring, I came back from a trip to Costa Rica with a newfound love for Costa Rican sour cream (it has a creamier, cheesier flavor). Supermercado Mexico carries the closest version I’ve found. In addition, the market stocks a wide variety of fresh meats, vegetables, spices and traditional Mexican baked goods at its two locations: 3355 S. Division Ave. and 1160 Chicago Drive SE. The latter includes a restaurant where you can enjoy homemade food before or after you shop. There are so many ways to discover West Michigan, but one of my favorites is through my taste buds. I love that we have so many exciting local treasures here that reflect the cultures of our neighbors and friends. The next time you find you’re wishing for warmer weather, I suggest taking your taste buds on an international — eliSSA HillAry culinary adventure.

PhotoGraPhy By Johnny Quirin

living local

February is a beautiFul month in Michigan, but typically a cold and dark one. It’s the time of year when I prematurely yearn for the snow to melt and the earth to begin to sprout with new life. Unfortunately, there’s still some time before that begins. So instead of feeling blue, I try to make the best of the season by enjoying some active time outdoors and then heading inside to cook up my own little bit of sunshine — which often means a delicious Indian curry or a Moroccan stew. These are not the comfort foods of my childhood. I grew up eating a blend of authentic northern Italian cuisine, from-scratch soups and roasts, circa 1970’s casseroles, and Americanized versions of stir-fry and Mexican food. My mother is a good cook, but the complex spiciness of African and Asian flavors are not in her repertoire. As my tastes have evolved, I’ve learned to enjoy food from all corners of the world. And, while my husband and I enjoy going out to eat, on a cold winter Saturday you’d be likely to find us stopping by a couple of ethnic grocery stores and then attempting to replicate our favorite

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Photography by Johnny Quirin

Custom Classics Collection by Bassett oers your choice of fabrics, arm styles, cushioning and leg options

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“My mother was alcoholic. She was bright, talented and athletic — and she left when I was 7. That loss permeated my life.” — Susan Lovell

“The Sandpiper” A fictional family deals with loss and alcoholism.

Reading Room

Susan Brace Lovell likes to write. “It’s my avocation,’ said the Grand Rapids woman who has published four local history books and admits she has several novels stashed on her computer. She even blogged for Huffington Post. “It’s what I do instead of crafts,” she added with a chuckle. Her most recent project is “The Sandpiper,” a novel published last year about a family dealing with addiction — something she understands very well. “My mother was alcoholic. She was bright, talented and athletic — and she left when I was 7. That loss permeated my life.” Add to that the burden of being the child of divorced parents in the small town of Greenville in the 1950s. “Back then, nobody got divorced,” Lovell said. “It was a huge stigma. People never acknowledged it. I just wish someone had said, ‘Sorry your parents got divorced.’ I knew how Hester Prynne felt.”

Lovell addresses those tough issues in “The Sandpiper.” The three main characters, a widowed mother and her two grown daughters, live in a white-shingled cottage on Lake Michigan in a fictional town. The sisters — one alcoholic and one seemingly perfect — share a dark secret and struggle toward forgiveness and healing. While Lovell borrows from personal experiences, she emphasized that the book is “totally fiction” and not based on her family. She and her husband, Dr. F. Raymer Lovell Jr., have two daughters, one son and six grandchildren. “I do understand sibling relationships,” Lovell said, “but the sisters in the book are not my daughters.” A graduate of the University of Michigan, Lovell taught high school and college and, in 1975, she co-founded Cadence, a weekly newspaper that started in East

Grand Rapids. She serves as a consultant to The Wege Foundation and sits on the Grand Rapids Salvation Army’s advisory board. A portion of proceeds from “The Sandpiper” are donated to the Salvation Army’s Turning Point rehabilitation center. Lovell said her next project is a sequel to “The Sandpiper.” “The way the novel ended, everything wasn’t resolved. So I picked up the story four years later.” She enjoys creating characters who “come alive in my head. It’s like they are real people. And in a novel, that’s how it’s supposed to be.”

— Marty Primeau

Photography by Johnny Quirin (top left); Courtesy Getty images (top right)

A novel about addiction

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Photography by Johnny Quirin (top left); Courtesy Getty images (top right)

We Like Your Style!

35th Annual

West Michigan

Surprises around every corner will inspire you at the West Michigan Home & Garden Show!

Unique ideas, innovative solutions and expert information is what you will find this winter at the West Michigan Home & Garden Show at DeVos Place. You’ll be able to shop for home products and services, including remodeling, new construction and interior design. Enjoy magnificent gardens, landscaping and retail garden centers. Free seminars on the Garden Stage, Home Stage & Cooking Stage! Buy your tickets online and receive a BONUS subscription to Better Homes & Gardens Magazine with your purchase!

• Garden Stage features Melinda Myers from “Birds & Blooms” Magazine • Huge Feature Garden by the Association of Grand Rapids Landscape Professionals • 12 Fantastic Gardens • Standard Kitchens Cooking Stage with Chef Angus Campbell


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SHOW HOURS Thursday 3-9pm, Friday 12noon-9:30pm, Saturday 10-9pm, Sunday 11-6pm Follow us on Facebook!

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Almassian Jewelers SHOWCASE


1144 East Paris Ave. PHONE/WEB



THERE ARE FEW THINGS in life as personal as your jewelry. It’s not only an expression of yourself, but also an enduring symbol of something really special. Could there be anything more romantic than a custom-designed engagement ring that captures the spirit of your love? Or how about celebrating yourself by redesigning an older or inherited piece to reflect your own individual style? Almassian Jewelers can do all that and more. Owners Trent and Shannon Almassian, along with their friendly and knowledgeable staff, offer the kind of personal attention and ongoing customer-focused service that make them the perfect choice when selecting your own personal jeweler. Both Almassians are Graduate Gemologists from the Gemological Institute of America, and Trent is also a Graduate Jeweler. As his family’s third-generation in the business, his well-established reputation with suppliers afford him the opportunity to offer only the most exceptional of diamonds at terrific prices. The couple opened their store at 1144 East Paris Avenue in 2006. Since then, their creative designs and evident passion for the jewelry business have become well known across West Michigan. Their

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Owners Trent and Shannon Almassian Photo by: Michael Buck

store is a member of the American Gem Society, a designation reserved for only the top five-percent of jewelers in North America. It assures that the staff at Almassian Jewelers maintains their position on the cutting edge of contemporary design trends and the latest gemstone treatments. In addition to their remarkable custom design capabilities, they also carry exclusive bridal designer lines such as Simon G., Zeghani, American Jewelry Design and many more. “Creating a unique design is a very hands-on process,” Trent explained. “We work closely with our clients to develop a design meant just for them and their lifestyle.” Almassian’s master craftsmen create everything utilizing the latest CAD technology, making it easy for clients to stay involved throughout the process. “Our clients are often pleasantly surprised to discover that the cost of a custom-created piece of jewelry or engagement ring is more affordable than they expected. In fact, prices are typically similar to many of our stock selections.” Stop by Almassian Jewelers and discover the difference of a truly personal jeweler.

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Tom Lias


2320 28th Street SE PHONE/WEB



FOR OVER 70 YEARS, Gorman’s has been helping Michigan homeowners create those special spaces where memories are made. This premier Michigan-based home furnishings company offers everything needed to help you set an ideal scene for your own memories to come. Their beautiful Grand Rapids showroom on 28th Street (just west of Breton) offers a comprehensive selection of 100 quality furniture name brands, with something to perfectly suit every lifestyle, budget and fashion flair. Covering the gamut from contemporary to traditional, Gorman’s offers limitless options and furniture solutions to fit the way you and your family live. Best of all, you can rely on the expertise of Gorman’s friendly and talented designers to help create your own special look. They’ll find exactly what it takes to realize your vision. “We’ve been fortunate to garner some of the best interior design talent in Grand Rapids,” noted Gorman’s co-owner and president, Tom Lias, adding that their design services are complimentary. Customers also benefit from the fact that the entire Grand Rapids staff brings years of experience to the Gorman’s team. Each is well seasoned in the local furniture industry and together offer a complete design resource for all of your interior projects. Their extensive selection includes everything from furnishings, window treatments, fabrics and lighting, to wood and stone flooring, custom and oriental rugs and stylish decorating accessories that infuse any room with character and charm Leading Michigan in fashion, style and design, Gorman’s buyers scour the globe to bring the finest selection of the latest styles

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Left to Right: Jim Miller, Yvonne Wiggenhagen, Duane Petroskey and Teri Gabriel Photo by: Michael Buck

and hottest home furnishings trends to the Grand Rapids’ market. They understand that people have different needs at different times in their lives – or even for different rooms in their home – so their collections are carefully chosen to address those needs. Just as important is ensuring an excellent value. And because customer satisfaction is what Gorman’s is all about, their unparalleled selection and incredible price range is all backed by their “Must be Right” policy and their “National Low Price” guarantee, making Gorman’s accessible to everyone. Whether you seek exquisite custom furnishings, are starting out or starting over, you’ll find it at Gorman’s. Visit their showroom or

12/27/13 10:46 AM


Living life as artists Two artists in a relationship can be a blueprint for a life of tumult, but as the Beerhorsts recount their story, it’s clear they share much more than a love of art.

Photography by michael buck


hen artists Brenda and Rick Beerhorst met in the early ’80s, it wasn’t love at first sight. “I asked you to dance, didn’t I?” Brenda asks her husband, recalling the details of a fated evening at a punk rock show hosted at a hall on Grand Rapids’ northwest side. It’s a chilly afternoon in December, and the couple rests on opposite ends of a small sofa in their living room. Their home is an artists’ haven, with artwork lining the walls, resting on shelves and filling all the empty spaces. “She asked me to dance,” Rick says, picking up the story. “I danced with her — one dance. There really wasn’t a lasting impression.” “Nope, not really,” Brenda agrees and they laugh. It isn’t hard to imagine them at a punk rock show; they still have an air of antiestablishment about them, though now it seems channeled, smart and strategic. The two art school graduates — Rick by way of Calvin College and the University of Illinois, and Brenda, an alumna of Aquinas College — said they were determined not to become academics. “We wanted to live life as artists,” Rick says. And they have. Their home in Grand Rapids’ Midtown neighbohood has become a hub for creative endeavors, ranging from family art shows and living room concerts to beekeeping and urban gardening. “In a lot of ways, we’re like everybody else, but in other ways, our life is so different in that we don’t go to a job, the kids don’t go to school. We’ve created this whole different culture,” he says. “So then the challenge is communicating what happens here.” The short answer to that is: everything. Rick describes growing up in Kentwood with a dad who was always running off to “a place called the office.” “It was like being an orphan with par-

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Photography by michael buck

Photography by michael buck

“Tangled” by Scott Carey

ents — that’s how it felt,” he says. “We did the opposite,” Brenda explains. “Most of the time, we are here. The kids are here. Everything happens in the home.” Their children have been educated through “un-schooling,” a method of unstructured learning centered on experiences and personal interests. “That was the learning philosophy: learn by actually doing. It’s as if we were a circus family — the kids would learn trapeze — or watchmakers in Amsterdam — the kids learn by cleaning watches. That old-school way,” Rick describes. So much togetherness hasn’t always been easy. “It wasn’t perfect. It created its own problems, especially in Michigan with Michigan winters. Isolation would happen. So we would do different things like potluck dinners and house concerts. It was like, ‘How do we break it up? How do we keep from getting cabin fever and killing each other?” Rick says. In addition to hosting events, they have welcomed a variety of “creative types” in their carriage house as boarders. “We really like to encourage people to live creative lives. We’ve lived an alternative lifestyle, and we hope to help people think about it and consider it for themselves,” says Brenda. “Artists are — it’s a tough thing, you’re very sensitive, usually, and that’s what

makes you an artist, but with that sensitivity, the world can be a really hard place. It’s really easy to get your fenders dented and they get dented enough where you start to retract,” Rick says. “We opened the house a lot. We’re like mentors — we’ve always been. We ask them, ‘What is it you really want to do? OK, let’s find a way to make that financially sustainable.” Though the couple champions the

Tu-Fr 10-5 Sat 12-4 616-459-5075 820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids February 2014 / 25

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art & design

“In a lot of ways, we’re like everybody else, but in other ways, our life is so different in that we don’t go to a job, the kids don’t go to school. We’ve created this whole different culture.” — Rick Beerhorst

entrepreneurial spirit, they also emphasize the value of living frugally. “We learned right away to keep our budget low,” says Brenda. From growing their own food to not owning a car, the family has found ways to avoid the sky-high costs associated with the typical American lifestyle. They’ve also learned the value of relationships and community. “Our lifestyle is very relational. That’s the thing about living frugally; it causes this interdependence. We don’t need to make it all happen on our own,” Rick says. Outside the home, a colorful buggy rests in the driveway, adorned with up-cycled license plates, stop signs and other found items and repurposed materials: the “Wonder Wagon.” Originally created for the inaugural year of ArtPrize, it now serves as a mobile art show and one of the many visual indicators of the “different” things happening at the house. At first glance, it seems an idealistic bohemian life, but both Rick and Brenda agree it has been a long, difficult journey. “The test is when the money dries up. You go through your cushion

and there’s no cushion left, and then it’s scary because the bills don’t stop coming at you,” Rick says. “And those are the times when the rubber really hits the road. We talk about it, but how do we really make this work?” They recount tales of wondering how they would pay their mortgage, how they would provide for their children, and as they take turns telling each story, an unwavering fearlessness seeps out, something they attribute to a strong faith in God. “There have definitely been times where we’ve worried about how things were going to work out,” Brenda says. Rick chimes in, “Where you just get to the breaking point.” “Sometimes it’s very difficult because you have to wait longer than you think for things to happen, but we still maintain our faith and we really believe that God will come through,” Brenda adds. “And then the cavalry comes over the hill,” Rick finishes. The couple prays together daily and says it has been their faith that has seen them through their most terrifying moments, not only in their professional lives, but in their relationship as well. “There were ups and downs; it wasn’t all roses,” says Rick. The couple has been married for 26 years. “We’re both emotional, excitable, and that has created a challenge, but it hasn’t been insurmountable,” Rick says. There’s a quiet understanding, a joint vision that expresses itself through their words, in the glances they exchange as they finish one another’s sentences, and by the life they have created — together. — Alexandra Fluegel

Photography by michael buck


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American avant-garde



rOberT MOTHerWeLL (1915-1991) is one of America’s pioneering artists of the 20th century. As painter and printmaker, he became a leading figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement that included painters Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock and the sculptor David Smith — some of whom were close personal friends. In addition, Motherwell was an influential teacher. Raised in California, he is most closely

Such contrasts give visual energy to the work, but what makes the image pulsate are the bold contrasts in paint and painting techniques. While the large black form is rich and matte, most of the painting’s surfaces are built up of noticeable layers of paint in much lighter, spring-like colors. Considered among the most intellectual of the Abstract Expressionists, Motherwell and his ground-breaking peers were influenced by Surrealism and the notion of “automatic painting” that encouraged the role of the subconscious and direct action. The work of French master Henri Matisse also loomed over Motherwell’s work. In many ways the large organic form featured in “Black Figuration on Blue” and many of his color choices pay homage to Matisse. Although Motherwell’s career was long and prolific, his works of the early 1950s are among his most critically acclaimed and helped establish him as one of the nation’s pre-eminent artists. He exhibited his work While the large black form is rich and matte, most across America and became of the painting’s surfaces are built up of noticeable a sought-after teacher. layers of paint in much lighter, spring-like colors. In turn, he became one of the most articulate ambassadors for the Ameriassociated with the broadly titled New York can avant-garde. Together with his Abstract School of avant-garde artists, poets and musiExpressionist colleagues, Motherwell gave the cians who were central to the development of nation its first truly original artistic movement contemporary art in the 1950s and 1960s. and helped to establish New York as the epi“Black Figuration on Blue” (1950), in the center of the art world. permanent collection of the Grand Rapids Art After enjoying this work at GRAM, take in Museum, is an iconic work for both the artist the stunning temporary exhibition of contemand the museum. porary art from the Emily Fischer Landau ColThe image is dominated by a large, organic lection, on display through April 27. — JOSePH A. BeCHerer form that, in abstract terms, seems to emulate the shape of a flower or plant. Painted a dense and sultry black, the form and boldly curving contours contrast with the overall shape of the painting as well as the numerous linear and rectilinear elements.

art talk Joseph A. Becherer is curator of sculpture at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and a professor at Aquinas College.

THINGS TO CONSIDer: > Take a few steps back from the painting. Notice how the linear and rectilinear elements work with the rounded and organic shape of the large black object.

> Compare and contrast the different approaches and kind of paints Motherwell utilized. Note areas that are dense and matte versus those that are more layered and lush. > Notice the areas of white in the painting and how they enliven the work. Imagine how the painting would be different without the white. > Compare and contrast the Motherwell painting with the large work “Ingleside” by Richard Diebenkorn nearby.

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Local art galleries

side residents. 48 S. Division Ave., 235-7211, ext. 103, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts: See Museums & Attractions.

1/ uICa: Through Feb. 23, Parallel: The Artwork of Sarah Knill, a Kendall College of Art and Design alumna and instructor whose work centers around the exploration of disparate elements. Through Feb. 16, ZERO+ by Tom Duimstra, and Mary Ann Aitken: A Retrospective 1983-2011. 2 W. Fulton St., 459-7000, 2/ Terryberry GaLLery: There’s lots of life on Grand Rapids’ west side and lots of ways to tell it. Westside Stories IV brings together artists Cheri McClain-Beatty, Ben Beltman, Karen Thoms, Don Thoms, Roniell Kirkendall and Shawn 1/ “Microscope 8” by Kendall College instructor Sarah Knill is on display Melton to showcase expresat UICA. sions of the land west of the river. Artist reception 5:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 7; exhibition runs through Feb. 28. 24 Ransom Ave. NE, 459-2224, 3/ FOreST HILLS FINe arTS CeNTer: Feb. 5-26 (artist reception 6-7 p.m. Feb. 13), work by artist-in-residence Jack Hillman. Over his 40-year career, Hillman has become the full-time creator of kinetic metal sculptures he describes as “clean-lined contemporary precision touched with joy and fascination.” 600 Forest Hill Ave. SE, 493-8965,

106 Gallery and Studio: Calvin College-run gallery in Heartside features student and local artists’ work. 106 S. Division Ave., artgallery/studio. Art Gallery 318: Fine art by Kathleen Mooney; open by appointment and during regular open houses. 318 E. Main St., Lowell, 890-1879, face Aquinas College Gallery: Gallery hosts variety of work from students, faculty and visiting artists. Thru Feb. 14, visiting artists Marc Travanti and Margaret Clark. Art & Music Building, 1607 Robinson Road SE, aquinascoll

Con Artist Crew: Art collective and gallery. 1111 Godfrey SW, North Building, No. 198, Craft House: Collaborative art and discussion space. Avenue for the Arts First Fridays location. Feb. 7, open studio beginning at 6 p.m. 40 S. Division Ave., and Facebook. Flat River Gallery: Co-op of local and national artists; framing available. 219 W. Main St., Lowell, 987-6737, Gallery 154: Multi-media art, gifts,

jewelry. 1456 Lake Drive SE, 4542154, Gaspard Gallery: Artist-operated contemporary gallery. 235 S. Division Ave., 401-7533, Grand Rapids Art Museum: See Museums & Attractions. GVSU Art Gallery: Exhibits in support of interdisciplinary goals of the university. 1121 Performing Arts Center, Allendale campus. 331-2563. Heartside Gallery: Folk, outsider and intuitive art by self-taught Heart-

Kendall College of Art and Design: Four galleries display work by students, staff and visiting artists. Thru Feb. 15: Crossing the Rubicon: Contemporary Animation & Storytelling. Also, Illustrators 55: Annual Traveling Exhibition from the Society of Illustrators. Galleries are in the Fountain Street Building and at Fed Galleries, 17 Pearl St. NW. LaFontsee Galleries: Sculpture and paintings by gallery artists. Two locations: 150 Center St., Douglas (closed for season, hours by appointment), and 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, which includes Urban Craft Boutique. 451-9820, LowellArts! King Gallery: Community gallery with seven rotating exhibits throughout year. 149 S. Hudson, Lowell, 897-8545, MercuryHead Gallery: Local art plus gifts and framing. 962 E. Fulton St., 456-6022, Facebook. Muskegon Museum of Art: See Museums & Attractions. Nice Gallery: Artist-run gallery features contemporary artwork. 1111 Godfrey Ave. SW, No. 4C, 284-1771, Perception Gallery: Fine art gallery also offers home décor, art restoration and appraisal services. 210 E. Fulton St., 451-2393. Richard App Gallery: Fine art from local and U.S. artists. 910 Cherry St. SE, 458-4226, therichardappgallery. Sanctuary Folk Art: Displays and sells local folk art. 140 S. Division Ave., 454-0401, Facebook. Check websites for hours.

