Text: R. Collins
Located on the 27th floor of the recently renovated glass tower at the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton, the new full-service, Spanish-inspired restaurant, MDRD—pronounced “Madrid”—opened to the public on November 17, 2020, bringing a new, all-occasion destination to the downtown Grand Rapids core. MDRD will serve up a distinctive Spanish-inspired cuisine, paired with unobstructed views of the Grand River and downtown Grand Rapids.
Its inventive menu designed by Executive Chef Stephan VanHeulen is equally elevated and approachable, and its individual dishes a sight to behold. Meat and seafood main dishes like Filete a la Plancha and its beef tenderloin steak with piquillo pepper, black garlic sauce, confit potato and anise jus, and Bacalao al Ajillo, a lightly salted cod dish in garlic sauce, with grilled scallion, chorizo oil, and potato pave deliver flavorful, well-rounded dining experiences for guests seeking specific flavors or exploring new profiles. Spanish classics like patatas bravas and paella also grace the menu, as do decadent desserts created by Pastry Chef Doug Orr. Dishes are accented by inventive cocktails and an extensive wine list with a focus on Spanish varietals.
“We can’t wait to see how diners at MDRD respond to Chef VanHeulen’s take on Spanish classics, his love letter to Spain. Combined with our staff’s impeccable service and the space’s mesmerizing views, every dining experience at MDRD will be one to remember,” said Parker Bulliment, general manager at MDRD, in a press release.
As for the space itself, the global architecture, design, and planning firm Gensler created an energetically charged and spatially varied environment in which guests can select their preferred dining experience depending on the group or occasion. From the casual social lounge to the cozy, welcoming bar area and high-end dining room, stadium-style influenced seating makes each area feel special.
A custom tile installation reminiscent of falling confetti and the classic costumes associated with Spain’s Carnival celebration weave throughout the space. Above, custom lighting evokes a modern take on the hoops and batons of street performers, while bright murals crafted by local artist Maddie Jackson depict Spanish neighborhoods and dress the walls.
“With its upscale yet comfortable ambiance, MDRD will offer an exciting new dining concept in Grand Rapids’ Hotel District,” said George Aquino, vice president and managing director of AHC+Hospitality in Grand Rapids—the management company behind Amway Grand Plaza and MDRD—in the press release. “With the most coveted city views in Michigan, MDRD will be a fun and intimate spot for date nights, evenings out on the town and special events—for locals and visitors alike.”
Photography: Gensler | AHC+Hospitality