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Savor Gourmet Dining at Clark: A Top Choice for Senior Living

At Clark, dining is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. With two beautiful locations at Keller Lake and Franklin, Clark offers a variety of dining options, all with a restaurant-style menu featuring daily chef-prepared meals. The cuisine is designed to be balanced, healthy and delicious. We had the pleasure of speaking with Clark’s Head Chef, James Bailey, to learn more about what makes dining at Clark unique and to highlight the many delicious options available.

Head Chef James Bailey.

Chef James Bailey’s passion for cooking is evident in every dish he creates. With a culinary degree from Grand Rapids Community College, a hospitality degree from Grand Valley State University, and a nutritional certification from the Culinary Institute in Napa Valley, Chef Bailey brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Clark. 

“Even after a long day, I still go home and enjoy cooking.” – James Bailey, Clark Head Chef

Fresh Ingredients and Meals Prepared From Scratch

The dining experience at Clark is distinguished by the use of fresh, daily ingredients and meals prepared from scratch. Chef Bailey emphasizes the importance of knowing the residents’ likes and dislikes, ensuring a personalized dining experience. The team at Clark is carefully selected, with many staff members coming from high-end restaurant backgrounds.

A Culinary Array of Menu Offerings

Residents at both Keller Lake and Franklin locations are treated to a diverse range of meals and dining options. From filet mignon and salmon filet to prime rib, burgers, salads, and comfort foods, there’s something to please every palate. The menus are constantly rotating, featuring weekly themed cuisines from around the world, including Italian, Asian, and German dishes just to name a few.

Resident Favorites and Special Dietary Needs

While Clark’s menus change frequently to offer variety, some dishes become resident favorites that are often requested. Chef Bailey notes, “Residents will say, ‘Why did you take that item off the menu, it was my favorite,’ but we rotate the menus so they can see different items and those become their new favorites.”

For residents with special dietary needs, Clark offers numerous vegetarian options and the ability to customize dishes to meet preferences. The base ingredients used are low-sodium, and residents can add their own spices as desired. Every day, the staff reviews the menu items and features that cater to dietary preferences, ensuring everyone finds something they love.

Special Events and Themed Dinners

Top photo: Chef Kyle, who took first place with his delectable waffle bowls with peach ice cream and pecans, and Chef Katie, who won second place with her scrumptious deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Bottom photos: Our talented chefs celebrating with Clark residents, sharing smiles and delicious creations.

Clark hosts a variety of special events and themed dinners to keep the dining experience exciting. One highlight is the Iron Chef competition, where eight chefs within the organization prepare their favorite themed dishes for residents to try. Additionally, every two weeks, residents can enjoy a multi-course meal, and during holiday brunches, Clark offers multiple action stations, including an omelet bar, pancake bar, yogurt station, mimosa bar, and carving station.

Commitment to Nutrition

Nutrition is a cornerstone of Clark’s dining program. The meals follow federal and state guidelines for portion sizes, and a registered dietitian on campus oversees the menus. This ensures that every meal not only tastes great but also meets the nutritional needs of the residents.

Resident and Family Feedback

Feedback from residents and their families plays a crucial role in menu planning at Clark. Chef Bailey shares that they utilize a computer-generated program for residents and family members to provide feedback on meals. “We have a 96% positive feedback rate,” he proudly states, highlighting the community’s satisfaction with the dining options.

Dining at Keller Lake Apartments

At Keller Lake Apartments, residents can enjoy diverse dining options with both the Bistro and the Restaurant offering unique experiences. The Bistro is the perfect spot for a casual meal or a coffee with a friend, featuring a variety of seating options including large farm tables for gatherings. With indoor seating and a beautiful piazza overlooking Keller Lake, residents can savor homemade soups, freshly baked goods like muffins and scones, fresh salads, and a variety of panini options. Meals can be enjoyed at the bistro or taken to go, and a full bar enhances the dining experience. The piazza frequently hosts live music and other events, making it a vibrant and inviting space.

The Restaurant offers a more upscale dining experience with a casual atmosphere, featuring bar seating, booths, tables, and a private dining room for 16 that can be reserved by residents. It’s the ideal venue for intimate evenings out or gathering with friends for dinner and drinks. The menu boasts epicurean entrees such as Chilean sea bass, filet mignon, shrimp scampi, and more, along with a daily special feature and a full bar. Together, these dining options provide residents with a variety of delectable choices and a welcoming community atmosphere.

Dining at Franklin

At our Franklin location, residents can enjoy dining with friends in the main Dining Room or opt for convenient grab-and-go options at the Chatterbox Cafe. The main Dining Room offers a delightful culinary experience with dishes such as a Michigan white fish filet, gluten-free pasta carbonara or a savory chicken dish featuring local ingredients. For a quick yet satisfying meal, the Chatterbox Cafe provides a variety of delicious options like a classic sandwich or a fresh and vibrant salad. Whether dining in or taking a meal to go, residents at Franklin enjoy a diverse selection of menu offerings that cater to every taste and preference.

Experience Clark’s Dining Excellence

For those considering a move to Clark, the exceptional dining experience is a major selling point. If you’d like to learn more about our vibrant community, fill out the form below. You can also talk with one of our Senior Living Advisors by calling 616-278-6520 or emailing Experience firsthand why so many residents and their families rave about the dining and live at Clark.

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