Betsy Ratzsch Pottery: Ceramics, artwork and gifts from American artisans. 584 Ada Drive, 682-0266, Cascade Art Gallery: Multi-media art, print collection, glass, sculpture, jewelry, custom framing, gifts. 2840 Thornapple River Drive SE, 949-4056, Center Art Gallery: Calvin College’s on-campus gallery features student, faculty and alumni work and that of artists of note. Jan. 7-Feb. 22, Gallery 1: Beauty Given by Grace: The Biblical Art of Sadao Watanabe. Gallery 2: Striking Impressions: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Permanent Collection. 1795 Knollcrest Circle SE, Covenant Fine Arts Center, 5266271,

Thru Feb 28

2/ Cheri McClain-Beatty’s painting “Moon Bounce” is one of several in Westside Stories IV at Terryberry Gallery.



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You’ve got mail This Valentine’s Day project reminds your kids they are loved. weeks, I give them mail each morning. I don’t just write out my thoughts on a piece of paper: I make computer printouts so the notes appear more intentional. Making a printout is as easy as using free clipart and a free program like PicMonkey to generate it. Saving it as a PDF file makes it shareable. Feel free to visit my blog if you’d like to use it. Otherwise, the options are endless to make your own. I have saved the notes each year and I like to reflect on the different things I have pointed out about them throughout the years. While I encouraged them to write notes to each other when they were younger, it admittedly gets more difficult to persuade them once they’re older. Regardless, it’s my personal way of reminding them they are loved. There’s no better project than that! — Chris Carey is a Rockford wife, mom, teacher and avid do-it-yourselfer who shares her home projects and decorating tips at justagirl

I have saved the notes each year and I like to reflect on the different things I have pointed out about them throughout the years.


While Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day of romance and roses, one of my favorite childhood memories was receiving a box of chocolates from my dad. I loved that on that special day, he made sure to include me. I have carried on a spin of that tradition with my own kids. It’s my way of letting them know they are loved, and it includes them in an otherwise adult day. If your kids are anything like mine, they love getting mail. My daughter regularly asks if she’s received any mail (she rarely does), so this is a great way to make her happy. I started by purchasing two inexpensive mailboxes at Lowes and personalizing them for each child. My teenage son is most certainly not into pink and red, so I decorated his in a masculine fashion, still keeping it in line with the Valentine theme. It really is as simple as some spray paint and a couple of embellishments. You could make it even easier by not doing anything at all. A mailbox without embellishment will still do the job. Making it an “advent calendar” of sorts, I hang the box on their bedroom doors on the first day of February. Then, for the next two

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Photography Courtesy Chris Carey

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The Castle: grand and gaudy

frame works

Architect Mark F. Miller is an urban designer at Nederveld, and has led the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission and the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

abOuT THe CaSTLe: > The home was originally constructed for brothers E. Crofton and Charles Fox, prominent Grand Rapids lumber barons. From the time the construction was finished, it was called “The Castle.”

> The colorful granite from which the house is built was quarried in Scotland and transported to this country as ballast in a ship.

ONe OF THe beNeFITS of living in my neighborhood is that many of my daily needs are a quick walk from my home. As an additional bonus, often the buildings that house the businesses I frequent are exceptional and inspiring works of architecture. One such case is the building at 455 Cherry St. SE, where my dentist’s office is located. Constructed in 1888, the formidable structure is known as The Castle because of its stonework, impressive form and the pronounced turret that anchors one of its corners. Designed by local architect William Robinson, the building is an interpretation of the Chateauesque style, which was patterned after the monumental French chateaus of the 16th century. The style was grand and gaudy, with a definitive European flair for the dramatic. Designed to impress, Chateauesque style is considered rare because of the massive masonry construction and elaborate, expensive stonework that made it all but impossible to imitate on a small level. It was therefore typically reserved for upper-class citizenry who could afford architect-designed landmark homes. Emblematic features include steeply pitched and complex roofs that are mixed with vertical elements, including spires, turrets and elaborate chimneys. These roof forms also are

accentuated by multiple wall dormers that extend through the cornice line — emphasizing the verticality of the building and harkening back to the style’s gothic inspirations.

Chateauesque style is considered rare because of the massive masonry construction and elaborate, expensive stonework that made it all but impossible to imitate on a small level. The Castle exhibits other identifying elements of the Chateauesque style, including paired windows divided by narrow stone mullions (notably on the front), arched windows (on the third floor), and vertically oriented windows with small transoms (prominently visible on the west-facing bay window). This large bay window houses a grand stairs inside and appears to blend perfectly with the sandstone trim of the exterior, but is actually made of superbly crafted metalwork and finished to resemble stone. While the Castle was a private residence until 1922, it has had several occupants since then, all recognizing its iconic architecture and setting. The building has been home to two restaurants, various offices and apartments, a brokerage firm — and now my dentist. — MArK F. MIller

> Architect William G. Robinson was a prolific Grand Rapids practitioner. Some of his noted works include the Voigt House, The Rood Building (home to Flanagan’s Irish Pub), and the Ladies Literary Club.

home to Stonecastle Dentistry, which has expertly balanced the historic charm of the building with the modern amenities of a full-service dental clinic.


> The building is now

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aaron van Timmeren and erin Keener

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Five local couples share each other’s compulsion to push the boundaries and live life a little differently. By Terri Finch Hamilton Photography by Adam Bird


esigners, musiCians, movers and sHaKers. Singer, dancer, cupcake baker: Meet some of the city’s most creative couples.

On the job, they make things happen — entertaining audiences, creating big ideas, concocting food that makes us swoon. As couples, they keep the creativity coming. They write songs together. They lead their kids on memory-making adventures. They surprise each other. They whip up Sunday night pasta sauce with salted pig cheek. They know how to make a relationship sing. Or dance. Or simmer. KitCHen ConfiDentiaL Aaron Van Timmeren made pasta with cured pig jowl the other night, and he’s here to tell us all about it. The fancy name for it is pasta all’ amatriciana — and Aaron has a fancy side, being the head chef at Bistro Bella Vita. His partner, Erin Keener, is the pastry chef at Grove, turning out pistachio bread pudding, pear aebleskiver and salted dark chocolate fudge so decadent her customers won’t let her take it off the menu. Fancy. But these two also are surprisingly practical. “At Meijer they call it salted pig cheek,” Aaron, 34, says. “It’s delicious — and a quarter of the price of bacon.”

It’s just sort of hard to get past the name “salted pig cheek.” Aaron grins. “It’s the pig’s face,” he says. “His face is beautiful. You eat bacon. What is that? His fat belly, hanging in the mud.” The couple’s 15-month-old son, Ulysses, already is on board with his parents’ love of fine food. The other night, Boys Night, the two guys went to Reserve, where Uly had soft shell crab and foie gras mousse. Aaron also has a 13-year-old daughter, Chayse, who lives in Boston. So here’s a chance to get inside the heads of two of Grand Rapids’ most creative chefs. What goes on in there? “With pastry you really have to follow

a recipe,” Erin, 23, says, sipping chai on a recent morning at Kava House in Eastown. “You can’t just wing it like you can with a sauce. “But I’m not so exact with things,” she admits. “Sometimes it can ...” “Bite you in the buns?” her partner chimes in. You might find Erin experimenting in the Grove kitchen, deciding to see what happens when she puts her batch of milk custard into the freezer. Silky, yogurty wonderfulness, she’s happy to report. “Sometimes things go wrong, but then you use the scraps to make something else,” she says. “You need to be able to see failure not as failure but as opportunity.” Lately she’s been pondering some sort of curry coconut chocolate dessert. “I like getting out of the norm,” Erin says. “A lot of things have been done. I like to push the envelope.” So does Aaron, at Bistro since 2001. He loves the “special sheets,” the everchanging menus that rely on whatever fresh ingredients are available from local farms. February 2014 / 35

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“When I’m creating something, it’s all about the ingredients,” he says. “Let’s say I have snails. I think of France, or maybe a Creole region. So maybe a boudin — snail sausage with rice,” he muses. “Maybe crayfish. What’s indigenous to that area? Tomatoes, perhaps? Then I formulate my special based on that.” He’s so charming, he almost makes you want to eat snails. “We don’t cook much at home,” he says. “It’s not that we’re tired of cooking, but we both have to keep ourselves fresh, relevant, so we like to go out to see what other people in town are doing.” Home is a cool apartment in Eastown’s circa 1846 Boulevard Building, with exposed brick and views of both the Grand Rapids and East Grand Rapids fireworks. And a kitchen of blissful calm. “It helps that we’re both in the business. We understand each other,” Aaron says. “The hours are intense. It would be hard to relate to each other’s day. She knows what I go through in a day, good and bad, and I know what she goes through.” Design inspiration Kevin Budelmann is telling about the time his son described what he and his wife, Yang Kim, do at work every day. Both designers, they own Peopledesign, where Kevin is president and Yang is creative director. “He said, ‘You draw squares on white boards and drink coffee and talk.’” Kevin and Yang, sitting by their huge white board, crack up. “Actually,” Kevin says, “he’s not wrong.” Peopledesign is one of the city’s creative hot spots. Its owners have impressive stashes of design awards. Their book on brand building, “Brand Identity Essentials,” has been translated into six languages. Kevin is a speaker and judge at design events across the continent. In 2013, Yang was voted one of the 50 most influential graphic designers working today. They must be really good at drawing squares. The fun thing about talking to Kevin and Yang is that, despite the fact that they’re tops in their field, they can simplify all the design-speak. “Creativity is not as much of a mystery as some creative people would like you to believe,” Kevin says. They find inspiration everywhere. “I might be in Target and see something orange and connect it with a project I’m working on, and it clicks,” Yang says. “You have to keep your eyes open to things that come at you.” “Our kids inspire me, like when Bruno said all we do is draw squares on the white board,” Kevin says. “They cut through the

clutter of adult life. They’re observant. Kids see things through a different lens. “A big part of design is observation — observing things you’ve never seen before.” That’s why it’s important to change the scenery. Here’s where these two give the rest of us a creative boost. “You know those hidden picture puzzles, where if you just turn the picture upside down, you can suddenly find more of the things?” Yang says. “It’s like that. Drive a different way. Walk a different time of day. Turn things around.” “Stepping back to look at something differently is a critical skill in designing,” Kevin says. “The most important thing is to just keep moving. Make something — anything. Forward momentum. The biggest risk is lack of movement.”

We ask about forward momentum in a relationship. Couple time? They have to think about it for a minute. “Last year we did something,” Yang finally says. “We went to Boyne Mountain. We got a babysitter overnight and skied.” But usually life outside work is pretty much all about the kids, they say. “We’re outnumbered,” Kevin points out. They’re outnumbered by Bruno, 10, Toki, 8, and Lulu, 4. Bruno’s an athlete. The girls are creators, conjuring up elaborate stories and imaginary worlds. While other dads may balk at attending “Cirque du Soleil,” Kevin realizes the spectacle is great fuel for creativity. Just like the art classes Yang signs the kids up for every summer. “It’s non-negotiable,” she says. “I love

Kevin Budelmann and yang kim

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Jon Hayes and seriTa CroWley

how there’s no wrong in art class. I always tell them, ‘You have great ideas,’” Yang says. “I think that’s better than praising them for staying inside the lines.” The two met as students at Carnegie Mellon University, surrounded by great ideas. They say creativity is for everybody. “People think there’s this magic,” Kevin says. “They see art on the wall and think, ‘Wow, I could never do something like that.’ “Why not?” maKing sWeet mUsiC Serita Crowley starts singing a song from “Porgy and Bess” right at her kitchen table over a bowl of savory hummus she just whipped up. The living room of the Grand Rapids home she shares with partner Jon Hayes is filled with her vibrant oil paintings. Nearby is an African drum made of rich walnut and lamb skin. Jon, an accomplished guitarist, made it. He tiled the kitchen, too. If you’ve heard Serita’s Black Rose perform — the group opened for Smokey Robinson last summer at Meijer Gardens — you’ve probably heard a song this duo wrote together. There’s a lot going on with this couple in the cozy yellow house where tiles next to the front door spell out LOVE. “We’re unique in the style of music we

do,” Serita, 42, says. She’s wearing large, swingy owl earrings and a colorful striped scarf in her hair. “Blues, funk, rock, soul, gospel, reggae — something for everybody.” Oh — and she also plays harmonica. “How many black women do you know who play harmonica?” Jon says. They love surprising people. “I might start with ‘Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson, then transition into ‘Shakedown Street’ by the Grateful Dead,” Serita says. “People are like, ‘What? A black girl singing a Grateful Dead song?’” Jon, 34, says with a laugh. They met in the summer of 2003 in Eastown when Serita was assistant manager at Monster Burrito. Jon was there for lunch with a friend, who pointed out Serita and told him, “That girl does music, too.” They exchanged numbers. Jon burned her a CD of his guitar work. They started to hang out, rehearse together. They were friends for close to a year before it evolved into something more. “One day I told her we were pretty much an item,” Jon says. “I said, ‘Oh. Well, OK,’” Serita says. “I don’t take relationships lightly,” Jon says. “I don’t consider them a short-term thing.” “It was kind of big and scary,” Serita says. “I’m eight years older than he is. But we

learn things together, and I love that.” “Part of the reason our relationship works is she has things I don’t have, and I have things she doesn’t have,” Jon says. “I’m the organizer. She doesn’t have that.” Serita nods her head. She loves chatting with the audience. Jon is the quiet one. She urges him to sing more, shine more. “There’s creativity I see in him that he doesn’t always know how to express,” Serita says. When they perform together, they share a common goal: “To make the audience want to see us again,” Serita says. “To leave them with that special something.” “She can take any person or crowd and put them in the palm of her hand,” Jon says. “She’s strong and confident and powerful.” They call performing music their “dream jobs.” But it doesn’t pay the bills. Serita works at Yo Chef’s Cafe and as a food demonstrator and cook at area grocery stores. Jon works a maintenance job at Kendall College of Art and Design and is a weather observer at Gerald R. Ford International Airport. He often goes long stretches without sleep. “There’s something inside that says, ‘Keep going,’” Jon says. “If I don’t have music, I get kind of depressed. I just love sharing our creativity with other people.” Serita smiles. “We do it because it’s what we do.” February 2014 / 37

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A pair of impresarios Erin and Amy Wilson sometimes argue over which one is the impresario. It’s probably safe to say this is a couples’ discussion unique to them. “He always said that I was the artist and he was the impresario,” Amy says, perched in a small office at Wealthy Theatre. “We both fought over who got to be the impresario.” If you need a refresher on the definition of impresario, you’re not alone: “A person who manages a performance, such as a concert or play.” Turns out they both win. Erin, 42, is the director of the Wealthy

Theatre, the historic theater in Eastown that has become host to some of the community’s most creative entertainment. Amy, 40, founded the groundbreaking Dance In The Annex, a modern dance collective housed in the Wealthy Theatre annex. It offers classes by master teachers and hosts performances that bring together local dancers, musicians and choreographers. Each of them raised eyebrows in town when they started showcasing entertainment that went beyond music and movies. “Having events here that are unorthodox and collaborative is almost a reflex now,” Erin says. “Why not have a live rock

Amy and Erin Wilson

band play while dancers do original choreography? For the first couple years, people looked at us like, ‘Hmmm, I don’t know.’ “It’s not like we were trying to be weird,” he says. “But why not a cello player plugged into a guitar amp? Why not pair that with an Afrocentric singer who’s a member of the new Black Panthers?” In addition to his creative work at the Wealthy Theatre, Erin is board president and co-founder of arts advocacy organization ArtPeers and founder of Until Love Is Equal, focused on protecting civil rights regardless of sexual orientation. He and Amy met in New York. When they daydream about a couples getaway, that’s where they think of going. But parenting three busy kids — Julian, 6, Siona, 10, and Riley, 13 — keeps them close to home. The family spends a lot of time at the theater. They go to gallery openings, plays and artist markets. They walk in the woods. “Our kids have a huge sense of community, which I love,” Amy says. She and Erin each have memories from childhood that help define them. Amy tells of attending her first dance recital as an 8-year-old to watch a childhood friend. She was transfixed. “I was a shy kid and I’m still pretty introverted,” she says. “But here was a way I could express my feelings without having to talk. I don’t think I ever lost that feeling. It got into my head and my heart and my soul.” She went on to study at some of the most prestigious dance studios in New York, including the Merce Cunningham Studio and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. When he was a kid, Erin was moved from his classroom each afternoon to a room off the school library, for independent study. “I thought there was something wrong with me and they didn’t know how to fix it,” he recalls. Turns out he was gifted. But nobody bothered to tell him. “Whenever I do something well, I still have this latent insecurity — was it a fluke?” he says. “I guess in a way it’s good to go into things not thinking that you’re special.” They’ve been in Grand Rapids for a dozen years now, but don’t call them settled. “One of my favorite words is ‘risk,’” says Amy, who teaches dance at Grand Valley State University. “I always teach my students to take risks. Going out on a limb as an artist, pushing boundaries, is important. I want to do things that are unexpected, surprising. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and be vulnerable.” “You need to be afraid,” Erin adds. “I’m a little afraid all the time with everything I do here. If everything is effortless, that would just be boring.”

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PeTer JaCob and Jason KaKabaKer

artistiC teamWorK Downstairs is the bakery that turns out delectable banana peanut butter cupcakes and German chocolate cake pops, but we’re transfixed by the deer antler perched on an antique sideboard. The smooth antler is artfully tied with a ribbon and a sprig of berries. Somebody creative lives in the apartment above sweet-tooth hot spot, The Cakabakery. Actually, two creative somebodies. The chic, cozy apartment is home to Cakabakery owner Jason Kakabaker and his partner, Peter Jacob, a furniture designer. Jason, 43, became famous last May when he competed on the Food Network reality show “Cupcake Wars.” He came in second, wowing the judges with his dark chocolate merlot cupcake. Peter, 32, a graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design, got his start as a designer at Kindel Furniture Co. Today, he has his own design business, Peter Jacob Design, where he dreams up lighting and home accessories. This spring, he will hit the big time — high-end upholstered furniture company Wesley Hall is launching a line with his name on it. In his work, Peter has to think ahead. By the time you see something at a store, it’s so yesterday. Meanwhile, in Jason’s business,

it’s all about what people want right now — a wedding cake sporting a trendy zigzag chevron pattern. Peter lends his artistic flair to the Cakabakery, too, pitching in on occasional cake decorating. He does the bakery’s marketing, designed the logo, helps out at events and works in the shop on Saturdays. “Most people don’t know how much Peter’s creativity spills over into this business,” Jason says. “Teaming up is the way to work,” Peter says. “We’re both so driven to put things out into the world, to create things.” They met at a dinner party, each admiring the other’s cuteness. It’s hard to tell who boasts more about the other one. Peter tells of his partner’s huge following and his ingenuity in the kitchen. “You can throw him any challenge — he rises to it, every day.” Jason gushes about Peter’s drawings. “I want to frame everything he’s ever drawn,” Jason says. “The detail is amazing.” Jason grew up in Kalamazoo and started working at Baskin Robbins at age 16, where he first learned to decorate cakes. He had to work fast: Ice cream melts. Armed with a marketing degree from Western Michigan University, he went on to a career in retail and a marriage. He has three kids: daughter Alex, 19, and sons Zach, 18, and Luke, 16.

When he was laid off from Meijer in 2010, he decided to launch his own bakery. His cupcakes, cake pops and cookies fly off the counters. “My name doesn’t hurt,” Jason says with a smile. Lately, he’s been pondering beer bread made with Founders stout. Sometimes he or Peter will return home to discover the other has packed their bags for a spur-of-the-moment trip. Because they’re spontaneous, “We might have the weird room in the bad hotel in Traverse City,” Peter says. He smiles. “But gr we still get to go to the winery.”

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Getting fit in 2014 By Marty Primeau Photography by Michael Buck

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Workout trends include high-intensity interval training, bodyweight and TRX suspension training, functional fitness and personal training in small groups.

