Twisted Rooster opened up their Grand Rapids location several years ago. Their menu features American fare with a dynamic twist, which is why all the choices are described as “twisted”. They have a very strong focus on using local ingredients here. From their food menu to their bar selections, nearly everything is sourced from Michigan.
I have been here a handful of times. I really enjoyed it on the first visit. Their kobe steak entree was good and the dessert was delicious and creative. The next couple times, the dishes I ordered weren’t as tasty, and I was taken aback by the rude and poor service we received from a couple of their FOH staff. It was quite a while before I returned, and when I did I was relieved that I made it through the night without encountering anyone who deserved to be punched in their face. Before anyone gets in an uproar, jumping to the defense of these strangers stuck in the taxing and grueling business called the restaurant industry, you should know that I am one of those people. I have been for eight years. I’m not an asshole at restaurants, and it takes a lot for me to be unhappy or unnerved when dining out.
That being said, this visit showed an improvement in service, and I began with a drink. I wanted to try one of their house wines, their Twisted Zinfandel from Michigan. I was a little disappointed. When I drink zins I look for spicy, big, in your face flavor and if it has a surprising and lingering finish, even better. This one was too sweet for me and light on tannin, which was a downer. There wasn’t much spice occuring and it was very fruit forward and light in color, making me think I may have been drinking a pinot noir instead.
I ordered Parmesan Encrusted Lake Superior Whitefish for my dinner. The parmesan and panko crust was too greasy. The cherry rice pilaf had good flavor, but I did get a couple of bites of hard, overcooked rice. I thought the lemon pepper butter would have been a great complement to the fish but it was much sweeter than what I was expecting. I didn’t get much pepper from it and nearly not enough lemon. The green beans were delicious, perfect in texture and it tasted like they were cooked in garlic and oil.
This is why we came here. My boyfriend wouldn’t stop crying until we went back to Twisted Rooster so he could stuff his face with this classic sandwich turned gigantic dessert. Peanut butter mousse, raspberry and strawberry jelly, and lady fingers creates this American influenced Italian dessert. They make their own whipped cream, which is delicious. It is thicker in consistency and tastes better than your average canned whipped cream. When the boyfriend ordered this dish the first time, I admit that I scoffed at his enthusiasm. Tiramisu? Made with peanut butter and jelly? Sick. What are you, five?
Oh how wrong I was.