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My Restaurant Week Experience – CitySen Lounge

I have been talking about it all week on my show, and I wanted to write about. I had to go back one more time to the CitySen Lounge in the City Flats Hotel, on Monroe Center in Grand Rapids,  because I wanted to make sure the experience was the same.

It was Absolutely Fantastic!

First off, walking into the CitySen, you have the sense of comfort in a very contemporary upscale setting that doesn’t leave you feeling out of place. I went in dressed in my typical manner, not scrubby, just a polo, jeans and a ball cap… I felt very comfortable. That is a huge factor for me since I like upscale food, but I just don’t like to dress like someone I am not to get it.

I am not a big drinker, but I managed to get a Mojito since the fiance was driving and because I wanted the full experience. Never had a Mojito before, but I have to say as a person who does not like the taste of alcohol, it was very good and refreshing. We were off to a good start.

The menus are fantastic, they are unique in appearance and in content. The special menu for Restaurant Week offers two 3-course meals for $25,  which was great because they easily could of got $40 for the 3 courses form one person.  Also, some restaurants offer one 3-course meal for $25.

We ordered the Truffle Fries for the appetizer and it was delicious. They were hand cut potatoes tossed in fine herbs, Parmesan and truffle oil. Are you kidding me? What a great start to the meal!  And, as we were just finishing up with the appetizer the main course came to the table.

My fiance does not like sweet potatoes or spices, but she ordered both. I was worried because I just knew she was not going to like them. The Potato Pabil with Quinoa was a vegan dish that had sweet potatoes brazed in a banana leaf with garlic, peppers, vinegar and citrus. She loved it, thank the lord.

Mine was the London Broil, as you can tell from my stature, I like steak. They cooked it perfectly and I didn’t even ask them how to cook it, as I just said “let the chef prepare it the way he eats it.” Wow! The char-crusted flank steak with Bearnaise, rainbow carrots and thyme foam was incredible. I don’t even know what Bearnaise is or how to spell it, although I think I did well. (Thanks spell-check)

We both got a dessert and I was waiting for something to not taste right, after all, I’m the most critical person I know. My fiance got the Fruit Gelee which consisted of strawberries and chardonnay with a Chantilly cream, and it was like a Jell-O, but better and made from a fine chef with fine ingredients.

I ordered a Sunrise Surprise which was a Mango puree with coconut milk and Michigan maple syrup with plantains. I have never had a plantain before, but it tasted like bananas and was great.

It is much easier to mess up at places with the expectation of perfection that the City Sen puts on a plate, but they performed at a flawless level and made my fiance and I extremely happy… and that is hard to do. I will never miss a chance to take a shot at the chains that have far less to worry about yet mess up all the time, makes me appreciate fine food like this even more.

I highly recommend the CitySen Lounge on Monroe Center in Grand Rapids for dinner, drinks, or just to hang with friends after a long days work. They gained a new customer in myself, and I hope they gain one in you as well.

Get more details about Restaurant Week Grand Rapids 2012 at ExperienceGR.com, and more about CitySen Lounge at CityFlatsHotel.com.

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