Kendra Bylsma, owner of Allegro Coaching, 1422 Robinson Road SE, works out with Amanda Blackburn, Katie White and Cory Baker.

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ood news for folks who think they don’t have time to get into shape: The hottest fitness trend for 2014 can be performed in less than 30 minutes and doesn’t require a lot of equipment. High intensity interval training, or HIIT, alternates short bursts of intense anaerobic exercise — think push-ups and squats — with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT topped a survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine asking 3,800 fitness professionals to name the top trends for 2014. The list also included such workouts as functional fitness, strength training with weights, group personal training and bodyweight training, defined as strength-training exercises that don’t require weights. Local experts say the overall trend is getting back to the basics and finding ways to fit exercise into a busy day. “If I’m going to work out, I want to make sure what I’m doing is effective,” said Kendra Bylsma, owner of Allegro Coaching in Eastown. “I want to do something that’s burning a lot of calories in a short period of time. That’s what HIIT does. People love it because they see results.” Bylsma said she might start beginners by seeing how many pushups they can do in 30 seconds, followed by a minute of recovery. “The next move could be squats,” she said. And these exercises aren’t done at a leisurely pace. “You want to take people to an uncomfortable place and then back off.” As clients get into better shape, she adds weights to make the movements more challenging. The David D. Hunting YMCA has similar classes, including X-Fit, a strength and conditioning regimen using the principles

of CrossFit, a trademarked fitness program that emphasizes exercise intensity and speed with a mix of aerobic exercise, weight-lifting and calisthenics. But one of the most popular classes at the Y is a bodyweight program called TRX suspension training, short for “total resistance exercise.” Using suspension straps anchored to the ceiling, participants can perform dozens of workouts using all muscle groups. “Your body becomes your training machine,” said Charlie Williams, personal training director at the Y. “Changing the intensity is simple because all you have to do is walk closer or farther away from the anchor point of the TRX system.” TRX minimizes training time because you can go from one type of workout to the next within seconds, he added. “Every workout engages your core, which increases core stabilization strength.” Classes are small so participants get one-on-one instruction during the sevenweek program. After learning the basics, TRX fans can take their workouts anywhere by purchasing straps to use at home or outside. “They’re very mobile,” Williams said. “You can even strap them to a tree branch.” While personal training continues to be a huge trend at local clubs, many trainers are offering group training options for people who want to share the cost. “In small group trainings, you get individuals motivating each other and keeping each other accountable,” said Brad Koetsier at Metro MVP Club in downtown GR. Smaller groups also allow instructors to make sure clients are performing moves properly and to encourage them to try new workouts.

“I see a lot of people who hit the treadmills and bikes and do the same thing over and over. But it’s the people who do something that challenges their bodies who are the ones seeing results.” — Brad Koetsier

Brad Koetsier of Metro MVP Club, 33 Fountain St. NW in downtown Grand Rapids, trains with Rachel Verdusco, Zac Green and John Pollock.

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“I see a lot of people who hit the treadmills and bikes and do the same thing over and over,” Koetsier said. “But it’s the people who do something that challenges their bodies who are the ones seeing results.” The trainers say strength training remains a central emphasis at many health clubs. No longer considered a “jock” thing, strength training is good for anyone who wants to lower blood pressure, improve posture and flexibility, boost stamina, develop strong bones and burn calories — even after a workout. “Strength training just gets more and more popular,” Williams said. “We’re seeing younger people who use strength training as their only workout instead of aerobics because there are so many positives.” Bylsma noted that people are moving away from treadmills and other bulky machines and instead choosing dumbbells, resistance tubes and other portable equipment. Also key is a concept called “functional fitness” — using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. “It’s kind of an overused term because all fitness should be functional,” Bylsma

said. “As a trainer, my job is to help people function better in day-to-day activities.” She emphasizes such movement-based exercises as squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups. Williams said when starting with a new client, he asks about the daily activities that person does most. “The whole point of exercise is to make those things as easy as possible, whether it’s digging ditches or sports specific.” No matter what type of workout a person chooses, instructors say it’s important to learn proper form. “When choosing a trainer, always check their credentials,” Williams said, listing American College of Sports Medicine, National Association of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association as some of the top organizations offering certification. “There are a lot of really bad online courses out there, so people have to be careful.” And if you belong to a gym, don’t be afraid to ask the staff for help or advice. “People are scared to go to a trainer and ask questions,” Koetsier said. “But it’s the trainer’s job to train and help clients. They GR like to answer questions.”

Staff members at the David D. Hunting YMCA, 475 Lake Michigan Drive NW, demonstrate a variety of bodyweight exercises that can be performed on TRX suspension straps.

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By Dana Blinder Photography Michael Buck

’Tis the season — to celebrate craft beer, that is. February in Beer City USA offers several beer-drinking events, from the popular Winter Beer Festival at Fifth Third Ballpark to the sixth annual Brew Ha Ha — comedy, music and beer sampling at the DeltaPlex. This month also marks the second annual Cool Brews, Hot Eats sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids. The Feb. 17-March 1 promotion features special beer-and-food pairing menus at many restaurants around the city. In the inaugural year, 56 eateries and craft breweries participated in the 12-day celebration, and organizers expect even more this year. While all will pair food and beer, some chefs will even create special dishes made with local brews.

Watermark Grille: Root Beer Braised Short Ribs paired with Perrin’s Black Lager Brewery Vivant: Smoked Pork Shoulder Paella, paired with Rauch N’ Rye (opposite page)

“Many might think of including beer at tailgates, picnics and with pizza, but it’s finding its way to many dining tables,” said Janet Korn, vice president of marketing at Experience GR. “The timing of our event in the winter matches up well with braising. Beer — especially malty, full-bodied or fruity beers — work well in this low and slow-cooking process.” Nate Orange, executive chef at Watermark Grille, participated last year and said the connection between food and beer is an obvious one.

“For me, it’s all about the aromas,” he said. “The mix of hops, malt, garlic, onion or whatever you’re braising or stewing gets all your senses going.” Orange, a homebrewer, said the event is just as fun for restaurant owners as it is for the public. “Participating in this event allows us to showcase some of the great food and great beers available in Grand Rapids.” Combining food and beer is a natural, ongoing mindset at Brewery Vivant, a Belgianinspired brewpub and restaurant in East Hills. “As a brewpub, we’ve always had beer on hand to pair with food,” said Kate Avery at Brewery Vivant. “Belgians will drink a beer to arouse the appetite. They use it as an ingredient in cooking, enjoy it with a meal and as a digestive after a meal,” she said. “Cuisine à la bière refers to a meal in which every course is paired with a different beer.” Avery said Brewery Vivant chefs first come up with a menu they are excited about. “They cook it for each other and for our brewers. After that, our brewers develop a beer based on those flavors. Not many restaurants are able to do this.” At Founders Brewing Co., food and beer pairings are done in a manner that is complementary, not competitive, said deli manager Justin Golinski. “Depending on the grains and hops used, different layers of flavors begin to unfold and reveal themselves.” He said the brewers are constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to different ale styles. “As they progress in experimentation, I’m afforded the ability to play off unique things you can only find at the Founders Brewing Co. taproom.” This year he plans to include comfort foods — “Something to help warm the soul from the cold of winter.” Cool Brews, Hot Eats, dreamed up by the marketing team at Experience GR, won the Governor’s Award for Innovative Tourism Promotion last March. More information, including participating venues and menus, can be found at experience GR

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“Many might think of including beer at tailgates, picnics and with pizza, but it’s finding its way to many dining tables. ” — Janet Korn

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Chef Mark McNamera

A Forest Hills gem WitH tHe pLetHora of new eateries opening in Grand Rapids, it’s easy to overlook some of the tried-and-true favorites. Marco New American Bistro, tucked away in a strip center on Forest Hills Avenue SE, is one of those places. Luckily, Marco has a loyal following of diners who return for the delicious fare in a casual yet upscale atmosphere. We are warmly greeted at the hostess station and seated immediately in a bustling dining room. The interior is elegant with white linen tablecloths and candlelight. Service throughout the evening was friendly and helpful. Marco’s menu is divided into small, medium and large — a feature we like because it allows us to try a variety of dishes. We start with the brown butter gnocchi ($8) prepared with shrimp, artichokes and prosciutto in a pesto cream sauce. We also try the assorted

Tunesian-style olives marinated with hot pepper, lemon and cinnamon and served with a grilled baguette ($7). Both go nicely with a bottle of Honig cab from Napa. Also tempting on the “small” list is the gratin: exotic mushrooms, baked in herbed mushroom broth with fontina and asiago cheeses and white truffle oil ($7). Or maybe the liver and onion selection: seared foie gras with caramelized onions served with berry compote and pomegranate molasses ($12). Chef Mark McNamera, who also is owner, obviously knows his stuff and keeps up with culinary trends. The “medium” selections include everything from salads to Tuscan-inspired pasta dishes — even a Bistro Burger ($10). We’ve heard rumors that the Lobster Gnocchi is the best in the city: gnocchi sautéed with lobster meat, asparagus and tomatoes in a sherrycorn cream ($20).

Marco New American Bistro

dining review

dining ratings: Category: New American Food: **** Service: **** Beverages: *** Atmosphere: **** Price: $-$$

Must try: Marco’s “Dinner for Two” feature is a four-course meal using seasonal ingredients and including a bottle of wine. Not so much: The paper protecting the white tablecloths was an annoyance.

guide to ratings: **** *** ** *

Exceptional Above Average Satisfactory Poor

¢ $ $$

Inexpensive (under $10) Moderate ($10-$20) Expensive (Over $20)

(Prices based on average entrée.)

PhotoGraPhy by Johnny Quirin

address: 884 Forest Hills Ave. SE; Phone: 942-9100; Website:

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Photography by Johnny Quirin

Photography by Johnny Quirin

Knowing that we plan to order large plates, we stick to salads. Our server also brings a basket of warm rolls. A small house salad is included with the “large” entrées. It’s made from fresh baby greens, with caramelized walnuts and apples for a bit of crunch, and a light balsamic vinaigrette. The Wedge is also tasty, a large hunk of iceberg lettuce covered with roasted tomato, avocado, crispy dry-cured bacon, spicy pepitas and a gorgonzola vinaigrette ($8). Any of the salads become a full meal with added grilled chicken ($3), salmon, shrimp or calamari ($4) or steak ($5). On another visit we try the risotto, which changes nightly. This evening it features a house-made chorizo, which was certainly the star of the entrée ($15). From the selection of large plates, our carnivore orders the Chipotle Glazed Boneless Beef Short Ribs with roasted veggies and a sweet corn pudding that is simply divine ($22). The meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked to perfection. Our server suggests the Jumbo Blue Lump

The interior is elegant with white linen tablecloths and candlelight. Service throughout the evening was friendly and helpful. Crab Cakes ($22), pointing out they are made with 85 percent crab meat. She’s right. The two plump cakes are chock full of real crab, yet they’re very light and served with a roasted pepper coulis. The next time we dine at Marco, we try the six-ounce grass-fed beef filet ($33): fresh, tender, juicy and with a flavor-enhancing balsamic onion and port wine demi glaze. The only complaint was that the entrée had cooled and the accompaniment of potatoes did not taste fully cooked, though the vegetable mix was quite hot. For a finale, we tried the flourless chocolate cake ($6.50) served with a spoonful of thin, fresh raspberry sauce. The yummy dessert was not quite flourless, however, and was more akin to a mousse. There’s a selection of after-dinner drinks, and the kitchen will even whip up a cappuccino or latte using organic, fair trade coffee. For those who want to grab some Must try: Vero dolore, te gourmet offerings augue eum ea dolore. on the way home after work, Marco To Go features takeNot so much: Dolor velit at out sandwiches, soups, salads and traiusto minim magna ut nulla. ditional/gourmet pizzas. Also fun are Tapas Tuesdays, which offer an extended menu of small plates. — Ira Craaven February 2014 / 47

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

dining listings

A guide to restaurants in Grand Rapids and beyond

The recommendations and reviews in the listings are the opinions of the editors. Restaurants are included by virtue of overall quality. We have created symbols to area restaurant amenities, which are defined in a legend at the end of this listing (page 65).

New American Upscale, contemporary cooking including ethnic twists on familiar standbys. Bar Divani — Wine flights, large array of spirits; classy surroundings. European-inspired food with plates meant for sharing, flatbreads, sushi and a variety of entrées. Closed Sun. 15 Ionia Ave SW, 774-9463. L, D $-$$ Bistro Bella Vita — Big-city casual; fresh French and Italian cuisine, locally sourced and prepared over a wood fire. Mammoth martini bar, nice wine selection. 44 Grandville Ave SW, 222-4600. L, D $-$$ Bistro Chloe Élan — Diverse menu features American cuisine with French, Asian and southwestern influences, as well as soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Sat dinner only; closed Sun. 445 Ada Dr, Ada, 432-3345. L, D $-$$ Blue Water Grill — Wood-burning rotisserie and wood-fired pizza oven allow for inspired dishes from fresh seafood to beef. Nice wine selection and The B.O.B.’s microbrews. Lakeside views, outdoor patio with fireplace, fullservice bar. 5180 Northland Dr NE, 363-5900. L, D $-$$ Brewery Vivant — House-made beer and food in the style of traditional French and Belgian country dishes. The East Hills pub/ brewery is housed in a renovated funeral chapel. Most dishes are made with ingredients sourced from local farmers and purveyors. Open daily. 925 Cherry St SE, 719-1604. brew L, D $-$$ _ Citysen Lounge — Limited but tantalizing selection of soup, salads, sandwiches and sharable small-plate creations. Happy Hour daily 4-7 pm. CityFlats Hotel, 83 Monroe Center NW, (866) 609-CITY. L, D ¢-$

Cygnus 27 — Stylized décor reflects a celestial theme that matches the views from the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza. Seasonally driven menu encourages sharing. Open Tue-Sat eves; Sun brunch Labor Day to Mother’s Day. 187 Monroe Ave NW, 776-6425. D $$ Electric Cheetah — Eclectic menu changes weekly with an emphasis on locally grown fare and creative combinations in urban setting. Unique Sunday brunch. 1015 Wealthy St SE, 451-4779. L, D ¢-$ Gilly’s At The B.O.B. — Hand-crafted microbrews are paired with seasonal, cutting-edge fare. Tavern small plates, oysters, seafood and more. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. thebob. $-$$ com. L (Sat), D Graydon’s Crossing — “Global pub” serves traditional food such as Shepard’s Pie and fusion- and world-inspired dishes using local ingredients. Full bar features 46 beers on tap including microbrew and imported. Open daily. 1223 Plainfield Ave NE, 726-8260. gray L, D $ Green Well Gastro Pub — Daily menu features comfort fare with a flare, emphasizing local ingredients. Full bar; more than 20 rotating draught beers, many from area microbreweries. Open daily. 924 Cherry St SE, 808$-$$ 3566. L, D Grill One Eleven — American-with-a-twist menu, full-service bar and lounge. Open daily at 11 am. 111 Courtland Dr, Rockford, 863-3300. grillone and Facebook. L, D $-$$ OGrove — Earth-to-table concept focuses on three- and four-course meals with a tilt toward sustainable seafood. Closed Mon. 919 Cherry St SE, 454-1000. groverestaurant. com. D $$ The Heritage — GRCC culinary arts students prepare gourmet dishes from steaks to vegan fare at a reasonable cost. Menu changes weekly. Wine available with dinner. Open

Tue-Fri during academic year. Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St NE, 234-3700. L, D $-$$ -Marco New American Bistro — French-

country-casual offers creative dinner fare and pizza with a more casual lunch menu. Full bar. Closed Sun. 884 Forest Hill Ave SE, 9429100. L, D $-$$

Olives — Seasonally inspired menu of creative fare and comfort foods featuring local produce and meats. Full bar. Alfresco balcony. Closed Sun. 2162 Wealthy St SE, 451-8611. L, D ¢-$ One Trick Pony Grill & Taproom — Eclectic menu with samplings of vegetarian, Mexican and European cuisines. Dine alfresco on street-front patio. Occasional live music. Closed Sun. 136 E Fulton St, 235-7669. one L, D ¢-$ FReserve — Wine bar with extensive bythe-glass selections and culinary options to match. Opens 11:30 Mon-Fri, 4 pm Sat, closed Sun. 201 Monroe Ave NW, 855-9463. reservegr. $-$$ com. L, D

Rockwell Republic — Diverse menu emphasizes locally sourced ingredients from sushi to creative comfort food. Upper-level outdoor seating. 45 S Division Ave, 6086465 or 551-3563. L, D $-$$ Rose’s — Dockside dining on EGR’s Reeds Lake with a varied menu and a three-season porch. 550 Lakeside Dr SE, 458-1122. Takeout at Rose’s Express, 2224 Wealthy St SE, 4584646. B (weekends), L, D $ San Chez, A Tapas Bistro — Spanish fare focusing on tapas-style appetizers, side dishes and entrées. Extensive wine and beer list includes Spanish varieties and sherry. 38 W Fulton St, 774-8272. L, D $-$$ Schnitz Ada Grill — Deli by day, casual fine dining by night. 597 Ada Dr, Ada, 682-4660. L, D ¢-$$ Six.One.Six — Innovative cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients in a cosmopolitan setting. Mixology lounge features unique

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all our steaks are

tender, juicy and



Grand Rapids | 616.776.6426 | Inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel |

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

cocktails. Al fresco dining on the Jdek overlooking the Grand River. JW Marriott, 235 Louis St NW, 242-1500. B, L, D $-$$

SpeakEZ Lounge — Casual and friendly pub setting with eclectic menu that includes vegan and gluten-free options. Creative starters, soups, salads, entrees (available after 4). Open daily. 600 Monroe Ave NW, 458-3125. L, D $ Tavern On The Square — Tapas-style fare plus house specialties. Patio seating. 100 Ionia Ave SW, 456-7673. L, D ¢-$ FTerra GR — Eastown eatery (formerly Trillium Haven) features foods from local, ethically raised and sustainable sourcing. Specialty cocktails, Michigan craft beers and wines from small wineries around the world. 1429 Lake Dr SE, 301-0998. B (brunch Sat and Sun), L, D $-$$

Winchester — Locally sourced menu aims to reinvent bar food in reclaimed centuryold space with shuffleboard court-patio. 648 Wealthy St SE, 451-4969. ¢-$ L, D

Classic American Restaurants and diners serving traditional dishes popular across the country. Acorn Grille At Thousand Oaks — Blend of traditional and innovative cuisine, artfully presented in handsome dining room with golf course views. Open daily in season. 4100 Thousand Oaks Dr, 447-7750. thousandoaks L, D $$ Arnie’s Bakery & Restaurant — Breakfast, sandwiches, baked goods and desserts; dinner menu too. No alcohol. Open daily. 3561 28th St, 956-7901; 710 Leonard St NW, 4543098; 777 54th St SW, 532-5662; 34 Squires St, Rockford, 866-4306. arniesrestaurants. com. B, L, D $ Aryana Restaurant & Bar — Comfortable dining room in the Crowne Plaza Hotel offers breakfast buffet, lunch and fine dining selections from an extensive seasonal menu. Open daily. 5700 28th St SE, 957-1770. hiarya B, L, D $-$$ Bonefish Grill — Casual, white-linen dining. Seafood selections augmented by innovative sauces and toppings; also chicken, beef and pasta dishes. 1100 East Paris Ave SE, 9497861. D $-$$ Bostwick Lake Inn — Gilmore restaurant offers steaks, pork, fish, chicken, mac and

cheese, pizzas, sandwiches, soups and salads. Open daily for dinner, lunch on weekends. 8521 Belding Road, Rockford, 874-7290. L (weekends), D $-$$

