Located in the heart of Downtown Kalamazoo, is a restaurant that fully embodies the term “local” and by doing so, creates a world all its own. As you enter the door (from the rear where there is ample parking), Food Dance entices you with glimpses of their menu by guiding you past their fresh market. Market shelves beautifully display pastries, salads and breads ready for you to experience some of the goodness of the restaurant in a “to-go” fashion and enjoy in your own home. American Artisan Cheeses beckon you to taste their finely aged flavor. As you enter into the restaurant, the wrap around bar guides you to rooms where local artists created a canopy of towering cornstalks and paintings of enormous kale leaves adorn the walls next to you. It’s as if you are sitting in the middle of the farmer’s field awaiting the bounty of his harvest.
Pronounced shahr-KOO-tuh-ree, this plate had several items that were examples of food at it’s finest! “We are crafting terrines, sausages, pate, and cured meat. All of us at the restaurant look forward to sharing these flavors, and continuing to explore the craft of butchery and charcuterie.” said Chef Robb Hammond. Have you seen a product that was perfectly made and you were in awe of the crafter’s patience and skill? Well, prepare to feel the same way, only using your sense of taste for your exploration. These meats and cheeses are a riot of flavors! All the cheeses plated at Food Dance are American made and aged. No need to leave US soil to find all the rich flavors exemplified in the selection found on this charcuterie menu.
Soup and Salad-Together
You may choose to start the meal with a pallet pleasing Fennel-Rosemary soup and watch as the thick broth dances around the truffle and candy stripe beet salad at the bottom of the bowl as waiter pours. The aroma of the fennel and rosemary permeate the air. While you might think that these two very strong herbs may be overwhelming, I assure you that they are magical and the layering of flavors you will experience are both fresh and savory.
The First Burger and Sooo much more.
Take a seat at the bar for lunch and enjoy The First Lady, although be warned this may not be the food you’re going to want to share with your first lady. Atop the ground sirloin patty lies a crab cake, avocado, watercress, and is drizzled with a lemon parsley aioli. All of these together within the brioche roll made fresh that morning in the restaurant bakery and you have a mouthwatering sandwich worthy of any first lady! Be sure to have extra napkins on hand and a large appetite, for the burger comes accompanied by hand cut French fries and homemade ketchup- and it’s not Heinz!
When ordering the main course make sure to ask for Chef Robb’s favorite Lamb Bolognese. This sauce of fresh butchered lamb, white wine and curdled milk, is seasoned with red pepper to add a little heat, then tossed with trofie pasta that holds both the sauce and its texture. We don’t usually have room to eat all of any of the dishes we try, but this time we cleaned our plate. The Sesame Ginger Wild Salmon, both an eye and texture appealing platter that combines fresh local Swiss Chard, rice ginger cake, cucumber relish, and maple soy glaze. We are told that this is a menu item that has been around for a long time and the restaurant is well known for this flavorful rendition of Salmon. We can see why patrons return time after time for this dish.
Dessert to Dance for.
The signature dessert is literally the Cat’s Meow, a baked rich flourless chocolate mousse, covered in a chocolate ganache, topped by a decedent whipped cream and finished with almond pralines. This was the dessert we tried first and there was no need to go any farther. Don’t get us wrong the we hear the ice creams, gelatos, pies and cakes are all fantastic but, ready for it…. the Cats Meow is definitely… the cats meow!
Farm to Table at it’s Best!
The appeal of Food Dance is not just its food, but the ingredients found within it. With seasonal changes that show up on the menu in accordance to what can be found seasonally and locally, the food has an all around fresher taste. Food Dance creates a new world where the food literally.. No we can’t use that line! How about this. A world where Chef Robb’s mind dances as he prepares these delicacies and each dish is a new waltz fit for a king!
401 East Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo