When it comes to clichés, food is often a common subject matter. “The proof is in the pudding… the cream rises to the top… fine as wine… taken with a grain of salt… that’s icing on the cake…” Fortunately for West Michigan, and specifically Rockford residents, many of these sayings ring particularly true with respect to one of Rockford’s newer businesses, Reds on the River. Reds is celebrating its third anniversary in August (having officially opened on August 11, 2006), and with each guest served, the restaurant has continued to excel in its efforts to create a warm, comfortable, fun venue with their food, beverages and service. To thank the many guests who have supported Reds over the past three years, the restaurant is rolling out its new dessert menu in August and offering guests a complimentary dessert (with the purchase of an entrée) whenever they bring in this article. Reds will also award lucky winners gift cards each week throughout the month of August. To enter to win, sign up to receive Reds e-mails on special events, Wine and Cooking School, and happy hour offerings. Reds’ Executive Chef and General Manager Glenn Forgie notes he and his culinary team “are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve Rockford and West Michigan.” Much is in the works for the coming year. One new event will be Reds Heirloom Tomato Festival (co-sponsored with Ingraberg Farms and New Holland Brewing), August 22, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Promenade parking lot. Enjoy free tomato testing, a kids tent with several activities, three live bands, a salsa contest and Best of Show judging on the main stage, plus beverage specials on Reds’ deck. Reds’ new small plates, lunch, dinner, dessert and happy hour menus can also be looked forward to in the coming year, along with the expansion of Reds’ cooking and wine schools. Reds on the River welcomes the community in celebrating the restaurant’s third anniversary throughout the month of August.
Reds on the River
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL along with MEREDITH GREMEL When in January we heard of the Reds on the River first ever recipe contest we figured, “What the heck, why not enter?” After all, your reporters are graduates of Chef Robin Toldo’s cooking classes offered yearly through Rockford Community Services, a service of Rockford Public Schools. Reds was seeking an appetizer recipe to be featured, along with the contest winner’s name, on their newly created small plate restaurant menu. What an honor that would be. We forwarded our entry to Executive Chef/General Manager, Glenn Forgie, and awaited Reds’ response. In March, we were contacted by Meredith Gremel, Reds’ Publicist, and told that Chef Glenn was, “happy to inform you that you have been chosen as a semi-finalist out of 15 other contest entrants.” We then moved on to the next phase of the contest. We were invited to demonstrate our recipe in the kitchen of Reds on Saturday, March 28. Each of the six semi-finalists was allotted one of six half-hour time slots beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 11:30 a.m. to demonstrate and prepare their recipe. We chose the 10 a.m. time slot for our recipe demonstration and found ourselves in an already bustling kitchen, even though the restaurant would not open for another two hours. This was not just any kitchen but the spotless state-of-the-art kitchen of Reds on the River. Every day this kitchen serves up award-winning cuisine prepared absolutely from scratch. (Talk about pressure, we were like school kids taking an oral final exam while at the same time trying not to cut our fingers off.) We named our entry “German Wurstchen Biss Wraps” (wurstchen is German for a small sausage or wiener and biss means small portion). As an appetizer it is as delicious as it is simple to prepare. Consisting of just three ingredients; thin triangles of pastry dough, old-fashioned, coarse-cut all-meat German-style wieners with no added fillers, and mustard for dipping. The wieners, cut into thirds, wrapped in dough and baked are to die for when dipped while piping hot into mustard. Our favorite is Beer’n Brat Horseradish Mustard. The choice is yours. The main ingredient is not just any wiener but Wimmers Old Fashioned Wieners available […]
Every industry has its “Super Bowl” of sorts. For those involved in the culinary arts in West Michigan, the ultimate stage is the annual Grand Rapids Magazine Dining Awards, held this year on Wednesday, February 18, at the Grand Rapids Community College Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. This event honors the top restaurants in West Michigan, as well as acknowledges the accomplishments of the American Culinary Federation and the Greater Grand Rapids Chefs Association. Grand Rapids Magazine, underwriter of the event, presented awards in the following categories: Fine Dining; Casual Dining; Ethnic Dining: European; Ethnic Dining: Mexican; Central/South American; Ethnic Dining: Asian; and Restaurant of the Year. Reds on the River in Rockford, a relative newcomer, won its third award in three years. Honored as best new restaurant in 2006 and a 2007 Fine Dining Award winner, Reds again received honors with the fine dining award. Reds’ Executive Chef and General Manager Glenn Forgie accepted the award for his talented staff, noting he was “extremely honored to represent Reds.” Forgie credited the strength of his staff. “Our team takes a lot of pride in what they do, working hard every day to prepare and serve their best to Reds’ guests.” He also thanked Grand Rapids Magazine for hosting the event and recognizing the industry and all the efforts of the nominees. “We are proud to be nominated in the fine dining category, and to win our third award.” The fine dining category is defined by Grand Magazine as: “top quality ingredients, well presented, somewhat innovative – a complexity of flavors, using the highest quality product. Excellent service and knowledgeable staff.” The 1913 Room won top restaurant of the year. Forgie noted his congratulations to the 1913 staff, as well as the other award winners and nominees. “There is an incredible group of talent represented at this event, and it is an honor to be acknowledged along with them.”