Boulder Creek Restaurant — Boulder Creek Golf Club restaurant serves a varied menu with golf-course views from inside or on the deck. 5750 Brewer Ave NE, Belmont, (616) 363-1330, ext 2. L, D ¢-$ Brandywine — Café atmosphere, with extensive breakfasts, lunches with vegetarian choices, dinner selections from Mexican to beef Wellington. 1345 Lake Dr SE, 774-8641; 2844 East Beltline Ave NE, 363-1723. brandy B, L, D ¢-$ Brann’s Sizzling Steaks And Sports Grille — Famous sizzler steaks with grill items and salads, baskets, Mexican entrées and bar munchies. See website for eight locations in Greater Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, Portage and Caledonia. L, D $ Bull’s Head Tavern — A dozen appetizers from brie to pot stickers. Dinners include warm bread and chef-selected sides. 188 Monroe Ave NW, 454-3580. thebullshead $ L, D Cascade Roadhouse — Relaxed atmosphere with a diverse menu of traditional fare. Closed Sun. 6817 Cascade Rd SE (at Old 28th St), 949-1540. Facebook. L, D $-$$ Charley’s Crab — Fresh seafood from a menu that changes nightly. Located on the Grand River. Early menu (4:30-6 pm daily), Sun brunch. GR Steamer Bar has its own menu. 63 Market Ave SW, 459-2500. muer. com. L, D $-$$ The Chop House — In the tradition of the best American chophouses with aged prime beef and more. Downstairs is La Dolce Vita dessert and cigar bar. Closed Sun. 190 Monroe Ave NW, 451-6131. thechophousegrand $$ D

Club, 7177 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 656-9898. fire L, D $

Flat River Grill — Casual atmosphere in turnof-century building on the river. Al fresco dining on patio. Menu ranges from comfort food to wood-fired pizzas. Full bar plus The BOB’s House of Brews beers on tap. 201 E Main St, Lowell, 897-8523. thegilmorecol L, D $-$$ Fleetwood Diner — Extensive diner-style menu with Greek influences. Open 6:30 am for breakfast (8 am-4 pm Sun), serving dinner until 8 pm Mon-Thu, 9 pm Fri-Sat. Outdoor patio. 2222 44th St SE, 281-2300. B, L, D ¢-$ Forest Hills Inn — A casual neighborhood favorite with a broad menu, excellent pizza. Serves alcohol. Closed Sun. 4609 Cascade Rd SE, 949-4771. B, L, D $ Fry Daddy’s Fresh Fish — Fried fish, wingdings, walleye, orange roughy, catfish, blue gill, perch, smelt and shrimp, by the pound or in baskets with fries. Also to go. Closed Mon. Trinity Plaza, 1720 44th St SE, Kentwood, 455FISH. L, D ¢-$ Grand Villa — Longtime favorite serving prime rib, seafood, complete salad bar, full service bar. Closed Sun. 3594 Chicago Dr SW, 538-1360. L, D $ Great Lakes Shipping Co. — Everything from beef, seafood and beyond in comfortable dockside motif. Patio open in summer. No lunch, but open Sun afternoons. 2455 Burton St SE, 949-9440. greatlakesshipping D $-$$ Green Restaurant — Sandwiches, salads, burgers and seafood. Menu includes ostrich and elk burgers. 2289 East Beltline Ave NE, 447-8294. $ L, D Grille 29 — Menu includes panini and a variety of entrées. Full-service bar. Open daily. Holiday Inn Select, 3063 Lake Eastbrook SE, 726-2929. B, D $

Dugan’s Pub & Grille — Casual dining with steaks, seafood, pasta and more at The Elks at the Highlands Golf Club. Adjacent Glendevon offers banquet facilities. 2715 Leonard St NW, 453-2454. L, D $-$$

Grille At Watermark — Innovative menu in relaxing atmosphere overlooking golf course. Sun brunch 10 am-2 pm. 5500 Cascade Rd SE, 949-0570. L, D $-$$

Fall Creek — Appetizers, gourmet pizzas and creative entrées. Closed Sun-Mon. 201 Jefferson St, Hastings, (269) 945-0100. Facebook. L, D ¢-$

Grill House & Rock Bottom Bar — Grill-yourown steakhouse with grillmasters on call. Bottomless salad bowl and potato bar. 1071 32nd St (M-40), Allegan, (269) 686-9192. L (downstairs), D $-$$

FireRock Grille — Country club dining plus option to cook your own filet, shrimp or ahi tuna on a 500-degree stone. Open daily. Sun brunch 10 am-2 pm. Stonewater Country

Honey Creek Inn — Daily specials are the highlight, mixed with traditional fare. Closed Sun. 8025 Cannonsburg Rd, Cannonsburg, 874-

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A taste of Europe in Ada Having lived in Italy for 18 years, Ron and Jean Cook wanted to bring a little taste of Europe to West Michigan. Last May they opened Nonna Café in Ada, serving breakfast, homemade pastries, lunch specials and fair trade organic coffee. The couple spent nearly eight months revamping the 1,200-squarefoot space at 591 Ada Drive SE, decorating it with photos Jean collected while they were living in Florence. Jean, a Grand Rapids native, also came up with the name Nonna — Italian for “grandmother” — to reflect the idea of simple dishes made from scratch using quality ingredients. “We try to be authentic with many of the dishes,” Ron said. Besides Italian specialties such as Tuscan Bean Soup and Mushroom Ravioli, the Cooks serve other European favorites, including French omelettes, Cottage Pie and Greek salad. One of the top sellers is the Owner Ron Cook and the espresso machine. avocado salad, Jean said. The small eatery also has a La Marzocco espresso machine — Ron presided over the company while they lived in Italy — to make a variety of coffee and espresso drinks. Nonna Café is open daily for breakfast and lunch. Check Facebook for hours and menu updates. — Delal Pektas

7849. L, D ¢-$

Hudsonville Grille — Varied menu includes Mexican favorites and breakfast. Full bar. Closed Sun. 4676 32nd Ave, Hudsonville, 662-9670. B, L, D ¢-$

Photography by Michael Buck

Judson’s At The B.O.B. — Award-winning steak house offers steaks, seafood and chops. Casual atmosphere and award-winning wine list. Closed Sun. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 3562000. D $$ Kitchen 67 — Fast-casual restaurant with high-tech design serving Brann’s sizzling steaks and burgers, small plates, pasta, fish, chicken, sandwiches, salads and more. Michigan wines and craft beers. Kids menu. Open daily. 1977 East Beltline Ave. NE. kitch and Facebook. L, D ¢-$ The Landing — Casual atmosphere with views of the Grand River. Menu features allAmerican favorites and monthly specials. Music and dancing in the lounge. 270 Ann St NW (in Riverfront Hotel Grand Rapids at US 131), 363-7748. B, L, D $

FLeo’s — Combines fine dining (fresh seafood is the specialty) and casual comfort. Street level in parking ramp at Ottawa and Louis. Closed Sun. 60 Ottawa Ave NW, 4546700. L, D $-$$

Louis Benton Steakhouse — Premium Buckhead beef, wet- and dry-aged steaks and more. Closed Sun. Free valet parking at Ionia entrance. 35 Ionia Ave NW, 454-7455. louis L, D $-$$ Meadows Restaurant — GVSU’s professional and student-staffed restaurant; patio and dining room overlook golf course. Full menu offers everything from burgers to NY strip steak. Seasonal hours (during golf season). 1 W Campus Dr, Allendale. L, D $-$$

lunch and dinner options all day. Closed Sun. 6503 28th St SE, 942-7257. B, L, D ¢

Pearl Street Grill — Bright, airy restaurant in downtown Holiday Inn. Open daily. 310 Pearl St NW, 235-1342. Facebook. B, L, D $ Rainbow Grill — Breakfasts, homemade soup, chili, steak sandwiches, daily lunch specials, chicken, fish and other dinner staples. Closed Sun. 4225 32nd Ave, Hudsonville, 896-0033; 4158 Chicago Dr SW, Grandville, 534-8645. B, L, D ¢-$ Ramona’s Table — EGR deli with madefrom-scratch soups, sandwiches, salads, baked items and meals. Takeout and catering. Closed Sun. 2232 Wealthy St SE, 459-8500. B, L, D ¢-$

Middle Villa Inn — Weekly prime rib specials, salad bar, casual atmosphere, occasional live bands. Banquet rooms available. Closed Mon and Wed. 4611 N Middleville Rd (M-37), Middleville, (269) 795-3640. mid L, D $

Red Jet Café — Gilmore restaurant in the former Creston Heights library. Coffee bar and menu ranging from omelets to specialty pizzas. Full bar; opens 8 am. 1431 Plainfield Ave NE, 719-5500. jet.php. B, L, D (Mon-Sat) ¢-$

Pal’s Diner — A real diner offering breakfast,

Reds On The River — Located on the Rogue February 2014 / 51

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pints of interest Pat Evans is a writer and researcher at Gemini Publications who has studied and followed the local beer industry for more than five years.

> Short’s Brewing Co. will release ControversiALE, Goodnight Bodacious, Uncle Steve’s Irish Stout and Freedom of ’78. > Bell’s Brewery will have several amazing beers available during February, including Cherry Stout, Hopsalm, Java Stout and Smitten Golden Rye Ale. > Brewery Vivant usually releases its Hubris Belgian Style Quadrupel in February, and it’ll knock your socks off.

Beer month in Beer City oN Feb. 22, the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Winter Beer Festival will be a raucous party at Fifth Third Ballpark. Congrats to the lucky 6,000 beer lovers who’ll be attending the 9th annual event. Breweries will come to town with their best, such as Warren, Michigan’s Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., which should bring a variety of beers from its Winter Solstice party. And if you’re one of the 18,000 who didn’t snag tickets, don’t despair! There are plenty of other beer events happening this month. The annual Grand Rapids Beer Week is held the week prior to the Winter Beer Festival, beginning Feb. 15. In its first two years, it flew under the radar, but this year it should take off as people from across the country flock to GR — even without tickets to the Winter Festival. Many breweries feel badly about the folks who won’t get into the ballpark, so they’ll host delicious tap takeovers and food pairings at restaurants and bars all week. There will be more eating and drinking the week after Winter Festival. Cool Brews, Hot Eats — a 13-day promotion organized by Experience GR — will be held Feb. 17-March 1. Local restaurants and breweries will offer menus featuring beer-and-food pairings, as well as special dishes made using beer as an ingredient.

Top, last year’s Winter Beer Festival attracted thousands of beer lovers to Fifth Third Ballpark. Meanwhile, Brew Ha-Ha, happening Feb. 14-15 at the DeltaPlex, will feature more than 100 craft brews and performances by nationally known comedians.

And for those who enjoy a good laugh with their beer, the Great Brew Ha-Ha is Feb. 14-15 at the DeltaPlex. It features more than 100 craft brews along with nationally known comedians, a Brew Olympics and more. In the past, the event has played second fiddle to the Winter Festival — and for good reason: It’s a drunken comedy party. But this year, it appears breweries and organizers are treating it as the only option for many people to sample brews: Some of the same rare beers that make their way to the Winter Festival might find — Pat evans their way to the DeltaPlex.

PhotoGraPhy by michaeL buck

February is a fantastic month for craft beer, especially those high-octane brews you probably only want to drink one of — or maybe two.

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

River, Reds combines casual sophistication with Tuscan sensibilities. Closed Sun. 8 E Bridge St, Rockford, 863-8181. L, D $-$$

Rio Grand Steak House & Saloon — Texasstyle barbecue ribs, steaks and more. 5501 Northland Dr NE, 364-6266. riograndsteak $-$$ L, D Rush Creek Bistro — Diverse menu in clublike surroundings. Weeknight and happy hour specials. Sunnybrook Country Club, 624 Port Sheldon Rd, Grandville, 457-1100. rushcreek L, D $ Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse — The classic American steakhouse now in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel’s fully renovated former 1913 Room. 187 Monroe Ave NW, 774-2000. L, D $$

Twisted Rooster — Classic dishes with unexpected twists. Full bar featuring 18 beers on tap, local beers/wines. 1600 East Beltline Ave NE, 301-8171. L, D ¢-$$ Walker Roadhouse — Diverse menu with interesting twists on classic fare in a casual but handsome setting. Lunch served weekdays, dinner Mon-Sat; closed Sun. 3272 Remembrance Rd NW, 791-9922. thewalker $ L, D


Saburba — Specializes in take-out. Everchanging, diverse menu of entrees, sandwiches, soups, baked goods and coffee. Doughnuts served Sat. mornings. Catering service. Closed Sun. 7277 Thornapple River Dr, Ada, 6825290. and Facebook. B, L, D ¢-$

Bartertown Diner — Vegetarian/vegan/raw offerings in worker-owned and -operated diner. Promotes use of fresh, local ingredients. Open daily (hours change seasonally, check website). 6 Jefferson Ave SE, 233-3219. barter L, D $

Sam’s Joint — Award-winning ribs and unique décor of antiques and memorabilia. Extensive menu includes Mexican selections; full bar. Half a dozen locations, plus a couple of banquet facilities. L, D $

Gaia Café — Totally vegetarian fare served in a cozy atmosphere. Closed Mon. No alcohol. 209 Diamond Ave SE, 454-6233. B, L ¢

Spinnaker — Menu features seafood and landlubber entrées. Sunday brunch. 4747 28th St SE (Hilton Grand Rapids Airport), 957-1111. B, L, D $-$$ Sundance Bar & Grill — Known for its Southwestern-infused American cuisine and margarita bar. 5755 28th St SE (Esplanade Plaza), 956-5644 (breakfast and lunch only on Sun); Waters Building, 141 Ottawa Ave NW, 7761616. B, L, D $ Swan Inn Restaurant — Home-cooked meals such as pot roast, Salisbury steak and meatloaf. Huge breakfasts. Cygnet Lounge offers cocktails and nibbles, dinner menu. 5182 Alpine Ave NW, 784-1245. swaninn B, L, D ¢-$

Photography by Michael Buck

Timbers Inn — Menu ranges from appetizers to wild game offerings and meat ’n’ potatoes fare in lodge-like surroundings. Sunday omelet bar til 2 pm. 6555 Belding Rd NE, 874¢-$ 5553. L, D

Terrace Grille At Bay Pointe Inn — Diverse menu with relaxed lakefront setting. Seasonally changing menu known for steaks, seafood and cocktails. Holiday brunches. 11456 Marsh Rd, Shelbyville, (269) 672-5202. bay L, D $-$$ Tillman’s — Chicago-style chophouse that’s been “hidden” in a warehouse district for more than 25 years. Known for steaks but something for every taste. Closed Sun. 1245 Monroe Ave NW, 451-9266. tillmansrestaur L, D $-$$

Pubs & Taverns 84th Street Pub and Grille — American fare from pizzas to steaks in laidback setting, fullservice bar. 8282 Pfeiffer Farms Dr, Byron Center, 583-1650. L, D ¢-$ Bar Louie — Urban décor at Woodland Mall, with sandwiches, appetizers, burgers and hearty entrées. More than 20 beers, along with a nice wine selection and specialty cocktails. Outdoor seating. 3191 28th St SE, 885-9050. L, D $-$$ Bobarino’s At The B.O.B. — Grill on 2nd floor of The B.O.B. offers everything from woodfired pizza to upscale entrées. New lunch menu offers custom-made deli sandwiches, salads, burgers and a pizza buffet ($6.50). Full-service bar. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 3562000. php. L, D ¢-$ B.O.B.’s Brewery At The B.O.B. — Microbrews ranging from unique to standard with a variety of small plates that go beyond standard pub fare. Open Thu (Mug Club)-Sat. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. bobsbrewery. html. D ¢-$ Bud & Stanley’s — Extensive menu includes Mexican specialties, pasta, burgers and more. Takeout available. 1701 4 Mile Rd NE, 361-

9782. L, D


Cascade Sports Grill — Varied menu and sizable bar with 10 brew taps and extensive martini menu. Cascade Centre, 6240 28th St SE, 974-3338. Facebook. L, D $ Charlie’s Bar & Grill — Well-rounded menu features dinners ranging from ribs, steaks and seafood to kielbasa and kraut. Also Mexican fare, sandwiches and more. Full-service bar. 3519 Plainfield Ave NE, 364-0567. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Cheers Good Time Saloon — Popular neighborhood spot with large menu offering something for everyone in a log-cabin environment. 3994 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-1188. B, L, ¢ D Corner Bar — Rockford’s spot famous for brews and chili dogs, but with extensive menu. 31 N Main St, Rockford, 866-9866. L, D ¢ Cottage Bar — Longtime favorite since 1927. Famous Cottage burgers and fries, signature chili and more. Closed Sun. 18 LaGrave Ave SE, 454-9088. L, D ¢ Crooked Goose — Meritage Hospitality Group restaurant offers full menu of “oldschool tavern favorites.” Open daily. 355 Wilson Ave NW, Walker, 791-2362. crooked L, D ¢-$ Derby Station — Sophisticated pub grub with full bar featuring an array of specialty beers. 2237 Wealthy St SE, 301-3236. derby $ L, D Flanagan’s — Popular downtown Irish pub. Imported beers, 20 on tap. Entrees with an Irish influence. Frequent live music. Closed Sun. 139 Pearl St NW, 454-7852. flanagansgr. com. L, D ¢ Founders Brewing Co. — Sip microbrew samples in the spacious taproom, serpentine bar and stage for live music Thu and Sat. Menu features appetizers, deli sandwiches. Covered (heated) porch. 235 Grandville Ave SW, 776-1195. L, D ¢ Frankie V’s Pizzeria & Sports Bar — Appetizers, subs, stromboli, pizza, pasta entrées, plus burgers and Mexican. Weekday lunch buffet. Tap your own 100-ounce beer tower. 1420 28th St SW, 532-8998. L, D ¢-$ Grand Rapids Brewing Co. — Serving 10 organic brews plus hard cider, wine and spirits. Farm-to-table menu includes sharable plates, house-made sausages, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees. Open daily. 1 Ionia Ave SW, 459-7000. L (Sat.Sun. only), D ¢-$ February 2014 / 53

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

GP Sports — Sports bar and restaurant. Menu features create-your-own pizzas and burgers, along with salads and sandwiches. Open daily. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Ave $ NW, 774-2000. L, D Grand Woods Lounge — Year-round alfresco dining complete with fireplace. Eclectic menu selections mix with upscale comfort foods. Live entertainment, pool tables, spacious bar. 77 Grandville Ave SW, 451-4300. L, D $-$$ Harmony Brewing Co. — Eastown’s latest addition to the craft-brewing scene offers custom brews with a full bar, wine selections and menu of wood-fired pizzas. 1551 Lake Drive SE, 233-0063. L, D $ Holly’s Back Door Bar & Grill — Full menu and good selection of munchies at the bar in Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. Closed Sun & Mon. 255 28th St SW, 241-1417. B, L, D $ HopCat — Crafted brews with close to 50 beers on tap and 150 bottled. Full bar and creative fare from meatloaf to mussels. Open daily. 25 Ionia Ave SW, 451-4677. hopcatgr. com. L (Sat-Sun), D ¢-$ Hub’s Inn — Sandwiches, burgers, Mexican food and thin-crust pizzas. Closed Sun. 1645 Leonard St NW, 453-3571. L, D ¢ JD Reardon’s — Restaurant and lounge in The Boardwalk offers American, Southwest, Thai and more. Banquet facilities; outdoor seating. 940 Monroe Ave NW, 454-8590. jdreardons. com. B, L, D $-$$ J. Gardella’s Tavern — Massive bar is matched by gargantuan menu ranging from homemade chips to build-your-own burger. Three floors of seating. Open Sun for arena events. 11 Ionia Ave SW, 459-8824. jgardellas L, D ¢ Main Street Pub — Large-screen TVs and varied menu of appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches and entrées. Open 11 am daily; breakfast 8 am Sun. 11240 University Parkway, Allendale, 895-1234. B (Sun), L, D ¢-$ McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon — New York-style Irish menu includes “recreated” pub fare, contemporary and regionally inspired dishes. Transforms into nightclub late at night. Open daily. 58 Ionia Ave SW, 4549105. L, D $ Mill Creek Tavern — Comstock Park eatery offers appetizers, from-scratch soups, sand-

wiches, full dinner options. Full bar with separate dining room. 3874 West River Dr, 7843806. L, D ¢-$

daily. Weekday happy hour specials 3-6:30 p.m. Cascade Center, 6246 28th St SE, 3509604. Facebook. L, D ¢-$

The Mitten Brewing Co. — Vintage baseballthemed nanobrewery pairs handcrafted beers with gourmet pizzas. 527 Leonard St NW, 608-5612., Facebook. L, D ¢-$

Stella’s Lounge — Mostly vegan menu but an award-winning stuffed burger for carnivores. Advertises strong drinks and more than 200 whiskies. 53 Commerce Ave, 742-4444. stellas L, D ¢-$

Mojo’s — Lively dueling piano bar and restaurant open for dinner at 5 pm Wed-Sat, plus late night “munchy menu.” RSVP for dinner early, show starts at 8 pm Wed-Thu, 7 pm FriSat. 180 Monroe Ave NW, 776-9000. mojos ¢-$ D (Wed-Sat)

