Off the Beaten Track

Five restaurants tucked away in unexpected places.
Barbeque chicken flatbread pizza at The Bistro is an elegant way to satisfy late-night hunger.

With so many dining options in Maple Grove, it’s hard to make the daily, weekly or monthly decision of where to eat out. Unbeknownst to many residents, several hotels and other establishments house restaurants with deliciously tasteful menu items right under our noses.

From savory soups and entrees to comforting breakfast choices and creative drink options, here are five hidden restaurants to consider for your next meal out.

The Bistro

Located inside Courtyard Marriott Maple Grove, the atmosphere inside The Bistro sets the perfect scene for business casual meetings and friendly gatherings. Guests will find breakfast classics served in the morning and tapas style small plates, sandwiches and flatbreads served in the evening. Food and beverage director Andrew Rohlik describes the morning scramble as “your down home basic breakfast,” and it includes whole eggs—regular or egg whites—with bacon or sausage, potatoes or fruit and toast ($10.20). For those seeking a sweeter option, Rohlik suggests the French toast: thick cut Texas toast, dipped in batter made in-house with fresh vanilla, heavy cream, eggs and cinnamon. Each order comes with freshly cut strawberries on top ($8.25).

During dinner, Rohlik recommends any of the varieties of flatbread. The most popular is the barbeque chicken, topped with bacon, scallions, cheddar jack cheese and barbeque chicken pieces ($9). “We took it off the menu and ended up bringing it back because people were raving about it,” he says. The Bistro offers an extensive wine and liquor list, many of which pair nicely with what’s on the menu. Try the spicy tropical margarita ($9) and discover Mexican chili pepper spice lining the glass rim, instead of salt, for a little extra zest.

Despite its location inside Courtyard Marriott, The Bistro welcomes any and all guests to dine in. “We want everybody outside to come and try our food,” adds Rohlik. “We don’t want it to be attached specifically to [staying at] the hotel; anyone is welcome.” 11871 Fountains Way; 763.425.5355.

Garden Grille and Bar

One of multiple accommodations in Maple Grove, Hilton Garden Inn welcomes guests and community residents alike to enjoy a meal in the cozy restaurant dining space at Garden Grille and Bar. “Our cooking is creative American cuisine,” says kitchen supervisor and head chef Arielle Black.Additionally, Black rotates through different menu specials that include Indian, Thai and Italian food.

Try the popular salmon entrée, served with sesame ginger sauce and baby bok choy ($20) or the walleye, pan fried or broiled with garlic lemon butter ($22). Both entrées come with two side choices and steamed asparagus. Black recommends pairing either dish with one of their many available varieties of wine. “We’re not your average hotel restaurant,” she says. “I put my heart and soul into [the restaurant] and we take pride in our food here.” 6350 Vinewood Lane; 763.509.9500.

Four Seasons Café

Nestled inside Maple Grove Hospital, Four Seasons Café prides itself on four different seasonal menus that appeal to a variety of tastes. The café houses two main hot food stations. Paninis, sandwiches, melts and burger specials with a variety of toppings can be found at the grill station. The sauté station provides entrée items such as stir-fry or more homestyle meals like potpies, carved meat and fish selections. In addition to the seasonally rotating menus, the general menu at Four Seasons Café changes each week.

Throughout the six years she has been with Four Seasons, food service manager Amy Vajgrt describes the three most popular dishes they offer: the quesadilla ($5), grilled Reuben ($4.49) and chicken wild rice soup (8 ounces, $2.45; 12 ounces, $3.20). “Soup is something people go to; it’s comforting to eat, it’s warm and creamy,” Vajgrt says. “We’re in Minnesota so wild rice is popular.” Four Seasons Café also offers an assortment of bottled beverages such as juice, milk, teas and more. Starbucks Coffee specialty mochas, lattes and cold blended drinks are available, too.

Four Seasons Café provides more than just a meal. “It’s a place that a lot of people have meetings and come to hang with friends,” Vajgrt adds. “There’s a sense of community when people are eating here.” 9875 Hospital Drive; 763.581.1000.

Palazzo Ristorante

Weekends at Holiday Inn Arbor Lakes are bustling with families visiting the area. Inside the hotel, Palazzo Ristorante offers a family-friendly space for both breakfast and dinner, open to both hotel guests and residents to enjoy homemade meals. Those dining at Palazzo Ristorante will find American cuisine with a touch of bistro food. “We have fun with the food,” says food and beverage director Amy Meyer. “We have lots of fun burgers to choose from with everything from cheese curds to onion rings and great sauces on top.”

Meyer suggests “keeping it very Minnesota” and trying the walleye fingers, beer battered by hand and served with a cranberry aioli ($11). For those looking for a zestier bite, she recommends chef Chris Hammerbeck’s famous buffalo chicken wontons. With crispy chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, onions, green peppers, cream cheese and hot sauce blended in a wonton wrapper and deep-fried, this appetizer is said to be addictive ($7).

Palazzo Ristorante has plenty of wines to choose from. For a celebration, try the Carousel Blanc de Blancs champagne. “This is a place to relax, chill and choose from a great food selection,” adds Meyer. “We have a nice little bar and we definitely put in a lot of effort to make our food delicious.” 11801 Fountains Way N.; 763.425.3800.

Henry’s Café

A self-proclaimed diner and café, Henry’s—nestled into the corner of the Eagle Nest Plaza—offers American homestyle cooking. Guests at Henry’s Café will find a breakfast and lunch menu full of cozy comfort food. One popular item on the menu is the biscuits and gravy. A breakfast staple, this specialty is served by itself—one biscuit smothered in sausage gravy—($5.99) with two eggs or hash browns or American fries ($7.29–$9.29). No. 1 on the menu is probably the most popular, according to owner Henry Lange. This order comes with two scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, hashbrowns and one biscuit with sausage gravy ($10.99). “With [the No. 1] you’re getting a lot for what you’re paying,” says Lange, “You get a taste of everything.”

Henry’s Café offers homemade menu items, including breads and soups made from scratch. The lunch menu also includes 1/3-pound burgers with or without sides ($5.99–$9.39), patty melts ($8.99), grilled BLTs ($8.29), grilled cheese ($5.99) and other sandwiches, served with fries, potato salad or coleslaw. 9691 63rd Avenue N.; 763.533.2304.