Text: R. Collins
The crowning jewel of Grand Rapids might just be its riverfront, and for approximately five years, the Amway Grand Plaza’s portion has been graced by another gem in the culinary arts, Wolfgang Puck—or rather The Kitchen and The Kitchen Counter by Wolfgang Puck. The upscale dining space is the first of its kind and one of only two locations in the world right in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. It features a menu designed by the renowned celebrity chef, along with a dual-level riverfront dining terrace for guests to enjoy views of the city’s iconic waterway.
The open kitchen creates global comfort fare from scratch and locally sourced ingredients, as well as personal recipes from the chef himself, and some from his mother. Gourmet pizzas and classic entrees like roast beef with onion rings and port wine sauce and Sottish Salmon, “Hong Kong style,” populate both the dinner and lunch menus, while handhelds like the shrimp BLT or the citrusy, savory kale salad—with pine nuts, Easter radish, and blood orange vinaigrette—make for a tasteful lunch or business meeting spot along the river. Sundays are also memorable at Wolfgang with rotating breakfast, brunch, a donut wall, and, of course, an assortment of gourmet pizzas.
Simple, fresh ingredients and approaches to the menu are pulled into the design of the space as well. The contemporary and casual restaurant infuses culinary and vinicultural features with design expression, in the metal wine rack and earthy metal and wood wine walls, and lots of glass throughout the interior to keep views of the surroundings unobstructed. Other design features showcase local talent like the Grand Rapids Chair Company and Dan Carlson of Carlson Design in nearby Ada, Michigan.
The lounge features happy hour on weeknights from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and the bar is open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The bar is open from 11:00 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and Sunday brings another happy hour in the lounge from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.