Teazers Bar & Grill — Burgers and pastas, sandwiches, salads and Southwestern bites. Kids menu. Open daily. 819 Ottawa Ave NW, 459-2481. L, D ¢-$

Nick Finks — Mexican fare in historic tavern, part of The Gilmore Collection. Draft beer, wine, sangria and cocktails. Occasional live music, open mic nights. 3965 West River Dr NE, Comstock Park, 784-9886. thegilmore L, D $ O’Toole’s Public House — Pub grub includes appetizers, sandwiches and burgers served on a mountain of fries. Open daily. 448 Bridge St NW, 742-6095. L, D ¢-$ Peppino’s Ristorante Pizzeria and Sports Lounge — Sicilian-style steak and chicken, burgers, etc. Separate sports bar. 5053 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Allendale, 895-1615. Family-friendly Sports Lounge in downtown GR, 130 Ionia Ave SW, 456-8444. peppinos L, D ¢-$$ Pub 43 — Caters to all, but is especially popular with gay crowd. Menu ranges from burgers to upscale items. Jukebox, occasional live entertainment. Open daily at 3 pm. 43 S Division Ave, 458-2205. Facebook. D ¢-$ Rezervoir Lounge — Former Sazerac Lounge has full menu of appetizers, sandwiches and entrees, some with a Cajun flavor. Open Tue.-Sun. for lunch and dinner (opens 4 p.m. Mon) 1418 Plainfield Ave NE, 451-0010. rez, Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Rockford Brewing Co. — Located alongside the White Pine Trail with an up-north atmosphere. Grab a bite to eat while enjoying its hand-crafted brews. Open daily. 12 E Bridge St, Rockford, 951-4677. L, D ¢-$ The Score — Restaurant and sports bar with varied menu. 5301 Northland Dr NE, 3010600. L, D ¢-$ The Shamrock — Diverse menu includes specialty burgers and wide range of entrees. 2501 Wilson Ave NW, 735-3888. Facebook. L, ¢-$ D Shepards Grill & Tavern — Bar food with flare, from appetizers to Kobe top sirloin. Open

Village Inn Pizza Parlor — Longtime favorite for pizza, pasta, burgers, chicken, Mexican and more. Karaoke nights Thu-Sat. Open daily; weekday lunch buffet. 2215 44th St SE, Kentwood, 281-1444; 934 Washington St, Hol¢-$ land, (616) 392-1818. L, D Vitale’s Sports Lounge & Pizzeria — Pizza and pasta plus panini and wraps in sportscentric surroundings. Outside deck, live entertainment. Open daily. 3868 West River Dr NE, Comstock Park, 784-6044, takeout 7845011. L, D ¢-$ Woody’s Press Box — Complex includes two bars, a patio and bowling. Menu offers sandwiches and shrimp, barbecue fare. Breakfast and lunch only Sun. 5656 Clyde Park Ave SW, Wyoming, 530-2400. B, L, D $ Z’s — Sports-themed eatery known for its ribs. Soup-salad-sandwich lunches. Carryout available. 168 Louis Campau Promenade NW, 454-3141. L, D ¢-$

Italian/ European FAmore Trattoria Italiana — Regional Italian dishes using some local products as well as Italian imports. Italian wines and liqueurs a specialty. House-made desserts. Banquet facility. Closed Mon. 5080 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park. 785-5344. amoretrattoria L (not Sat), D $ Angela’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria — Italian dinners, pizza, stromboli, subs and desserts. Lunch buffet, full-service bar. Delivery and catering available. Closed Sun. 240 E Division, Sparta, (616) 887-1913. angel L, D ¢-$ Big Bob’s Pizza — A neighborhood pizza parlor in EGR’s Gaslight Village with wine and beer on tap, available to go. 661 Croswell SE, 233-0123. L, D $ Bella Pizzeria — Italian dishes, sandwiches and specialty pizzas. Open daily. 3519 S. Division Ave, 452-2810. L, D ¢-$

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food & drink restaurants / PeoPLe / reviews

austin Gresham of Butch’s Dry Dock brings an impressive résumé of skills from some of the nation’s top eateries.

Intrinsically a chef


ong at the forefront of farm-to-fork dining, Butch’s Dry Dock in downtown Holland has a mission to provide guests with an unprecedented dining experience. Through the years, each chef has made a unique contribution toward that goal. Austin Gresham, who took over as executive chef last September, brings a culinary passion that aligns with Butch’s objectives, including the pairing of food and wine. “I go to sleep thinking about new recipes, equipment and applications,” said the Texas native. “I wake up thinking about ingredients, menu planning, staffing, quality and staging. During the day I see food costs and leakage and think about scheduling and cleaning. … I live and breathe the

restaurant. It’s what I do every single day, and it’s my driving philosophy.” Gresham said he was hooked at age 15 after his first dishwashing job at a Houston restaurant. After working in a couple of kitchens in Houston, he moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue his career. “I went to the best restaurants I could find and then learned as much as I could while I worked there,” he said of his European-style apprenticeship. From D.C.’s Bistro Bis, he relocated to Atlanta, taking on the chef de partie responsibilities of the garde manger station at Seeger’s, a Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond/Relais & Chateaux restaurant, before moving on to The Dining Room at Atlanta’s Ritz Carlton Buckhead — the oldest Five Star/Five Dia-

mond restaurant in America. When he returned to D.C., he continued his whole-animal utilization skills in charcuterie at Restaurant Eve, a Washington Post-rated four-star restaurant. That is where he met future wife Traci, a Michigan native who works the front of the house at Butch’s. Their honeymoon was a yearlong extended working vacation in Puerto Rico. “We bought one-way tickets and walked into the nicest restaurant we could find in San Juan (Peter Schintler’s Marmalade Restaurant and Wine Bar) and were fortunate to get jobs there,” he said. When they returned to the States, they also teamed at Chicago’s Alinea, a Michelin three-star restaurant ranked sixth in the

Chef austin Gresham’s asparagus with stewed Michigan Morels Yield: 4 servings | Prep time: 45 minutes 2 bunches green asparagus 3 medium Yukon potatoes ½ pound fresh morels 2 shallots 1 cup vin jaune (or a dry white wine) ¼ cup finishing olive oil ¼ cup unsalted butter ½ cup chicken bouillon Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Morels: Trim feet. Wash in cold water seven or more cycles or until water runs clean. Dry on towels and reserve. Mince shallots finely. Melt 1/8 cup butter in a sauté pan and once it becomes foamy, add mushrooms and sweat for 2 minutes. Deglaze with vin jaune and reduce until almost dry. Add chicken bouillon and remaining butter and stew until reduced to sauce consistency. Asparagus: Bring large pot of water to boil and salt to taste. Uniformly cut asparagus and peel skin. Blanch, making sure water is continuously boiling. Once fork tender, add to stewed morels. To serve: Dress plate with potatoes, asparagus and morels. Serve immediately.

PhotoGraPhy by Johnny Quirin

Potatoes: Bake potatoes 40 minutes; while hot, scoop the inside into a mixing bowl and fork in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Reserve in a warm spot.

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Good times always happen around the

Delectable Wines from Michigan’s famed “Gold Coast”

(269) 637-1211


PhotoGraPhy by Johnny Quirin

PhotoGraPhy by Johnny Quirin

Location: Butch’s Dry Dock, 44 E. 8th St., Holland

world by San Pellegrino. “We love working together, so it’s a real blessing to be here at Butch’s,” Gresham said. “Holland is a beautiful city. We love the area, the water, the four seasons. We have family close by, and there are a lot of great farms and farmers around here, so it was all a good fit.” Gresham describes his culinary style as ingredient driven. He likes to stay true to regional components with each dish he creates. “I like to highlight the freshest and bestquality ingredients and let them speak for themselves,” he said, reciting a list of local and regional purveyors from which the restaurant’s products are sourced. “It’s not about extravagant garnishes. We’re focused on well executing and elegantly presenting those high-quality, seasonal ingredients.” The small plates offer a broad spectrum of flavors for guests to explore, yet the menu also includes such traditional selections as steaks, seafood and pub fare. His recipe for asparagus and morels highlights Michigan’s finest spring products and marries them with a characteristic French wine: vin jaune.

Enjoy the Show at The Hibachi Table or gather in the Bistro for the freshest and creative Sushi selections or Chinese and Thai cuisine. Mon-Thurs: 11am- 3pm, 4pm-10pm Fri & Sat: 11am-3pm, 4pm-11pm Sun: 12noon-9pm

1501 East Beltline, NE | 616-719-1859

— JUlIe BUrCH February 2014 / 57

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

Brick Road Pizza — Specializing in gourmet, traditional and vegan pizzas. Gluten-free crusts available on request. Serves beer and wine. Open daily. 1017 Wealthy St SE, 719¢-$ 2409. L, D Chicago 7 Pizzeria — Family-owned pizzeria offers Chicago-style pies, specialty pizzas, hot dogs, burgers. 6246 28th St SE, 538-7777. chi ¢-$ L, D Euro Bistro — European bistro fare plus wood-fired pizzas. 11 am-10 pm Mon-Fri. 4-10 pm Sat, closed Sun. 6450 28th St SE, 7192017. L (Mon-Fri), D $-$$ Florentine Pizzeria & Sports Lounge — Spacious location features Italian fare with American and Mexican choices and thincrust pizzas. Big-screen TVs, pool tables, darts, video games, foosball. 4261 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 455-2230. L, D ¢-$ Florentine Ristorante — Italian and American cuisine. Pizza and pasta served in the lounge until midnight; full-menu dinner 4-10 pm. Closed Sun. 3245 28th St SW, 534-5419. L, D $ Flo’s Pizzeria Ristorante Sports Bar — Pizzas, sandwiches, salads, Italian entrees and even Mexican entrees. Multiple big screen TVs; take-out available. Open daily. 1259 Post Drive, Belmont, 785-1001. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Franco’s Pizzeria — Spaghetti, manicotti, lasagna, stromboli plus pizza and subs with fresh ingredients. Limited seating, takeout available (delivery offered). No alcohol. Open daily. 2103 Alpine Ave NW, 361-7307. francos L, D ¢-$ Fred’s Pizza And Italian Restaurant — Long-time favorite offers Italian fare, including fresh pasta and gourmet pizza. Full-service bar. Closed Sun. 3619 Plainfield Ave NE, 361-8994. L, D ¢-$ Fricano’s Pizza Restaurant — Famous for its thin-crust pizza. Also, pasta dinners with a sauce that has made its way to the retail market. Closed Sun. 5808 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park, 785-5800. fricanospizza. com. D ¢-$



Georgio’s Gourmet Pizza — Downtown pizzeria with more than 50 varieties of gourmet pizza, whole or by the slice. Beer on tap or by the bottle. Delivery available. Open daily. 15 Ionia Ave. SW, Suite 140, 356-4600. georgios L, D ¢-$ G.R.P.D. — Grand Rapids Pizza & Delivery offers traditional, stuffed and specialty pizzas. No alcohol. Open daily, with a handful of tables for dining in. 340 State St, 742-4773.

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Licari’s Sicilian Pizza Kitchen — Specialties include thick-crust Sicilian pizza and stuffed pizza with a crispy crust. Also pasta, entrees, calzones and desserts. Open daily. 2896 Knapp St NE. 608-6912. licarispizza L, D $ Mangiamo — Historic mansion houses family-friendly Italian eatery. Italian fare plus steaks and seafood. Extensive wine list, evening entertainment. 1033 Lake Dr SE, 742-0600. amo.php. D $-$$

Tre Cugini — Innovative Italian menu, impressive wine list, fresh daily pastas and risotto specialties. Outdoor seating in mild weather. Closed Sun. 122 Monroe Center, 235$-$$ 9339. L, D Uccello’s Ristorante, Pizzeria & Sports Lounge — Kitchen stays open until 1:30 am for dine-in, 1 am for take-out. Open daily. 2630 East Beltline Ave SE, 954-2002; 4787 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, 735-5520; 8256 Broadmoor Ave SE, 891-1100; 3940 Rivertown Pkwy SW, 249-9344. L, D ¢-$

Marinade’s Pizza Bistro — Wood-fired pizzas, salads, pastas, sandwiches. No alcohol. Catering. 109 Courtland St, Rockford, 8633300. L, D ¢

Vitale’s — Serving traditional regional dishes from family recipes since 1966. 834 Leonard St NE, 458-8368 (Vitale’s Sports Lounge next door, 458-2090), takeout 458-3766. theorigin ¢-$ L, D

Monelli’s Italian Grill And Sports Bar — Southern Italian cuisine. Sports bar plus family-friendly dining room with fireplace. 5675 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, 530-9700. ¢-$ L, D

Vitale’s Of Ada — Multi-regional, upscale dishes made from scratch. Also pizza, subs and burgers. Family-friendly; microbrews to martinis in separate sports pub. 400 Ada Dr SE, Ada, 676-5400. L, D ¢-$

Noto’s Old World Italian Dining — Elegant décor and extensive classic Italian menu. Special wine cellar dinners. Lounge menu features light fare. Closed Sun. 6600 28th St SE, 493-6686. D $-$$

Vitale’s Pizzeria — Multiple locations serving pizza and pasta from original family recipes. 3868 West River Dr, Comstock Park, 784-6044; 5779 Balsam Dr, Hudsonville, 6622244, (no alcohol); 5380 S Division Ave, Kentwood, 530-8500. L, D ¢-$

➧Osteria Rossa — Casual Italian-inspired cuisine with Michigan roots from Executive Chef/Owner Chris Perkey. Wood-fired pizzas, handmade pasta. Full bar. 16 Monroe Center NW. or Facebook. L (MonFri), D ¢-$

Pietro’s Italian Ristorante — Regional and contemporary Italian cuisine. Tuscan wines, desserts and cappuccinos. Kids menu. Takeout available. 2780 Birchcrest Dr SE, 4523228. L, D $ Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant — Sicilian and southern Italian fare using family recipes. Separate sports bar; patio seating. Weekday lunch buffet. All menu items, beer and wine available to go. Delivery and catering. Closed Sun. 654 Stocking Ave NW, 454-4280. salva L, D ¢-$ Seasonal Grille — Hastings’ Italian-themed eatery features fresh, locally sourced, creative fare in handsome surroundings. Full bar, craft cocktails, nice wine list. Open daily. 152 W State St, Hastings, (269) 948-9222. seasonal L, D $ Trattoria di’ Stagione — Chef Dan Chudik prepares Italian dishes from pasta to seafood utilizing locally sourced ingredients. Lunch will be offered in near future. Closed Sun. 1420 Lake Drive SE, 458-5583. trattoriadistag D $

Asian Akasaka Sushi — Sushi plus Korean and Japanese offerings in low-key atmosphere in Cascade Centre. Serves alcohol. Closed Sun. 6252 28th St SE, 977-0444. Facebook. L, ¢-$ D Akita Buffet — Across from RiverTown Crossings Mall, with sushi bar, hibachi grill and Chinese buffet with set price for lunch and dinner. Serves alcohol. 3540 Rivertown ¢-$ Point Ct SW, 257-7777. L, D Angel’s Thai Café — Extensive Thai fare; menu includes a your-choice stir-fry option. Vegetarian-friendly. No alcohol. Open daily. 136 Monroe Center NW, 454-9801. angelsthai L, D ¢-$ Asian Palace — Chinese and Vietnamese fare with extensive menus for each cuisine. Family owned and operated. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 825 28th St SW, 534-7770. L, D ¢-$ Bangkok Taste — Thai fare with lunch buffet. No alcohol. Closed Sun. 15 Jefferson Ave SE, 356-5550; 674 Baldwin St, Jenison, 356-5550. L, D ¢-$ Bangkok View — Thai food and Chinese fare. Lunch buffet. No alcohol. Closed Mon.

1233 28th St SW, 531-8070. Facebook. L, D ¢-$

Beijing Kitchen — Hunan, Szechuan and Cantonese cuisines. Lunch specials. No alcohol. 342 State St SE, 458-8383. beijing L, D ¢-$ Blue Ginger Asian Kitchen — Noodle-based Thai dishes, chicken, seafood, beef and pork entrees, curries. Vegetarian options. No alcohol. 5751 Byron Center Ave (Bayberry Market), 261-8186. L, ¢-$ D China Chef — Family-style restaurant with Szechuan-style entrées and Hunan choices. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 4335 Lake Michigan Dr NW, 791-4488. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ China City — Chinese cuisine; lunch prices all day. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 1140 Monroe Ave NW, 451-3688. L, D ¢-$ China Gourmet Buffet — Daily lunch and dinner buffets with more than 100 items. Dinner buffet served all day weekends; discount for seniors and children 10 and under. No alcohol. 2030 28th St SW, 252-1379. L, D ¢-$ Chinatown Restaurant And Japanese Steak House — Chinese and Japanese cuisine with tabletop, Benihana-style meals available. Lunch and dinner buffets. Full bar. 69 28th St SW, 452-3025. chinatowngrand L, D ¢-$ China Yi Wang — Chinese dishes including spicy Hunan dishes. No alcohol. 1947 Eastern Ave SE, 241-3885. L, D ¢-$ East Garden Buffet — Cantonese, Hunan, Szechuan cuisine. Daily buffet. No alcohol. 6038 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 698-8933. L, D ¢-$ Empire Chinese Buffet — All-you-can-eat Chinese buffet served all day. Special seafood buffet Sat-Sun. Delivery available. 4255 Alpine Ave NW, 785-8880. L, D ¢-$ Erb Thai — Traditional Thai fare, will accommodate special diets: vegetarian, gluten-free, no MSG. No alcohol. 950 Wealthy St SE, Suite ¢ 1A, 356-2573. L, D Far-East Restaurant — Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean dishes. Carryout and catering available. No alcohol. 3639 Clyde Park Ave SW, 531-7176. Facebook. L, D $ First Wok — Mandarin, Hunan, Szechuan cuisine. Dine-in and take-out. Full bar. Three locations: 2301 44th St SE, 281-0681; 3509 Alpine Ave NW, 784-1616; 6740 Old 28th St SE, 575-9088. L, D $ Fuji Yama Asian Bistro — Hibachi grill taFebruary 2014 / 59

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Wine-loving sweets

nosh & sip

Amy Ruis has traveled many of the wine countries and has passed the first step in becoming a Master Sommelier. She owns Art of the Table, a specialty food, beverage and tabletop store, and co-owns Aperitivo wine, cheese and charcuterie.

