A celebration of sharing at San Chez in Grand Rapids
Four years ago Dan and I were married outside on an old farmstead with an impressive tree, windmill, and the grace of God overhead. We’ve been so blessed sharing our lives, growing closer to each other, building friendships, purchasing our home and cuddling kitties together. To celebrate this year, we decided to return to Grand Rapids, where we celebrated one year.
Art Prize is a big draw for us with eye-popping art placed strategically around the city through October 12 and, of course, fancy food and beer completes the adventure. For our anniversary dinner, we chose to return to San Chez, the popular Spanish tapas restaurant that we enjoyed for our one-year anniversary. The food was enchanting both times.
At San Chez I loved my first taste of gazpacho — Sopa de Ajo Blanco — a creamy, almond and garlic soup, and was astounded by the sweet and spicy Medjool Rellanes Picantes, dates stuffed with lamb, chorizo, bacon, beef and spicy harissa sauce. I suddenly have a whole slew of ideas for variations on the stuffed date recipe … to the tune of bacon wrapped AND stuffed dates. We also enjoyed our Ensalada de Remolacha y Palma with hearts of palm, roasted beets (one of my top faves), pickled carrots, pine nuts, goat cheese, mixed greens and lemon herb vinaigrette; and the Tapenade de Espana — herbed goat cheese, roasted red peppers, pesto and grilled bread. So good, I wanted to eat the goat cheese with a spoon.
We finished off the meal by sharing a fancy Tarta de Chocolate con Trufas — flourless dark chocolate torte with chocolate ganache, semi-sweet chocolate truffles and raspberry sauce. It had a lighter-than-expected mouth feel and was perfectly exquisite.
Tapas is all about sharing small dishes and exploring a lot of different flavors. Tapas style dining mirrors our marriage relationship in that we’ve shared so many new “flavors” and experiences together over these four years and have grown and learned from each other’s interests and choices. I remember one of my favorite things about Dan early in our dating relationship was that he seemed to enjoy sharing with me. We’d share a smoothie, unfamiliar cuisine, a beer. We both are drawn to very different flavor combinations and thus I’ve had an opportunity to experience two different dishes and beers at each eating destination without gaining twice the weight.