• Restaurant Review: six.one.six

    The French bistro at the JW serves up memorable classic fare; prepares for even more improvements.

     
    POSTED April 10, 2019
     

    Two classic French items, the braised chicken coq au vin dish and apple tarte tatin, an upside-down pastry, rank among the restaurant's favorites.

    Two classic French items, the braised chicken coq au vin dish and apple tarte tatin, an upside-down pastry, rank among the restaurant's favorites.
  • Restaurant Review: six.one.six

    The French bistro at the JW serves up memorable classic fare; prepares for even more improvements.

     
    POSTED April 10, 2019
     

    Two classic French items, the braised chicken coq au vin dish and apple tarte tatin, an upside-down pastry, rank among the restaurant's favorites.

    Two classic French items, the braised chicken coq au vin dish and apple tarte tatin, an upside-down pastry, rank among the restaurant's favorites.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones— that is I dined in the private dining space at six.one.six, 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 six.one.six 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?
six.one.six 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.one. six or six.one.six to your guest room, your service will be consistently curated and the food will always be exceptional.

I understand, six.one.six 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).

You’ve seen that look before. A few hours after attendees have been in a meeting, their eyes start to glaze over, heads nod, arms stretch, and watches or phones get checked. Yes, it’s time for snacks and a mental break to freshen up the brain cells.

In truth, meeting breaks are a golden time for networking and catching up on everyday life with colleagues. So how do you make those precious 15-30 minutes tasty and memorable? We’ve gathered ideas about healthy, local and highly interesting treats so groups have something to look forward to when snack time rolls around.

 

Taking a page from the rise and success of microbreweries, distilleries are becoming trendy new gathering places in many mountain towns. Here are a few great options for tours, tastings and hands-on distilling experiences for group gatherings. 

Park Distillery
Banff, Alberta, Canada

 

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... unless you're the one putting together the company's annual holiday party. There’s no need for undue seasonal stress, however, say local party planners. Organizing the perfect get-together can be as easy as making your list, checking it twice, and calling one of the locations below. All are experts at making your upcoming event both fresh and festive, whatever its size. 

The Inn at St. John’s: 

Classy and Jolly