Spanish restaurant opening in Amway hotel tower (update)


UPDATE: (1:29 p.m. Feb. 1, 2021): AHC Hospitality announced MDRD will open Tuesday, Feb. 2 after delaying its scheduled November opening due to restaurants being unable to offer dine-in service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hours are 4:30-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

A Spanish-inspired restaurant with views of the Grand River will open next week in the recently renovated glass tower at the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton.

AHC Hospitality said Monday it will open MDRD (pronounced “Madrid”) on Nov. 17 on the 27th floor of the hotel, at 187 Monroe Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids.

The full-service “restaurant in the sky” will serve up “modern Spanish cuisine, lavish libations, an energetic atmosphere and unobstructed river and city views,” according to AHC, the management company of the Amway Grand Plaza and MDRD.

“With its upscale yet comfortable ambiance, MDRD will offer an exciting new dining concept in Grand Rapids’ Hotel District,” said George Aquino, vice president and managing director of AHC Hospitality. “With the most coveted city views in Michigan, MDRD will be a fun and intimate spot for date nights, evenings out on the town and special events — for locals and visitors alike.”

Designed by global architecture firm Gensler, MDRD will offer a casual social lounge; “cozy” bar area; and high-end dining room with stadium-style seating.

A custom tile wall installation is designed to be reminiscent of falling confetti and the costumes associated with Spain’s signature Carnival celebration. Custom lighting will hang above, a modern take on the hoops and batons of street performers, while bright murals of Spanish neighborhoods handcrafted by local artist Maddie Jackson will adorn the walls.

Stephan VanHeulen is executive chef, and his menu will include meat and seafood main dishes such as filete a la plancha — a beef tenderloin steak with piquillo pepper and black garlic sauce, Thumbelina carrot, wild mushroom, confit potato and anise jus; and bacalao al ajillo — lightly salted cod in garlic sauce with grilled scallion, chorizo oil and potato pave.

Spanish classics such as patatas bravas and paella also will be on the menu, plus desserts by pastry chef Doug Orr, and cocktails and a wine list with a focus on Spanish varietals.

“We can’t wait to see how diners at MDRD respond to chef VanHuelen’s take on Spanish classics, his love letter to Spain,” said Parker Bulliment, MDRD general manager. “Combined with our staff’s impeccable service and the space’s mesmerizing views, every dining experience at MDRD will be one to remember.”

MDRD will be open for dinner from 4:30-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 4:30-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

COVID-19 safety precautions will be taken in accordance with state and local guidelines.

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