Allow us to set the scene.
You are sitting in an impeccably appointed restaurant featuring clean lines and modern finishes. Windows lining the restaurant allow an abundant amount of light to flood the space. A delectable, handcrafted cocktail sits in front of a magazine-worthy plate of food.
If you thought we are talking about a trendy restaurant in Chicago or the work of a wonder-chef in resurgent Detroit, you’d be wrong. We are talking about the Black Heron on the west side of Grand Rapids.
Seth and Laura Porter, owners of Black Heron, didn’t start out as restaurant owners. They ran the excellent Michigan Beer Blog, aimed at highlighting Michigan’s booming craft beer scene. After meeting a variety of professionals in Michigan’s food and drink industry, the couple decided to create a restaurant of their own that their neighborhood could be proud of.
Opening a restaurant didn’t come easy. Lacking experience, both Porters took second jobs within the industry to gain valuable experience and insight. The path they took to achieve their dream is quite admirable; the duo deserves all of their success.
To bring Black Heron’s concept to fruition, Executive Chef Trimell Hawkins was hired to create a menu using local ingredients that would delight their patrons.
After finding common ground over Michigan blogging and learning about Black Heron’s back story, Seth suggested we try their take on Green Eggs and Ham. The spectacular small plate consisted of serrano ham, a soft-boiled then deep fried egg, and jalapeno jelly served with locally-sourced bread. The egg was the star of the dish, making us wonder why more restaurants don’t serve deep fried eggs.
We also tried the Seafood Trio, featuring a perfectly-cooked scallop, peel-and-eat prawn, and shrimp. It was a total delight. We washed everything down with a few of their cocktails, including El Picoso and Tequila Royal.
Our experience at Black Heron was excellent and we’re happy to see they’re standing tall on Grand Rapids’ west side. The recent addition of Harmony Hall and the upcoming New Holland brewpub will invigorate the area even more, continuing to make it a destination for locals and outsiders alike.