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Reds Gone Rogue – A Bit of Tuscan Charm on the Rogue River in Michigan

by  Jeanine Lewis on May 31, 2012
Reds Gone Rogue – A Bit of Tuscan Charm on the Rogue River in Michigan

{3forks}Reds On The River
8 E. Bridge Street
Rockford, Michigan 49341
616.863.8181
http://www.reds-live.com

Price: $$

Reds On The River in Rockford, Michigan, breaks away from the small-town traditional décor and transports its patrons to a modern-day Italian wine bistro. From the exposed stone to the indoor-outdoor eating spaces, the flow of the restaurant is built to invoke stimulating conversation. The impressive ambiance and friendly service instantly made me feel comfortable and ready to order.

While I waited for the rest of my party to arrive, I walked to the inside bar. The wine selection was impressive, with a cellar reserve of more than 350 varietals. You can easily find your favorite wine valley on the menu. I was feeling full-bodied, so I chose a Francis Ford Coppola’s zinfandel. Just as I took the first sip, I turned to see floor-to-ceiling windows facing the river and another bar was outside. Since it was a lovely day out, I took my voluptuous zin to the second onsite bar.

I met my wonderful co-workers on the expansive outdoor deck. It was quite busy, but the service was impeccable. Reds has a surprisingly large space. It is big enough that tables are not right next together, so if its privacy you crave, Reds fits the bill.

Once we moved to our table, I instantly chose my preferred dishes from the well-organized menu. Lamb shanks would pair with my Sonoma zin quite well. Executive chef Glenn Forgie stopped by our table on his rounds to answer any questions on the entrées. Once he informed us that the lobsters were fresh from Maine, a coworker was sold. With the information we received from our server and Forgie, my party ordered the best plates on the menu.

Forgie has been the executive chef since the grand opening in 2006. He honed his culinary skills in Los Angeles after receiving his culinary degree from of the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California. Forgie is a slow food Movement enthusiast who uses only the freshest ingredients to create innovative dishes from scratch.

The lamb shank did not disappoint. The lamb fell off the bone. The dish should have come with a table sign that stated “No knife required.” It was delectable and savory. I had the pleasure of trying the lobster as well and it was absolutely stupendous. It was perfectly cooked and the quality was spectacular. For those who can’t make it to Maine, Forgie brings its most famous export goods to Michigan. And good it most certainly was! For dessert, we were surprised with a candlelit slice of cake with “Congratulations” written in chocolate sauce on the plate. In conversation, we mentioned to our server that a coworker was celebrating 35 years with the company. It was an unnecessary luxury that brought such a personal touch to our meal.

Reds On The River’s service was invigorating with 5-star integrity. The total dining experience was unexpected but well-received!

Photo credit: Jeff Hage

Price Scale: $ = under $25     $$ = $25 - $50     $$$ - $50 - $75     $$$$ - $75 and up
Scale is based on a 3-course meal per person.
Jeanine Lewis

Jeanine Lewis

Jeanine Lewis is a renaissance freelance writer. As an alumna of University of Washington, she has been published in a variety of subject matters. full bio

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