When Bistro Bella Vita opened in March 1997, it was almost too big for its own good.
The big, open concept for big-city dining in the mid-size Grand Rapids took a while to warm the hearts of diners.
More than 15 years later, Essence Restaurant Group's Bistro Bella Vita is consistently at the top of diners lists and won Grand Rapids Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year in 2012.
Bistro Bella Vita — along with Essence's Grove and The Green Well gastropub in Grand Rapids' East Hills neighborhood — have been pioneers in the farm-to-table movement that has taken Grand Rapids by storm.
In January, the restaurant group received Local First’s Mover & Shaker Award at the LocalMotion Awards, given “to the business that demonstrated a significant shift in its supply chain to local over the past twelve months.”
Bistro Bella Vita’s General Manager Brad Teachout was there to accept the award.
Live video chat: Friday, April 26 at 10 a.m.
Teachout is scheduled to answer questions posted in the comments section below during a live video chat at grbj.com. The chat will be filmed via webcam at Bistro Bella Vita and streamed live below.
Teachout will discuss the farm-to-table movement, the expansive martini bar and how you keep a menu fresh, but true to a restaurant's personality, among other topics.
What questions do you have for Teachout and Bistro Bella Vita? Post your questions — before or during the chat — and look out for the live discussion.
Watch a recording of the live video chat below.
Editor's note: Reporter Pat Evans moderated the chat on-site at Bistro Bella Vita. Evans' brother-in-law works at Essence Restaurant Group.