— or how about a red velvet rendition? Marry it with a crystal clear glass amply filled with the pear-hued Clos du Gravillas – Douce Providence Muscat (375mL for $24). It’s a fortified wine, meaning the fermentation stops by adding a grape spirit, finding the juice sweet but pure, paying homage to pineapple and roses, and giving a burst of round flavor as a nice full match to the delightful frosting. Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato (250mL can, $5.50) is light pink and shows light raspberry and strawberry notes with a touch of orange sweetness. Since it’s a single serving, it’s all yours (or your sweetie’s.) This is especially convenient if one of you isn’t so sweet on the sweet. The other person could have their own half bottle of L. Mawby Blanc de Blanc (375mL for $15). Pair these with pears poached in Fenn Valley’s 42 Ice Wine and whip up some mascarpone and butterscotch drizzle. No matter what you love to drink by the fireplace, find something new to try. Pick up your favorite dessert and then ask your favorite wine retailer to suggest what to drink with it. You should have a lovely time! — aMY rUIs

PhotoGraPhy by Johnny Quirin

Try Cakabakery’s delightful vanilla cupcake frosted with vanilla bean butter cream — or how about a red velvet rendition? Marry it with a crystal clear glass amply filled with the pear-hued Clos du Gravillas – Douce Providence Muscat.

a day desigNed For sWeets, sweeties and matchmaking required me to do my own research on matching fun local desserts and wines. Love’s Ice Cream’s TCHO Chocolate (spiked with Madcap coffee) goes well alongside a small snifter of your favorite port. I especially love Warre’s Warrior port (375mL for $13). A rich and deep mystery blend represents black currants and chocolate with an underlay of youthful cherries and plums. It’s deep on the palate with great tannic structure and terrific length. Try Cakabakery’s delightful vanilla cupcake frosted with vanilla bean butter cream

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

bles with chef preparations, or eat in dining room with Chinese, Japanese and Thai selections. Full bar. 1501 East Beltline Ave NE, 7191859. L, D ¢-$

for its curries: blue, peanut or yellow. No alcohol. Closed Sun. 800 W Main St, Lowell, 9879307. L, D ¢-$

XO Asian Cuisine

Ning Ye — Family-owned Chinese restaurant also serves Korean fare. No alcohol. Closed Sun during winter. 6747 E Fulton St, Ada, 6765888. L, D $

Fortune Chef — Chinese and American fare. Opens 6 am weekdays, 8 am weekends with breakfast served all day. No alcohol. 9353 Cherry Valley Ave SE, Caledonia, 891-1388. ¢-$ B, L, D

Nu-Thai Bistro — Appetizers, soups, Thai salads, fried rice, curries and noodle dishes; seafood and duck specialty plates. No alcohol. 2055 28th St SE, 452-0065. nuthaibistro. com. L, D ¢-$

Golden 28 — Szechuan, Hunan, Mandarin cuisine complemented by a Vietnamese menu. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 627 28th St SW, Wyoming, 531-2800. L, D $

Osaka Steakhouse — Japanese cuisine, including steak, seafood, sushi. Same owners as XO Asian Cuisine. Open daily. 4977 28th St. SE, 419-4628. Facebook. L, D $

Golden Dragon — Chinese, Mandarin and Japanese cuisines with Japanese steakhouse. Full bar. 3629 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-1318. L, D $

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro — Upscale chain known for modern Chinese dishes from Mongolian beef to chicken lettuce wraps. Cocktails, beer and wine. Order online for takeout. The Village at Knapp’s Crossing, 2065 East Beltline Ave, 447-2060. pfcha L, D $

Golden Gate Restaurant — Chinese fare with all-inclusive lunch combination plates, egg rolls, sweet-and-sour dishes, with some hot and spicy choices. No alcohol. 4023 S Divi¢ sion Ave, 534-7087. Facebook. L, D Golden Wok — Knapp’s Corner eatery offers lunch and dinner options, including Hunanspiced dishes. Full bar. 1971 East Beltline Ave NE, 363-8880. L, D ¢-$ Grand Lakes — A wide selection of Chinese dishes and specialties, along with daily lunch combination plates. No alcohol. Next to Breton Village D&W. Pick-up and take-out only. 1810 Breton Rd SE, 954-2500. grand L, D ¢-$ Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet — PanAsian cuisine from sushi to buffet, including Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and American dishes. No alcohol. 785 Center Dr NW (Green Ridge Shopping Center), 785-8200. hibachigrillsupremebuffet. L, D ¢ Hong Kong Express — Szechuan and Cantonese for dine-in or carry-out. All-you-caneat lunch buffet. No alcohol. 150 E Fulton St, 235-2888. B, L, D ¢-$

Photography by Michael Buck

Photography by Johnny Quirin

Hunan — Full menu of Chinese options. No alcohol. 1740 44th St SW, 530-3377. hunangr. com; 1263 Leonard St NE, 458-0977. hunan L, D $ Jade Garden — Chinese cuisine with some American dishes. Children’s menu, large selection of tropical cocktails. 4514 Breton Rd SE, 455-8888. L, D ¢-$ Ju Sushi & Lounge — Sushi and sashimi selections, Japanese hibachi, tempura, soups, salads and entrées in elegant surroundings. Full bar, huge sake selection. Takeout, catering and banquet space. 1144 East Paris Ave

SE, 575-5858. L, D


Lai Thai Kitchen — Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese fare. No alcohol. Closed Sun. 1621 Leonard St NE, 456-5730. Facebook, laithai L, D ¢-$ Little Bangkok — Extensive menu of Thai standbys plus some unique items. Kids meals available. Serves beer and wine. Closed Sun. 850 Forest Hill Ave SE, 808-3153. littlebang L, D ¢-$ Mandarin — Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine; buffets at lunch, dinner and all day on weekends. Cocktails. Open daily. 2460 28th St SE, 530-3300. L, D ¢-$ Maru Sushi & Grill — Japanese cuisine with a twist, from sushi to hibachi grilled items. 927 Cherry St SE, 458-1900. L, D $-$$ Mikado Sushi — Sushi carte. Dinners offer full cuisine. Serves alcohol. 28th St SE, 285-7666. D

and sashimi à la range of Japanese Closed Sun. 3971 L, ¢-$

Ming Ten — All-you-can-eat buffet: Japanese, Chinese, sushi bar, hibachi grill and American selections. No alcohol. 2090 Celebration Dr NE (2nd floor), (616) 365-3989. ming L, D ¢-$ Mynt Fusion Bistro — Asian fare that includes Thai, Korean and Chinese. Renowned

Pho Soc Trang — Wide selection of Vietnamese offerings. No alcohol. 4242 S Division Ave, 531-0755. L, D ¢-$ Rak Thai Bistro — Thai-fusion fare with Chinese and Japanese influences. No alcohol. 6719 S. Division Ave, 551-1706; Downtown Market, 435 Ionia Ave SW, 805-5308; 5260 Northland Dr NE, 363-2222. rakthai L, D ¢-$ Red Sun Buffet — All-you-can-eat international buffet: sushi, Chinese, American, Italian and Japanese selections. No alcohol. 4176 28th St SE, 940-9999. redsungrandrap L, D ¢-$ Seoul Garden — Chinese and Korean cuisine with full bar. Banquet and catering facilities also available. Closed Sun. 3321 28th St SE, 956-1522. L, D $-$$ Shanghai Ichiban — Chinese and Japanese cuisine; food prepared tableside by hibachi chefs in Japanese area. Serves alcohol. 3005 East Beltline SE, 942-5120. shanghaiichiban. com. L, D $-$$ Sushi Kuni — Japanese and Korean cuisine, plus fusion fare. Private groups can eat in traditional Japanese tatami room. Serves alcohol. Closed Sun. 2901 Breton Rd SE, 241-4141. Facebook. L, D ¢-$$ Thai Express — Thai specialties, spiced to customer specification. No alcohol. 4317 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 827-9955. thaiexpressgr. com. L, D ¢ Thai Fusion — Thai cuisine and fusion speFebruary 2014 / 61

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And if you’re in the mood for whoopie, Sweetie-Licious makes brownies, cookies and oldfashioned whoopie pies.

“Ordinarily, I’m not a big fan of chocolate so the traditional box of Valentine’s sweets doesn’t get my blood pumping unless it’s out of the norm. Grocer’s Daughter seems to know my heart. Among its carefully arranged candies are oddities that pique my curiosity and my appetite: honey caramel apples covered in dark chocolate; dried figs injected with whiskey ganache; truffles made from Founders Breakfast Stout. What’s that? Beer and chocolate? Brilliant. I can’t think of any guy or gal who’d resist that combo. Now, if only they could figure out a way to create a gelée out of Brewery Vivant’s Big Red Coq and bake it into a pastry made from Vandermill’s Hard Cider ...” — JEREMY


She fed:

Unique♥ treats

“My first choice for dessert

Juliet and Jeremy think outside the heart-shaped box this year while shopping at Downtown Market.

fresh baked pie from SweetieLicious Bake Shop, where

Most foodies wouldn’t admit this, but we avoid dining out on Valentine’s Day, one of the busiest nights of the year. Instead, we’re hitting Downtown Market. With more than 20 culinary purveyors, we can stock up on a bevy of treats. Field & Fire Bakery serves up uncommonly good pastries and breads. What could be more romantic than fresh croissants for breakfast? The hard part will be choosing between almond, chocolate, ham and cheese, or butter. We’ll score coffee beans to go with the croissants at Simpatico Coffee, offering fair trade, single origin coffee. Simpatico takes pride in its low-acid beans, making the coffee incredibly smooth. We can stock up on bubbles and the makings for a cheese board at Aperitivo. The staff will happily help you pick the perfect meats, cheeses and accompaniments to create a customized board. A Valentine’s dinner seems like the perfect opportunity for surf and turf: Think seared scallops and a juicy filet. We’ll hit Fish Lads for the seafood and Montello Meat Market for the beef. Of course, since it’s Valentine’s Day, we might pause for a moment at the raw bar for freshly shucked oysters. Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day tradition? Please share it with us @hefedshefed #readthefeed on Twitter!

appliances adorn the walls

on Valentine’s Day would be a

kitsch reigns supreme. Vintage while the staff — clad in adorable pink aprons — proposes to ‘change the world one pie at a time.’ In addition to a 9-inch pie, they offer a 5-inch ‘cutie pie’ — absolutely perfect for sharing! And if you’re in the mood for whoopie, Sweetie-Licious makes brownies, cookies and old-fashioned whoopie pies. Consider gilding the lily by serving it ala mode with Love’s Ice Cream (how appropriate for Valentine’s Day, right?). Love’s continually offers up new flavors to reflect the seasons, along with favorites like mint chip, vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel and coffee.” — JULIET


He fed:


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$25 Introductory private lesson


cials with good selection of starters and salads. Kids menu for $5.99. No alcohol. Closed Sun. 3097 Broadmoor Ave SE (near 29th St), 301-8883. L, D ¢-$

three Happiness restaurant — Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan fare, with daily lunch and dinner specials. No alcohol. 3330 Alpine Ave NW, Target Plaza, 785-3888. Facebook. L, D ¢-$



tokyo grill & sushi — Japanese tatami rooms, sushi bars. Menu includes hibachi, teriyaki, Udon, tempura. Sake, plus Japanese and American beer and wine. Closed Sun. 4478 Breton Rd SE, 455-3433. tokyogrill L, D ¢-$ tokyo roadhouse — Japanese (sushi) and Chinese menus, lunch specials. Order online for pickup, delivery (until 8 p.m.) or express dine-in. No alcohol. Opens daily at 11 a.m. 4095 Plainfield Ave. NE, 365-3719. tokyoroad L, D ¢-$ Wei Wei palace — Chinese seafood restaurant features Cantonese cuisine, dim sum and barbecue. 4242 S Division Ave, 724-1818. wei L, D $

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Wonton express — No-frills ambience serving authentic Chinese fare from spicy Hunan and Kung-Po dishes. No alcohol. 6719 S Division Ave, 281-8816. L, D ¢-$ FXo asian Cuisine — Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine with full service bar. Vegetarian options and lunch specials Mon-Sat. Free valet parking with $30 purchase. Will deliver. 58 Monroe Center, 235-6969. xoasian L, D $-$$

yummy Wok — Cantonese, Hunan and Szechuan dishes. No alcohol. 4325 Breton Rd SE, 827-2068. Facebook. L, D ¢-$


PhotoGraPhy by michaeL buck

bombay Cuisine — Traditional Indian dishes with spices and flavors from Northern India. Full bar. Lunch buffet Mon.-Fri. and Sun. Takeout available. 1420 Lake Dr. SE, 4567055. L, D $ Curry Kitchen — Authentic Indian cuisine. Lunch buffet 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (noon on Sun). Kids menu. Takeout. Open daily. No alcohol. 961 E Fulton St, 242-1300. currykitchengr. com. L, D $ india town — Indian fare including vegetarian and vegan in a humble atmosphere. No alcohol. Closed Tue. 3760 S Division Ave, 2431219. L, D ¢-$ palace of india — Indian cuisine with a sizeable menu that includes vegetarian selecFebruary 2014 / 63

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

tions. Lunch buffet 11 am-3 pm. No alcohol. 526 Stocking Ave NW, 913-9000. palace L, D ¢-$

Punjab Grill — Indian and Pakistani cuisine, vegan and vegetarian dishes. Daily lunch buffet, carry-out. Closed Sun. Liquor license $ pending. 40 Pearl St NW, 608-4166. L, D

Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean Le Kabob — Huge appetizer selection, soups, salads and sandwiches, large choice of Mediterranean entrees and combos. Kids menu. No alcohol. Open daily. 2923 28th St SE, 2724135. L, D ¢-$ Marie Catrib’s — Middle-Eastern fare with on-site bakery, seasonal specialties and Turkish coffee. Vegetarian options. Breakfast 7 am Mon-Fri, 8 am Sat. Lunch/dinner starts 11 am weekdays, noon Sat. Closed Sun. No alcohol. 1001 Lake Dr SE, 454-4020. B, L, D ¢-$ Mediterranean Grills — Gyros, kabobs, falafel, shwarma, hummus, kafta. All meats are halal, in accordance with Islamic requirements. Closed Sun. No alcohol. Cascade Center, 6250 28th St SE, 949-9696. L, D $ Mr. Gyros — Family-owned restaurant offering Mediterranean specialties with drivethrough, delivery and catering available. Open daily. 2260 Alpine Ave NW, 791-6660. L, D ¢-$ Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine — Lebanese cuisine, from grape leaf appetizer and tabbouleh to shish kebob, falafel and baklava. Takeout and catering. Features Lebanese beer and wine. Closed Sun-Mon. 2228 Wealthy St SE in EGR, 456-8999. L, D ¢-$ Parsley Mediterranean Grille — Appetizers, salads, soups, pitas, lunch and dinner combos of chicken, beef, seafood and vegetarian entrees, kabobs. No alcohol. 80 Ottawa Ave NW, 776-2590. L, D ¢-$ Pita House — Gyros and other Middle East specialties. No alcohol. 1450 Wealthy St SE, 454-1171; 3730 28th St SE, 940-3029; 4533 Ivanrest Ave SW, 261-4302; 134 Monroe Center NW, 233-4875. L, D ¢ Raad’s Mediterranean Grill — East Hills eatery features all the Mediterranean favorites made fresh, including many Lebanese family recipes. Meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings. No alcohol. Open daily. 962 Cherry St. SE, 454-7223. Facebook. L, D $-$$ Sheshco Grill — Lebanese cuisine including appetizers, salads and soups; entrees such as

shish kabob, lamb shanks, quail and sautéed meats, plus vegetarian and seafood options. No alcohol. 2121 Celebration Dr NE (Knapp’s Corner), 364-0600. L, D $

FShiraz Grille — Persian cuisine: fire-grilled kabobs, khoreshts, vegetarian options. Full bar, wine list, martinis. 2739 Breton Rd SE, $ 949-7447. L (Sun), D Zeytin — Turkish-American cuisine with extensive beer and wine lists. Takeout available. 400 Ada Dr SE, Ada, 682-2222. zeytin L, D $

African Little Africa Cuisine — Humble storefront café offers hearty vegetable stews; sauces and fixings served on Ethiopian flat bread. Sample other Ethiopian specialties. No alcohol. Cash or checks only. Open daily. 956 E Fulton St, 222-1169. Facebook. L, D ¢ Gojo Ethiopian Cuisine & Deli — Authentic dishes including vegetarian options. Watt (stew-like) dishes served with injerra flatbread. Carry-out. No alcohol. Tue-Fri lunch buffet, dinner 5-8 pm; Sat buffet 4-8 pm; closed Sun and Mon. 421 Norwood SE, 4593383. L, D $

Mexican/Latin American/ Caribbean 7 Mares — Authentic Mexican dishes including breakfasts. 1403 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 3018555. Facebook. B, L, D ¢-$$ Beltline Bar — Americanized Tex-Mex menu; wet burritos are the claim to fame. Full bar. The Big Enchilada curbside service: call in your order and have it delivered to your car. 16 28th St SE, 245-0494. beltline L, D $ Cabana Tres Amigos — Authentic Mexican fare with full bar, take-out service, vegetarian selection. Spacious with fireplaces and Mexican décor. 1409 60th St SE, 281-6891. L, D ¢-$ Café San Juan — Puerto Rican, Mexican and Cuban. No alcohol. 3549 Burlingame Ave SW, ¢-$ 530-2293. B, L, D

1441 Wealthy St SE, 233-4141. L, D ¢

Cinco De Mayo — Mexican eatery offers the usual fare plus carnitas and steak asada. Full bar. 123 Courtland St, Rockford, 866-3438; 114 Monroe Center NW, 719-2404. L, D $ ➧Donkey Taqueria — Authentic Mexican food, including tacos, tostadas and tortas, in a former auto-service station. Full bar. Open daily. 665 Wealthy St SE. Facebook. L, D ¢-$

Donk’s Mexican Joint — Tex-Mex selections including wet and dry burritos. Kids menu, drive-thru available. 820 Michigan St. NE, ¢ 419-3554. L, D Downtown Trini’s — Sparta destination offers traditional fare. Full bar. Closed Sun and Mon. 148 E Division Ave, Sparta, 887-2500. L, D ¢-$ El Arriero — Extensive menu offers specialty dishes, with à la carte selections for smaller appetites. Mexican and domestic beers, Margaritas. 2948 28th St SE, 977-2674. L, D ¢-$ El Barrio Mexican Grill — Tasty and creative twists on otherwise-traditional Mexican. Full bar. 545 Michigan St NE, 301-0010. elbarrio L, D ¢-$ El Burrito Loco — More than 70 authentic Mexican selections. Complimentary chips and salsa. Full bar. 1971 East Beltline Ave NE, 447-0415; 4499 Ivanrest SW, 530-9470; 4174 Alpine Ave NW, 785-4102. elburritolocores L, D ¢-$ FEl Granjero — Mexican fare, from steak and shrimp dishes to à la carte selections and menudo on weekends. No alcohol but tasty virgin coladas. 950 Bridge St NW, 458-5595. B, L, D ¢ El Sombrero — Offers the wet burrito, and dry ones too. Weekly specials. No alcohol. Closed Sun. 527 Bridge St NW, 451-4290. el L, D ¢ Grand Villa Dungeon — Mexican food is the specialty. Full bar. Closed Sun. 3594 Chicago Dr SW, 534-8435. L, D $

Cancun Restaurant — Neighborhood eatery specializes in Mexican seafood dishes but offers a full range of fare. 1518 Grandville Ave SW, 248-2824. L, D ¢-$

Jamaican Dave’s — Jerked, fricasseed or curried chicken; curry goat, oxtail, beef and chicken patties; jerked wings; salt fish and “escoveitched” fish; tofu-with-veggies. Limited seating; takeout is best bet. 1059 Wealthy St SE, 458-7875. L, D ¢

Cantina — Extensive menu of Mexican specialties with full-service bar. 2770 East Paris Ave SE, 949-9120. L, D $

Las Cazuelas — Open for breakfast at 10 am. Genuine Hispanic flavors. 411 Wilson Ave NW, Walker, 726-6600. B, L, D ¢

Chez Olga — Caribbean and Creole fare. Veggie/vegan options. Lunch specials. No alcohol. Open until 2 am Fri-Sat, closed Sun.

La Huasteca — Homemade recipes. All items can be accommodated for vegetarians. Mostly take-out with a small dining room. No alco-

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hol. Open daily. 1811 Plainfield Ave. NE, 4477733. Facebook. L, D ¢

Punjab Grill

Authentic Indian Cuisine

La Taqueria San Jose — Authentic Mexican fare, including tacos stuffed with such options as goat, chicken, pork and cactus in a very casual, take-out setting. 1338 S Division Ave, 284-2297. L, D ¢ Lindo Mexico Restaurant — Fresh food with “real Mexican flavor.” Happy hour 2-6 pm. Kids menu. 1292 28th St SW, Wyoming, 2612280. L, D ¢-$ Maggie’s Kitchen — Mexican fare in café setting, cafeteria-style ordering. No alcohol. 636 Bridge St NW, 458-8583. B, L, D ¢ Michoacan — Mexican fare plus seafood, chicken and steak dishes. No alcohol. Open at 9 am. 334 Burton St SW, 452-0018. B, L, D ¢-$ Mi Tierra Restaurant — Traditional Mexican, eat in or drive through. No alcohol. 2300 S Division Ave, 245-7533. Facebook. L, D ¢ Taco Bob’s — Fresh-Mex offerings, taco salads and the “funny taco,” a hard-shell wrapped in a soft shell. No alcohol. Open 11 am-2:30 pm, Mon-Fri. 250 Monroe Ave NW, 458-1533. L ¢ Tacos El Caporal — Two locations serving Mexican fare, with menudo Sat and Sun. No alcohol. 1260 Burton St SW, 246-6180; 1717 28th St SW, Wyoming, 261-2711. B, L, D ¢

Lunch Buffet $10.99 Mon–Fri 11-3 | Sat 12-3 Dine In or Take out Banquet facilities on site -to cater up to 40 people Off-site catering available   40 Pearl St. NW | Grand Rapids, MI 616-608-4156 | Like us on Mon- Fri 11-3 & 4-10 | Sat 12-3 & 4-10


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Grand Rapids Magazine has created these symbols to area restaurant amenities as a service to our readers. B — Serves breakfast L — Serves lunch D — Serves dinner ¢ — Inexpensive (under $10)* $ — Moderate ($10-$20)* $$ — Expensive (Over $20)* * Prices based on average entrée. - — Reviewed in this issue — Chef Profile in this issue ➧ — New listing O — GRM’s 2012 Restaurant of the Year F — GRM’s 2012 Dining Award Winner Additions, corrections and/or changes: Please email or write to Dining Guide, Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Dr. Crete’s patient before treatment.

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616-534-0135 |

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By Daina Kraai Photography by Johnny Quirin

South Hill has benefited from efforts of residents and nonprofits to help the neighborhood survive and flourish.

Thriving amidst its challenges

N “In the past 17 months, we have invited over 900 kids into our facility. We have given our kids an opportunity to enjoy this place like it is their own — a home away from home.” — Rick Huisman

estled within the many neighborhoods of Grand Rapids’ bustling southeast side is a small community called South Hill. With an area of only seven blocks, South Hill is bounded by Pleasant Street on the north, Henry Avenue on the east, Franklin Street on the south and Lafayette Avenue on the west. Blink and you might miss it. With no business district, it might seem as if there’s not much going on. But residents of South Hill say there’s a constant hum of activity that keeps the

neighborhood thriving. “South Hill is made up of a diverse group of people — ethnicities, ages, economic status and sexual preferences — whose common ground includes a passion for these beautiful old homes, a desire to improve our urban community, and an appreciation for the traditional neighborhood values and each other,” said resident Tracy Lanning. For example, neighbors have worked together to convert a parking lot at Madison Avenue and Pleasant Street SE into a 2.4-acre park. “Friends of Grand Rapids Parks really spearheaded and managed the fundraising campaign, but we as neighbors have been helping a lot too,” said resident Jenn Gavin. In addition to grant money, the park project will be funded through a special property tax assessment. “This means that neighbors by popular vote agreed to an additional property tax of $50 per year per property for 10 years to help fund the park,” Gavin said. “We knocked on doors to find out whether enough neighbors supported such a tax.

Above left, South Hill residents Darius Johnson and Isaiah Johnson get tips from April Kidd, sports and recreation coordinator at the Paul I. Phillips Recreation Center. Left, Ryan Huizenga offers homework help to siblings Dayshinay and Shavion Gibbs at the center. 66 \ February 2014

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Tracy Lanning and Dave Petroelje enjoy winter fun with neighborhood children. Below, Nathan Karnes and Erin Gardner with daughter Zoey Gardner in their South Hill home, built in 1900.

We attended City Commission meetings to have our voices heard to get a park built. Our kids had lemonade stands to raise money for the park.” At a “depaving” ceremony in December, residents of South Hill and Heritage Hill, along with elected officials, city staff and supporters, were on hand to swing sledgehammers to break up asphalt, making way for the park to be completed in 2014. But despite such positive developments, the neighborhood is not without problems. The South Hill Neighborhood Association formed in the early 1990s to make the streets safer. “As an urban neighborhood, we still have some crime and drug activity,” said Lanning, who is a member of the association. “But I would say it has improved dramatically in the past 10 years.” Though it’s not a designated historic

district like adjacent Heritage Hill, many of the homes were built in the early 1900s when craftsmanship was at its strongest. “We moved here in April 2012 and we love our giant house with amazing woodwork,” said Nathan Karnes, describing his home that was built in 1900. “We like not being in Heritage Hill so that we can make energy-efficient improvements without worrying about neighborhood rules.” The city of Grand Rapids has made efforts to transform vacant buildings and lots in South Hill into usable neighborhood spaces. In 2011, The Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth took over operations and programming of the city-owned Paul I. Phillips Recreation Center at 415 Franklin St. SE. “In the past 17 months, we have invited over 900 kids into our facility,” said Rick Huisman, executive director. “We have February 2014 / 67

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Don Everette, Hugo Claudin, Becky Walsh and Hannah Kummer use the communal office space at LINC Community Revitalization Inc. Below, Calvin College Students Kathryn Deacon and Lauren DeGroot prepare dinner with their mentors, Mike Ryskamp and Rachelle PaxtonRyskamp, at the Harambee House. Bottom: Becky and Tim Helferich and daughter Brynley, who live in an ICCF apartment, receive food and other supplies from program manager Deborah Armstrong.

“Our neighborhood is filled with folks who have learned to survive and even flourish in the midst of some challenging issues. — Pastor Randy Buursma

given our kids an opportunity to enjoy this place like it is their own — a home away from home.” Nonprofit organizations in the area also have helped the neighborhood thrive. First Christian Reformed Church is more than 150 years old and has been on the corner of Henry Avenue and Bates Street for 103 years. “Our neighborhood is filled with folks who have learned to survive and even flour-

ish in the midst of some challenging issues — economic issues related to employment, crime that forces folks to take extra precaution, housing that often is in need of repair, and some difficult family situations,” said Pastor Randy Buursma. “A closer look reveals folks who are attempting to make a better community in our neighborhood.” The church has long operated the Bates Place Ministry Center that offers neighbors a cup of coffee, computer use and other helpful resources. Coffee with the Captain brings Grand Rapids Police Department Captain Eric Payne to answer questions and give updates about neighborhood happenings. The church also sponsors the Harambee House (“join together” in Swahili), located in the old parsonage that has been converted into an intentional community house for six Calvin College students. The house engages the community through neighborhood events and activities, said Mike Ryskamp, one of two mentors in the house. Family Haven, a project of Inner City

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Christian Fellowship, has been a part of the South Hill community for more than 23 years. It was built on the site of a large Victorian house that burned down and was the first emergency shelter in Michigan to house entire families. “Kids from the neighborhood are always coming to play with kids whose families are staying in the shelter,” said Veronica Arvizu, a case manager. “We also have a food and clothing pantry that is open to anyone — including neighbors, not just the families who stay here — and many take advantage of that.” ICCF has helped establish both permanent and rental affordable housing throughout the neighborhood. The Carmody Apartments at Madison and Sycamore, built in the 1920s, were purchased and renovated in 1990 by ICCF. At least 15 homes throughout South Hill have been rehabbed or newly built on vacant lots. The nonprofit also recently purchased an old Laundromat at 400 Franklin St. that will be turned into a community room for the residents of Pleasant Prospect Homes, an ICCF low-income housing project. LINC Community Revitalization Inc. provides a variety of services, including leadership development, foreclosure prevention, financial education, work force development, real estate development, co-work space for entrepreneurs and more, said Jorge Gonzalez, director of economic development. As part of its work force development and revitalization, the LINC staff is even planning to open a Soul Food Café in the neighborhood. Earlier this year, LINC hosted a neighborhood meeting to address violence. “It brought the community together over an issue,” said Anna Johnson, who was pleased to hear from other neighbors who are invested in making South Hill a GR better place to live.

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out & about WHErE To Go / WHaT To Do

february events a FeW GreaT THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH!



































SPOrTS FEB. 14-16 WINTer GaMeS: More than 2,000 athletes from all corners of Michigan are expected to compete in the inaugural Meijer State Games of Michigan winter event. There will be 13 games at multiple venues with opening ceremonies for all participants at Cannonsburg Ski & Ride area. Visit for times and dates of each event.


Don’t forget to mark your calendar!

MuSIC FEB. 20 ST. CeCILIa’S JaZZ SerIeS: Jazz baritone sensation Gregory Porter, above, will make his debut in Grand Rapids as a highlight of St. Cecilia’s Jazz Series. Porter, a powerful baritone who writes his own songs, is a rising star on the jazz charts and has been recognized as a unique talent for his strong African-American jazz compositions with an experimental flare. For ticket information, visit or call 4592224.

SPeCIaL eVeNT FEB. 27 WeST MICHIGaN GO reD FOr WOMeN LuNCHeON: Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women, taking the

Feb. 6-9 - MICHIGaN INTerNaTIONaL auTO SHOW: More than 300 new vehicles, Million Dollar Motorway and Gilmore Car Museum historic auto show. See Special Events

Feb. 9 - LaDy aNTebeLLuM: The multiple Grammy-award winning trio of Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood will bring their Take Me Downtown Tour to Van Andel Arena with special guests Kip Moore and Kacey

clockWisE ToP lEfT: PHoToGraPHy courTEsy THinksTock; courTEsy GrEGory PorTEr; courTEsy laDy anTEbEllum; amErican HEarT associaTion

lives of one in three women each year. Wear red and join others in the fight against this disease Feb. 27 at Prince Conference Center at Calvin College, 1800 East Beltline Ave. The event includes a shopand-learn, silent auction and interactive learning breakout sessions. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the heart healthy lunch and program at noon. See grand

Musgraves. See Music

Feb. 11-12 - “SHeN yuN”: The tradition of Chinese music and dance, featuring the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West and

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To list your event Send calendar information to Grand Rapids Magazine, c/o

Calendar Editor, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, e-mail caleditor@, fax (616) 459-4800. High-resolution photos welcomed. To meet publishing deadlines, information must be received two months prior to monthly magazine issue by the 15th of the month.

Thru March 9 - Ice Skating at rosa Parks Circle: Outdoor ice skating in downtown GR. Hours and cost: see Rosa Parks Circle Ice Skating on Facebook.

clockWisE ToP lEfT: PHoToGraPHy courTEsy THinksTock; courTEsy GrEGory PorTEr; courTEsy laDy anTEbEllum; amErican HEarT associaTion

Feb. 5 - auto Show Charity Spectacular: Preview the Michigan International Auto Show. Cocktails, strolling dinner, fashion show and live auction benefit Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation. 6 p.m. DeVos Place. $150 ( AutoShowSpectacular). Feb. 6-9 - Michigan International auto Show: More than 300 new vehicles, including sedans, trucks, vans, hybrids, SUVs and sport cars, Million Dollar Motorway and Gilmore Car Museum historic auto show. 3-10 p.m. Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. DeVos Place. $10 adults, $4 ages 6-14. Feb. 7-8 - rockford Ice Festival: Fifth annual event includes ice sculptures, carving demonstrations, interactive sports and ice mini-golf, scavenger hunt, contests, prizes, hot cocoa, music. Festival. Feb. 8 - Muskegon Polar Plunge: Polar plunge on Muskegon Lake benefits Special Olympics Michigan. Registration noon, plunge 2 p.m., post-party 4 p.m. Fricano Banquet Center, 1050 W. Western Ave., Muskegon. Feb. 14-15 - The Great brew Ha Ha: More than 100 craft beers and comedians, including Al Jackson and Pat McGann. Plus Brew Olympics, beer pong and flip cup tournaments. 5-10 p.m. Fri., noon-10 p.m. Sat. DeltaPlex. $10-$35 ( brew-ha-ha/). Feb. 14-16 - West Michigan Golf Show: Info

dazzling animated backdrops at DeVos Performance Hall. See Stage

Feb. 14-23 - “rubIeS”: GR Ballet Company presents “Bolero” by Mario Radacovsky, “The Moor’s Pavane” by Jose Limon and “Rubies” by George

about equipment, courses and resorts; retail displays; and a chance to tee off. 2-9 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. DeVos Place. $10 adults, $4 ages 6-14. westmichigan

Feb. 15 - Fashion and Tea: Tour the Streets of Old Grand Rapids and learn about fashion, vintage clothing, customs and culture from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, plus treats and tea. 2:30-4 p.m. GR Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW. $15, $13 members (front desk, 929-1700 or Feb. 16 - Taste of Soul Sunday: Grand Rapids Public Library hosts a celebration of African-American history and culture. 1-4:30 p.m. Main Library, 111 Library St. NE. Free. Feb. 17-March 1 - restaurant Week: Cool Brews, Hot Eats: Food specials at area restaurants include meals paired with beer or food prepared with beer as an ingredient. experi Feb. 19-23 - Grand rapids boat Show: Power boats, pontoons, ski boats, deck boats, runabouts, canoes, kayaks and other family-fun boats, plus brokers, marinas and boating services. 3-9:30 p.m. Wed. and Thu., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. DeVos Place. $10 adults, $4 ages 6-14. Feb. 21 - WyCe Jammies XV: WYCE 88.1 FM hosts annual local music awards show with more than 20 bands on two stages. Wear pj’s and get a free CD. All ages welcome. 5-11 p.m. The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW. sec or

For Photos, Sneak peeks, Event news, Special offers and much more!

Feb. 22 - Coopersville Outhouse 500: Winter festival with a parade and race of decorated outhouses, Polar Plunge, 5K run/walk, Chili Cook-off, live music and kids crafts. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Downtown Coopersville and Coopersville Farm Museum.

Balanchine. See Stage

Feb. 15 - THe MuSIC OF THe rOLLING STONeS: GR Symphony’s SymphonicBoom concert explores the music of rock n’ roll’s bad boys at DeVos Performance Hall. See Music

Feb. 21 - WyCe JaMMIeS XV: WYCE 88.1 FM hosts its annual local music awards with more than 20 bands playing on two stages at The Intersection. Wear pajamas and get a free CD. All ages welcome. See Special Events


speciAL eVeNts

February 2014 / 71

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out & about WHErE To Go / WHaT To Do

Feb. 9

Billy’s Lounge: Eastown bar and music venue hosts live music with emphasis on blues. 1437 Wealthy St. SE, 459-5757,

1/ STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9), which began in Atlanta in 1998, appears at the Orbit Room this month.

The B.O.B: The Big Old Building houses several entertainment options: live music at Bobarino’s Tue.-Sat.; DJs and dancing at Eve (Fri. and Sat.); live music at the new House of Music and Entertainment (HOME); and stand-up comedy at Dr. Grins (see below). 20 Monroe Ave. NW, 356-2000, Diversions: Nightclub offers video bar, dance floor, karaoke, special events. 10 Fountain St. NW, 451-3800, diversions Dr. Grins Comedy Club: Nationally acclaimed stand-up comedians perform 9 p.m. Thu., 8 and 10:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat. The B.O.B., 20 Monroe Ave. NW, 356-2000, Founders Brewing Co.: Large taproom features live music and open mic events. 235 Grandville Ave. SW, 7762182, J. Gardellas: Dance Club Fri. and Sat. nights on third floor feature DJ Kermit. 11 Ionia Ave. SW, 459-8824, jgardellastav

The Intersection: Large downtown nightclub hosts local and national bands. Tickets at Purple East, Shakedown, Vertigo Music and box office. 133 Grandville Ave. SW, 451-8232, Monte’s Lounge: Drink specials and dancing every Fri. and Sat. 438 Bridge St. NW, 774-5969, Mulligan’s Pub: Bar and music venue in Eastown. No cover charge. 1518 Wealthy St. SE, 451-0775, mulligans-pub. com. The Pyramid Scheme: Heartside pub and live music venue. Tickets:, Vertigo Music and Pyramid Scheme front bar. 68 Commerce Ave. SW, 272-3758, Rocky’s Bar & Grill: Dancing every Fri. featuring DJs and live acts. 633 Ottawa Ave. NW, 356-2346, rockysbarn Stella’s Whisky Lounge: Retro Dance Party with DJ Todd Ernst every Sat. 53 Commerce Ave. SW, 742-4444, stellasgr. com. Sunday Night Funnies: Midwest comics perform 8:30 p.m. Sun. Riverfront Hotel’s Landing Lounge, 270 Ann St. NW, Facebook. Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill: Live acts, including comedy (2nd and 4th Tue.) and music. 760 Butterworth St. SW, 2723910, Facebook.

Comedy & nightclub venues COMPILED BY ALEXANDRA FLUEGEL

1/ OrbIT rOOM: Instrumental electronic rock band STS9 has headlined at such festivals as

Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, and on Feb. 9 will take the stage at the Orbit Room. The five-piece collective has experienced a meteoric rise to the forefront of the jamtronic music scene. Its live show is renowned as an all-encompassing sensory experience. 16 and older. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets available at Orbit Room box office or Ticketmaster. 2525 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE, 942-1328, 2/ POP SCHOLarS: Feb. 15: The improv comedy team comprised of Andy Allen, Dave Lyzenga, Matt Sterenberg and Mike Ryskamp appears monthly at Wealthy Theatre — shows that are sure to make you laugh out loud. 8 p.m., $7. Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE, 3/ rIVer CITy IMPrOV: Celebrate the comedy troupe’s 20th anniversary Feb. 8 with a special night of skits, games and songs. The troupe strives to be funny, witty and sometimes sarcastic, but never offensive. $10, tickets available at Calvin box office: (616) 526-6282. Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center,

3/ River City Improv comedy troupe.

PHoToGraPHy courTEsy sTs9 (ToP); Tina DErusHa (boTTom)

Grand Woods Lounge: Restaurant/ bar with dance floor, DJs Thu.-Sat. 77 Grandville Ave. SW, 451-4300, grandwo

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Feb. 22 - Winter beer Festival: Ninth annual event celebrates Michigan’s craft beer industry and the winter season with 60 participating breweries and 400 beers to sample. 1-6 p.m. Fifth Third Ballpark, Comstock Park. Tickets: Feb. 22-23 - West Michigan Wedding association bridal Show: Everything you need to plan a wedding, plus two fashion shows. 2-7 p.m. Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. DeVos Place. $7 (at door). westmichiganweddingassocia Feb. 27 - Soup’s On along the Lakeshore: 16th annual benefit for God’s Kitchen includes soups, desserts and live entertainment. 6-9 p.m. Fricano Banquet Center, 1050 W. Western Ave., Muskegon. $35. soupsonfor Feb. 28 - Noto’s Charity Wine Fest: Live music, silent auction, 300 wines, appetizers, food and desserts, benefiting Franciscan Life Process Center, Kitchen Sage and Greater GR Chefs Association. 6-10 p.m. Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 660 28th St. SE. $60, $100 VIP (at restaurant, 493-6686, or 897-7842, Feb. 28 - Great Wine and Food Symposium: 400 international beers and wines, gourmet food, live music, presented by WGVU and D&W. 21 years and older only. 7:30 p.m. GR Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW. $50, $40 WGVU members (800-442-2771 or

PHoToGraPHy courTEsy sTs9 (ToP); Tina DErusHa (boTTom)

sports Feb. - Grand rapids Griffins: American Hockey League team, primary affiliate of Detroit Red Wings, plays home games: Feb. 5 vs. Lake Erie Monsters; Feb. 14-15 vs. San Antonio Rampage; Feb. 21-22 vs. Oklahoma City Barons; Feb. 23 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Times vary. Van Andel Arena. $14-$32 (Van Andel box office, Meijer or Star Tickets). griff Feb. 2 - Michigan Winter Triathlon: Families can learn luge, cross-country skiing and speed skating in competitive environment. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, 462 Scenic Drive. Feb. 7-9 - West Michigan youth Wintersportsfest: Multiple events including snowshoeing, figure skating, speed skating, luge, cross-country skiing, gymnastics, cheer, biathlon. Various locations in Muskegon. msp Feb. 8 - Snowball Family Fun run 5K: Autism awareness fun run sponsored by Snap

Fitness. Noon. 350 W. Main St., Ionia. $20.50 ( milyfunrun).

