Friday, December 10, 2010

The Derby Station, 2237 Wealthy St SE – 11/24/10

We had passed this by a few times last summer and decided to visit this East Grand Rapids restaurant today. We walked in and were greeted by a mostly empty restaurant and an offer to seat ourselves. The entrance is off Wealthy and brings you into the middle of the restaurant. Tables and a few booths are located on either side and the bar is located straight ahead. A large outdoor patio is off to your left.

It’s a comfortable, pub atmosphere with an open ceiling, dark wood paneling, tables, and booths, which all contrast nicely with the lighter wood floor. We seated ourselves in a high-backed booth and were promptly provided with a large beer/wine menu along with a smaller food menu.
It apparently began as a sister restaurant to Graydon’s Crossing but has since modified the menu. Few traces of British/Indian food can be seen although Fish & Chips is still available. Instead, the emphasis is on fresh, local ingredients, and the menu has many creative and interesting selections. By the time we looked up the online menu to assist in writing a review, it had already changed to December selections. The menu not only changes but is also kept up-to-date online.

We began with the mushroom and tomato bruschetta, and it was amazingly delicious. Sauteed tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, pearl onions, and an herb goat cheese spread were served on grilled bread, topped with an over easy egg. The egg is a European influence and it was a suitable addition. Everything combined beautifully.
Our first main dish was pumpkin gnocchi served with andouille sausage, sauteed wild mushrooms, and leeks in a black peppercorn parmesan cheese sauce. Overall it was a tasty and well-prepared dish, but the andouille sausage overpowered everything. A little less of it, and in smaller pieces, would have resulted in a much more balanced item. 
The second main selection was grass-fed lamb, braised with white beans, parsnips, carrots, garlic, and wintergreens, and served in a rich creamy sauce. It was topped with gremolata and parmesan crisps, and served with crostinis. Everything was nicely prepared and presented. We’re both fond of lamb, not mutton, and this was perfect.
The Derby Station presents a welcoming atmosphere, friendly and prompt service, and good food. But if you just want drinks at an attractive bar, you will still be more than satisfied with the available selections. What more can you ask for in a neighborhood pub?

12/29/12 Revisit  - We had horrible service, i.e., our server brought menus and then did not return for over 15 minutes. We had no water, no wine, and couldn't get an appetizer ordered. Then we had to return a bottle of watery wine but did finally enjoy great bruschetta. All of our entrees were lukewarm but otherwise alright. Seated in the dining room behind the bar is not a good place to be.
 Derby Station on Urbanspoon

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