Dominican couple opens Caribbean restaurant downtown

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Art Caribbean Fusion Cuisine serves Caribbean food, including empanadas. Courtesy Art Caribbean Fusion Cuisine

A restaurant that serves Caribbean cuisine is now open in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.

Married couple Gilma DeLaCruz and Edward DeLaCruz last week opened their restaurant, Art Caribbean Fusion Cuisine, at 55 Monroe Center NW in downtown Grand Rapids.

In addition to her role as co-owner, Gilma DeLaCruz also is general manager.

Inspiration for Art Caribbean Fusion Cuisine came from the couple’s original business, El Caribe food truck, which serves Caribbean food.

Gilma DeLaCruz said their new restaurant is the first permanent Caribbean eatery downtown.

“Our (menu) brings tasteful food from the Dominican Republic, which is where my husband and I are from. We both started in the food industry very young with our family members,” she said.

“My husband and I love to share our culture with our community through food. We invite our guests to come and enjoy a Caribbean experience.”

Art Caribbean Fusion’s menu includes sausage, al pastor, veggie/vegan and coconut chicken empanadas; Dominican Caesar salad and potato salad; appetizers including yuca fries, tostones and salami flight, and chicken croquettes; plantain or yuca mofongos with slaw; pork belly; shrimp stew; mi bandera, or goat stew; chofan, or Caribbean fried rice; Cuban sandwiches; and steak jibarito, or onion grilled steak on a fried plantain.

For dessert, Art Caribbean Fusion serves flan de coco (coconut custard), Helado de fundita (ice cream); and tamarind popsicles.

Available beverages include Pepsi products and passion fruit and tamarind juices.

Its menu is available here.

The restaurant, which was originally scheduled to open in the spring but was delayed due to COVID-19, is open for dine-in or carry out 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“During this difficult time that the world faces, we continue to be strong with our beliefs and faith. We believe that we will receive the support of our community and be able to grow,” Gilma DeLaCruz said.

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