Feb. 8 - Grand rapids urban adventure race: Snowbiking, snowshoeing, on- and off-trail running, orienteering and Amazing Race-like challenges. 9 a.m. Cannonsburg Ski Area. $105/team. Feb. 14-16 - Winter Games: Inaugural Meijer State Games of Michigan winter event. Thirteen Olympic-type games at multiple venues. Opening ceremonies 7-8 p.m. Feb. 14, Cannonsburg Ski & Ride area, 6800 Cannonsburg Road. Feb. 22 - Dash Down Division: 5K run/walk starts and ends at Kroc Center. Also, free miniDASH kids fun run. 9:30 a.m. 2500 S. Division Ave. $30.

stAGe & FiLM Thru Feb. 9 - “urinetown, The Musical”: Presented by GVSU’s Opera Theatre. 7 p.m., 2 p.m. Sun. Louis Armstrong Theatre, Allendale campus. $14 adults, $12 seniors, $6 students (GVSU box office, 616-331-2300 or theatre). Feb. 1, 8 - “Princess and the Pea”: LowellArts! Thebes Players presents a children’s production. 7 p.m. Feb. 1, Lowell High School, 11700 Vergennes St. SE. Feb. 8, Saranac High School, 150 Pleasant St. $5 (897-8545 or lowell Feb. 4-9 - “Sister act”: Broadway Grand Rapids presents a musical comedy about a wannabe diva who hides in a convent after witnessing a crime and helps her fellow sisters find their voices. 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Thu., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sun. DeVos Performance Hall. $32-$72 (DeVos Place, Van Andel and BGR box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 6-15 - “Into the Woods”: Calvin Theatre Company presents a story of marital restlessness based on fairytale characters. 7:30 p.m. Gezon Auditorium. $14-$20 adults, $8-$10 students (box office, 526-6282). academic/cas/ctc. Feb. 6-22 - “bloody bloody andrew Jackson”: Actors’ Theatre presents a musical about the seventh U.S. president imagined as a contemporary rock star. 8 p.m. Spectrum Theatre, 160 Fountain St. NE. $24-$26 adults, $20-$22 students (234-3946 or Feb. 8-9 - “a Midsummer Night’s Dream”: CARE Ballet presents a one-hour production of Shakespeare’s classic for children. 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. St. Cecilia Music

Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE. $15 adults, $10 students (464-3682 or

Feb. 11-12 - “Honest abe”: Circle Theatre presents a show for grades K-5 that explores how the elements of good character shaped the U.S. president. 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, 303 Pearl St. NW. $5, $4 members (456-6656 or circle Feb. 11-12 - “Shen yun”: The tradition of Chinese music and dance, featuring the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, an orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops. 7:30 p.m. DeVos Performance Hall. $50-$120 (DeVos Place and Van Andel box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 13-March 1 - “Stand and Deliver”: Master Arts Theatre presents the story of an East L.A. teacher who surmounted overwhelming odds to teach inner-city students. 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat. 75 77th St. SW. $16 adults, $14 seniors and students (4551001 or Feb. 14 - eddie Griffin: Comedian. Hosted by David Jones, featuring Honest John and Cocoa Brown. 7:30 p.m. DeVos Performance Hall. $27.50-$75 (DeVos Place and Van Andel box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 14-22 - “Little Women”: Cornerstone University presents the drama about four sisters during the American Civil War. See website for times. Matthews Auditorium, 3000 Leonard NE. $12 adults, $10 seniors and students ( Feb. 14-22 - “Middletown”: Prize-winning new play by American playwright Will Eno is presented by Hope College Theatre. 8 p.m. DeWitt Theater, Hope College, Holland. $10 adults, $7 seniors, $5 students and children ( Feb. 14-23 - “rubies”: GR Ballet Company presents “Bolero” by Mario Radacovsky, “The Moor’s Pavane” by Jose Limon and “Rubies” by George Balanchine. 7:30 p.m. Fri., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth SW. $40 adults, $35 seniors, $30 children, $12 students (ballet box office or Ticketmaster). Feb. 18 - WMeaC Film Series: West Michigan Environmental Action Council screens monthly documentaries followed by speakers or panel discussions. This month: “Chasing Ice.” Time TBD. UICA, 2 W. Fulton St. $5 suggested donation. series. Feb. 18-19 - “Fahrenheit 451” and “Twelfth Night”: Hope College’s Great Performance February 2014 / 73

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out & about WHERE TO GO / WHAT TO DO

Series hosts Aquila Theatre performing Shakespeare’s comedy Feb. 18 and Bradbury’s dystopian drama Feb. 19. 7:30 p.m. Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland. $18 adults, $13 seniors, $6 students and children (hope. edu/ticketoffice).

Feb. 20-23 - “Austentatious”: Aquinas College Theatre presents a musical comedy about an amateur performance group that unwillingly butchers Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice.” 8 p.m., 2 p.m. Sun. Aquinas College PAC. Tickets TBD (456-6656). aquinas. edu/theatre. Feb. 21-23 - “Beyond Therapy”: A farcical comedy about two Manhattanites seeking stable romantic relations, presented by GVSU Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Fri., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Louis Armstrong Theatre, Allendale campus. $6 (GVSU box office, 616-331-2300 or, $7 (at door). Feb. 21-March 8 - “The Dixie Swim Club”: Muskegon Civic Theatre presents a play about five Southern women who have been friends for three decades. 7:30 p.m., 3 p.m. Sun. Frauenthal Theater, Muskegon. $19 adults, $17 seniors and students (box office or Star Tickets). Feb. 22, 24 - Master Arts Theatre Auditions: Casting for comedy “Leaving Iowa.” Auditions: 10 a.m. Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24. 75 77th St. SW. Feb. 23 - “Disney Live: Mickey’s Music Festival”: Starring Mickey Mouse and his friends from “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “Toy Story.” 1 and 4 p.m. DeVos Performance Hall. $18-$55 (DeVos Place and Van Andel box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 27-March 1 - “Jump/Cut”: Playwright Neena Beber’s play pairs a couple of yuppie filmmakers with a manic depressive writer. Presented by GRCC Players. 8 p.m. Spectrum Theatre, 160 Fountain NE. Tickets TBD (2343946 or Feb. 27-March 2 - “Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes”: Favorite characters and stories perform on ice. 7 p.m. Thu.-Fri.; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Sat.; 1 and 5 p.m. Sun. Van Andel Arena. $15-$58 (DeVos Place and Van Andel box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 28 - March 8 - “Dance 40”: Hope College Department of Dance celebrates its 40th birthday with a program of dance by faculty, guest artists and students. 8 p.m. Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland. $10 adults, $7 seniors, $5 students, kids 12 and under free (395-7890 or Feb. 28-March 23 - “Les Miserables”: GR

Civic Theatre presents the musical based on the Victor Hugo novel. 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. Sun. 30 N. Division Ave. $18-$35 (222-6650 or grct. org).

Music Feb. 1 - Acoustic Saturday Nights: Grand River Folk Arts Society hosts Hiroyat Sukamoto. 8 p.m. Wealthy Theater, 1130 Wealthy St. SE. $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, $9 members, $3 children (at door). Feb. 4 - Naturally 7: A cappella vocal play group produces music and sounds of a full band (primarily R&B) with their voices. 7:30 p.m. Forest Hills FAC, 600 Forest Hill Ave. SE. $32-$42 (box office, 493-8966 or Ticketmaster). Feb. 7 - Keb’ Mo’: Saugatuck Center for the Arts presents Grammy-Award-winning singer and guitarist. 8 p.m. 400 Culver St. $57 ( Feb. 7 - “Surprise” and Classical Symphonies: West Michigan Symphony explores Haydn’s famous work and Prokofiev’s fastpaced symphony, plus music by Bach and Schickele. 7:30 p.m. Frauenthal Theater, Muskegon. $17-$47, $5 students (231-726-3231 or Feb. 8 - MusicNOW Series: GR Symphony presents “Music, Art, Dance,” including seven short works by local composers. 8 p.m. Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth SW. $18 and up (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 8 - “Café Music”: West Michigan Symphony presents Vireo Ensemble and guests. 7:30 p.m. The Block, 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon. $26 and up. (231-726-3231 or Feb. 9 - Lady Antebellum: Country group performs Take Me Downtown Tour with guests Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves. 7 p.m. Van Andel Arena. $35-$69.75 (Van Andel and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 14 - Coffee Classics Series: GR Symphony presents a one-hour baroque music concert with coffee and pastries one hour before. 10 a.m. Royce Auditorium, St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE. $12 and up (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 14 - Crowe Horwath Great Eras Series: GR Symphony presents The Baroque Concert. 8 p.m. Royce Auditorium, St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE. $26 and up (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster).

Feb. 14 - MAJIC Concert Series: Musical Arts for Justice in the Community hosts The Honeytones. 7:30 p.m. Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 250 Commerce Ave. SW. $10 suggested donation; proceeds benefit the Heartside neighborhood and Hill Music Together ministry. Feb. 14, 28 - Alley Door Club: Jazz, blues and folk in downtown Muskegon. Feb. 14, Entourage. Feb. 28, Big Daddy Fox. 7-10 p.m. (doors open 6 p.m.). Frauenthal Theatre, Muskegon. $7 at door or in advance (231-727-8001). Feb. 15 - The Music of the Rolling Stones: GR Symphony’s SymphonicBoom concert explores the music of rock n’ roll’s original bad boys. 8 p.m. DeVos Performance Hall. $32 and up (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 17 - Monday Night Jazz: West Michigan Jazz Society presents pianist Robin Connell and trombonist Paul Brewer, plus GRCC’s vocal jazz group Shades of Blue. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Bobarino’s at the B.O.B, 20 Monroe Ave. NW. $10, $5 members/students. Feb. 20 - Jason Aldean: Country star performs Night Train Tour with special guests Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr. 7:30 p.m. Van Andel Arena. $28.75-$54.75 (Van Andel and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 20 - SCMC Jazz Series: St. Cecilia Music Center presents jazz singer Gregory Porter. 7:30 p.m. 24 Ransom Ave. NE. $35-$40 adults, $10 students (459-2224, Feb. 21-22 - “Hadelich Plays Brahms”: GR Symphony hosts Augustin Hadelich performing Brahm’s only violin concerto. 8 p.m. concert, 7 p.m. conversation with featured musician. DeVos Performance Hall. $18-$90 (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Feb. 23 - The Barker Series: Central Reformed Church presents The Majestic Brass, of Grand Rapids Brass Ensemble. 4 p.m. 10 College Ave. NE. Free-will offering.

Lectures & Workshops Feb. - Downtown Market Classes: Educational and cooking classes for all ages. This month: Cooking with Wine, PizzA-mazing, Chocolate Tasting, Valentine’s Day Cocktail Party, and Braising, Stewing, Poaching 101. Feb. - GR Public Libraries: See Taste of Soul Sunday in Special Events. Programs include Ask-a-Lawyer Series, Reading the Great Lakes, Early Childhood Essentials, Cooking Matters, small business classes, author visits,

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computer classes, reading clubs. Kids activities include literacy classes for babies, toddlers and kids; One Book, One City for Kids; Let’s Play Workshops. Visit

Feb. - Kent District Libraries: Programs include book discussions, Early Childhood Essentials, career transition workshops. Kids programs include story times, Heart to Heart Craft Party, Fancy Nancy Soiree, Beyblades, Life-Sized Candied Land and Kent County Teen Film Festival. See Feb. - Meijer Gardens Events: 7 p.m. Feb. 11, chief curator hosts walk through exhibits. 1-3 p.m. Feb. 15 and Feb. 22, Art Workshops include visit to art exhibits and project. Noon Feb. 21, perspectives by three staff members. All free with admission. 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, 957-1580, Feb. 7 - Women & Environment Symposium: West Michigan Environmental Action Council and GVSU explore women’s issues and environmental concerns. Keynote speaker: Sandra Steingraber. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. GVSU Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton St. $35 adults, $5 students ( women-environment-register). Feb. 7, 14, 28 - Grand River Folk Arts Society: Dance instruction. 7 p.m. Feb. 7, First Friday Contra Dance, 5th Street Hall, 701 5th St. NW ($9 adults, $7 members, $5 students/ seniors). 7 p.m. Feb. 14, Second Friday International Folk Dance, Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE ($5). 7 p.m. Feb. 28, Fourth Friday Contra Dance/Jam, Fifth Street Hall, 701 5th St. NW ($9 adults, $7 members, $5 students/seniors). Feb. 12 - GRCC Diversity Lecture Series: “Youth Revolt: The Future of the Middle East” by Reza Aslan. 7 p.m. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE. Free.

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Feb. 14 - Art and Science of Aging Conference: GVSU’s ninth annual conference. Theme: “The Heart and Soul of Aging Well.” 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. DeVos Center’s Loosemore Auditorium, 401 W. Fulton St. $25 adults, $20 students and adults over 60. gvsu. edu/gerontology. Feb. 18 - Nourishing Ways of West Michigan: “Pastured Makes Perfect.” 7-8:30 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 N. Division Ave. Free. Feb. 18 - GGR Chapter Mothers and More: Topic: Five Love Languages. 7-9 p.m. The Studio Space at Schuler Books, 2660 28th St. SE. Free.

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out & about WHErE To Go / WHaT To Do

Blandford Nature Center: Special activities: Feb. 8, Snap Shot of Winter. Feb. 14, Snowshoe With Your Sweetie. Feb. 22, Tapping Into Your Maple. Trails, nature exhibits, heritage buildings, farm on 143 acres. Interpretive Center open weekdays; trails open daily dawn to dusk. $3. 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, 735-6240, DeGraaf Nature Center: 18-acre preserve with Interpretive Center, indoor pond, animals, SkyWatch. Closed Sun., Mon., holidays. Trails open daily dawn to dusk. 600 Graafschap Road, Holland, (616) 355-1057, city Free.

1/ Coopersville’s annual winter festival includes the Outhouse 500 race down Main Street, as well as the Chili Cook-Off and other activities held inside the Farm Museum.


1/ COOPerSVILLe FarM MuSeuM: Special events: Feb. 22, 10th Annual Outhouse 500, with Chili Cook-off and other associated activities held in the museum (see Special Events). Acoustic Jam Nights 6-9 p.m. first and third Tue. Permanent exhibitions: Tractors, quilts, eclipse windmill, kids area. Open Tue., Thu. and Sat. $4 adults, $2 age 4-18, kids 3 and under free. 375 Main St., Coopersville, 997-8555, coopersvillefarm 2/ FreDerIK MeIJer GarDeNS & SCuLPTure ParK: Special exhibitions: Thru April 27, Committed to Paper: Master Drawings and Prints by Sculptors; 40 major works by more than 20 sculptors. Thru Oct., Bernar Venet, large-scale sculptures. Special activities: 10 a.m. every Tue. thru Feb. 25, Cozy Tales for Chilly Days preschool story time; 1-4 p.m., Feb. 18, Winter Family Fun Day; 10-11:30 a.m., Feb. 1 and 15, Animal Adventures, Surviving in the Wild; (see website for sign-up info). Permanent attractions: World-class sculptures indoors and in 30-acre park; tropical conservatory, café/ restaurant, gift shop. Open daily. $12 adults, $9 seniors and students, $6 age 5-13, $4 age 3-4. 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, 957-1580, 3/ GraND raPIDS arT MuSeuM: Special exhibitions: Feb. 2-April 27, Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection, modern and contemporary art from one of the preeminent collectors of post-war American art in the U.S. Permanent exhibitions: 19th and 20th century art; design and modern craft; prints, drawings, photographs. Friday Nights at GraM: Music, gallery talks, cash bar, dinner options 5-9 p.m. $5 adults, members free. Drop-in Family Saturdays: Art-making activities for kids and families, kidfriendly tours, 1-4 p.m. Closed Mon., open Thu. until 9 p.m. (see website for new hours). $8 adults, $7 seniors/students, $5 age 6-17, kids 5 and under free. 101 Monroe Center, 8311000,

2/ Louise Nevelson’s “Facade: I, “The Drum,” serigraph with collage elements.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum: Special activities: Thru Feb. 16, Play It Safe: To The Rescue. Thru June, Kidstruction Zone. Permanent activities: Busy, Busy Bees; Bubbles!; Mom and Pop Store; Giant Lite Brite and more. Toddler Tuesdays, 3 and under (10 a.m.-noon). Family Nights 5-8 p.m. Thu., $1.50. Closed Mon. $8 adults, $7 seniors, kids under 1 free. 22 Sheldon Ave. NE, 235-4726, Grand Rapids Public Museum: Special exhibitions: Thru Feb. 2, Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon. Thru April 27, Dinosaurs Unearthed, exhibition of animatronic dinosaurs and fossils explores the discovery of feathered dinosaurs. Special activities: Feb. 19-22, Engineering Days for students in grades 3-7. Permanent exhibitions: Streets of Old Grand Rapids, Anishinabek and Newcomers: People of This Place, Collecting A-Z, Furniture City, 1928 carousel ($1). $8 adults, $7 seniors, $3 age 3-17. Van Andel Museum Center, 272 Pearl St. NW, 456-3977, Holland Museum: Special exhibition: Thru May 19, Dutch Folklore: The Linocuts of Cornelia Van Geuns. Special activities: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, Boats on the Ice?, West Michigan Yacht Club members talk about ice-boating, $8, $5 members. Feb. 22, Cabin Fever for Kids: Block Prints. Permanent exhibitions: Dutch Galleries of 17th- to 20thcentury paintings; cultural attractions from the “old country”; local history. Closed Tue. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 students, kids 5 and under free. Cappon House: 228 W. 9th St.; Settlers House: 190 W. 9th St.; Main building: 31 W. 10th St., (616) 796-3329, holl Kalamazoo Institute of Arts: Special exhibitions: Thru Feb. 9, Fantastic Rumpus: 50 Years of Children’s Book Illustration. Thru Feb. 23, Impressions: Selections from Stewart & Stewart. Feb. 1-May 25, Inside Steinway: Photographs by Christopher

PHoToGraPHy courTEsy ciTy of cooPErsvillE (ToP); frEDErik mEijEr GarDEns & sculPTurE Park (boTTom)

Feb. 22

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum: Special exhibition: Thru May 7, Growing Up Grand, a look at Ford’s formative years. Permanent exhibitions: The 1970s, Watergate, Oval Office, New Mood at the White House. Open daily. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 college students, $3 age 6-18, kids 5 and under free. 303 Pearl St. NW, 254-0400, fordlibrarymus

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After the storm, a rainbow.

We’ll watch your back during the storm.

3/ “Valley of Doubt” (1990) by Mark Tansey is part of the Emily Fisher Landau Collection exhibition showing at GRAM. Payne. Feb. 9-July 5, Cultural Encounters: India, Burma and Tibet. Feb. 22-May 4, Environmental Impact. Closed Mon. $5 adults, $2 students with ID, kids 12 and under free. 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7775, Meyer May House: Frank Lloyd Wright 1909 prairie-style house restored by Steelcase includes original furnishings. Guided tours 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tue. and Thu., 1-5 p.m. Sun. (last tour one hour prior to closing). 450 Madison Ave. SE, 246-4821, meyermayhouse.steelcase. com. Free.

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Photography courtesy Grand Rapids Art Museum

Photography Courtesy City of Coopersville (top); Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (bottom)

Muskegon Museum of Art: Special events: Thru March 27, Regional Ekphrastic Poetry Competition. Special exhibitions: Thru Feb. 9, The Woodcarving of Lamidi Fakeye: Four Generations of Yoruba Masters and Apprentices. Thru Feb. 13, Postcard Salon. Thru Feb. 23, Pauline Palmer, Impressionist: Chicago’s Painter Lady. Thru March 16, Papercuts: The Art of Contemporary Papercutting. Permanent exhibitions: Paintings, prints, sculpture and glass. Closed Mon. and Tue. $7 adults (Thu. free), $5 students, kids under 17 free. 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon, (231) 720-2570, musk Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium: Newly renovated and scheduled to reopen in February; check website for details. New updates include high-definition equipment, seating, lighting and new programs. Seasonal sky shows teach about the stars; classic rock accompanies laser light shows. GR Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW. Tri-Cities Historical Museum: Two buildings house exhibits of Northwest Ottawa County. Closed Mon. 200 Washington Ave. and 1 N. Harbor, Grand Haven, (616) 842-0700, Free.

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out & about Society / faces / places

Ed Stocking and son David with Ken and Yvonne Williams as Titanic Captain Edward Smith and wife Sarah Keri, Katlyn, Lynnette and Ken Koster with Tahlia Cain, center.

The Egyptians entertaining kids Dueling knights

Madissen Vacha as a Suffragette and Taylor Kowalczyk as Amelia Earhart

Capturing the action around town:

snap shots

Dueling knights and suffragettes made an appearance Dec. 27 at Grand Rapids Public Museum during the popular Night at Your Museum, when exhibit characters came to life. At the annual Shoppe Soiree, held Dec. 4 at Thousand Oaks Golf Course, attendees shopped and sipped pink cocktails while supporting the personal care area at Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center. And on Dec. 7, Chicago-based fashion designer Borris Powell showed off his original looks at a fashionable luncheon at Felt Mansion in Holland.

Debbie Shumaker, Meredith Davey and India Manns

AmyLynn Buchach, Mindy Tiede and Natalia Pimiento

Photography by michael buck (top); Johnny quirin (bottom)

Marcus Keech, as “Lord Malcho,� with Ava Bos and Haleigh Honeck

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Shirley Lindquist and Tiffany Young

Leah Mastee and Madeleine Hart

Tine DeLeeuw and Ellen Meyer

Marina Sterk walks the runway at the Felt Mansion fashion show.

Darcy and Laura Hogg and Hannah Hoffman

Photography by johnny quirin

Photography by michael buck (top); Johnny quirin (bottom)

Lori Ostreko and Ingrid Johnson

Eileen Brader and Michelle Rabideau

Cheri Hulst and Pam Scholten February 2014 / 79

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February 2014 - GRM  

5 of the city's most create couples. Wedding section.

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