Six.One.Six—Where Classic French Concept Meets Contemporary Taste
By Chef Alessandro Guerrazzi, Chef de Cuisine, JW Marriott Grand Rapids
While most know six.one.six for its signature flatbreads, tempura tuna roll and six.one.six. burger (which, by the way, are still available at Mixology Lounge and the jdek), the downtown waterfront locale has transformed from a global culinary destination to offer downtown Grand Rapids one of the most curated menus of French cuisine.
Why the new concept, you ask? The culinary team at JW Marriott Grand Rapids recognized an opportunity to introduce an underrepresented cuisine to the region, and to broaden West Michigan’s culinary flavor profiles with authentic, curated cuisine. Having just joined the team in February, I was eager to learn more about this opportunity and put my French cooking skills to the test. I had been familiar with six.one.six as one of the first farm-to-table restaurants in Grand Rapids when it opened in 2007 and having an integral role in the next phase of the restaurant’s evolution was truly a career highlight for me.
A little about me – I am classically trained in French cuisine, a native of Italy, and my cooking and management style is heavily influenced by my European roots and global culinary experience. I graduated from Santa Barbara City College and the Culinary Academy Marco Polo in Genoa, Italy, where I received degrees in restaurant, hotel and culinary management. I began my career as an instructor of fine dining in Southern California before moving to the East Coast to pursue an executive sous chef position in North Carolina. Upon my return to California, I opened an Italian eatery and café, bringing the menu concepts and interior layouts from ideation to reality. Most recently, I was executive chef at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining in Grand Rapids and held executive chef and chef de cuisine roles in in Italy and California.
Inspired by my training in classic French cuisine, my new menu melds traditional French flavors and contemporary, local favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast staples include fresh baked pastries, charcuterie and cheese boards. Signature lunch and dinner dishes include tarte flambée, onion soup gratinée, filet mignon au poivre, coq au vin and pear clafoutis.
And of course, a French restaurant wouldn’t be complete without an expansive selection of wine. Our wine list will boast the largest selection of French wine in Grand Rapids and feature labels such as: 2015 Domain Jean Louis Chave L’Hermitage Rouge and Blanc, 2011 Chateau Pichon Comtesse de Lalande Grand Cru, 2013 henri Prudhon | Les Chambres | Chassagne Montrachet, 2015 Domaine Tessier | Les Genevrieres | Meursault premier cru.
Quintessential French-inspired touches include baguettes baked fresh daily, house made pasta and rotisserie chicken on display in an open kitchen. Classic and contemporary melodies echo throughout the restaurant, complementing furnishings and tableware that inspire a French ambiance and aesthetic.
Whether it be a simple breakfast or decadent dinner, I hope you’ll consider six.one.six for your next meal out on the town.