Thursday, December 7, 2023
Home Places Meet & Eat Restaurant Review:

Restaurant Review:

By Megan Swoyer

I consider myself one of the lucky ones— that is I dined in the private dining space at, the French bistro at JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, and indulged on everything from French onion soup to rainbow trout to coq au vin rouge. In one word, exquisite!

JW’s team created delightful fare in beautiful surroundings. Planners should consider a meeting or event at this 1-yearold Michigan treasure. (Note: It kicked off in March 2018 and was a different restaurant before that.) I have nothing but high marks for its offerings and for this team, including hotel General Manager Nicholas Remes, Director of Food and Beverage Becky Oldani, and executive chef Todd Webb.

Here, Remes, who’s been with the company for 11 years, and Oldani, who’s a 10-year JW Marriott veteran, answer my questions on why this venue is the crème de la crème:

Tell us about the restaurant’s menu.
Our executive chef, Todd Webb, created the menu. Chef Todd is classically trained.

What’s the restaurant’s mission?
Eat local, live global. Our goal is to provide food that evokes emotion.

What are three of the most popular items served?
Coq au vin rouge, a classic French dish; steak frites café de Paris, a New York strip steak with truffle fries; and soupe à l’oignon gratinée, a classic French onion soup.

How about for dessert? What should one not miss?
Don’t forget to order your apple tarte tatin— this special warm dessert takes 30 minutes to prepare. Your server should offer to place the order midmeal.

How many people can your semi-private space accommodate? I especially liked it because although you are in a private area, you still felt like you are part of the restaurant ambiance, thanks to nice partitions and an open, airy feel.
We can accommodate up to 20 people for private events in that space.

I loved that outside patio/bar. Sitting beneath that cool tent and looking out to the Grand River and city was special. Is that part of the restaurant?
Yes! The Jdek is part of the restaurant and can support up to 200 people for private events and can hold an additional 100 guests (accommodating up to 300 total guests for a full buyout). The Jdek season is May 1 to Oct. 31.

How did you decided upon the name of the restaurant? is the regional area code for Grand Rapids.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that meetings and events planners might like to know?
Meeting and events attendees always mention to us that they want a seamless experience. Our hotel is very conscious of this. Moving from meeting space to six or to your guest room, your service will be consistently curated and the food will always be exceptional.

I understand, is in for a few changes?
Yes, it’ll kick off a full “bistro renovation” at the end of first quarter 2019.

It’s always nice to know what people who work there love most on the menu. What’s your favorite dish?
Oldani: The porc à la Normande (the pork chop entrée).
Remes: The salmon with beluga lentils (saumon d’ecosse aux lentilles).