Tuesday, January 8, 2013

57 Brewpub and Bistro

A long-time friend, who commutes weekdays between Trufant and Grand Rapids, tipped me off about the new 57 Brewpub and Bistro. It was surely my turn to head toward her for our holiday gathering, so off we went on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Located on the former site of JR’s Roller Castle in Greenville, MI, the brewery opened in late 2012. The restaurants seats over 150 people. The brewer is Vic Allen and there were six site-made beer options currently on the menu: Yellow Jacket Stinger Honey Ale (named for the local school team), The Dirty Blonde (a light ale for those new to brewpubs), Wayne’s Green Tractor Ale (my personal favorite), Red Shedman’s Amber Ale, 57 Chevy IPA, and The Dark Knight Stout. I was told that currently the honey ale is the most popular. Their plan is to have six permanent brews with two specialty brews.

The Executive Chef is Michael Whalen who has work in the area for nearly 40 years. Sous Chef Mike Santo (formerly of Graydon’s Crossing) was onsite and generous with his time chatting with me about the local food available at the bistro. They are still pulling things together with a goal of lots of Michigan meats, cheeses, and produce being available by summer. They are growing the Michigan menu by purchasing through Heidi’s Farm Stand and West Michigan Farm Link with such popular farms as S & S Lamb, Vertical Paradise, Creswick, and Visser. They also use Farm Country Cheese and Dancing Goat Cheese (they have a stash in the freezer; so do I). Mike is also looking forward to the seasonal opening of the Greenville Farmers Market and getting to know the local Amish farmers.

We started with an order of the chips, salsa, and guacamole. For my meal I had the flatbread topped with honeyed Dancing Goat chevre, pine nuts, and Michigan dried cherries. Delicious.

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