The Garden Grille & Bar (inside Hilton Garden Inn)

. April 30, 2015.

The Garden Grille & Bar 

1050 Interstate Dr., Findlay


Dinner from 5pm to 9pm, everyday

Breakfast also open to public for $9.95, order a special from the chef’s counter and/or eat from the breakfast buffet. 6am to 10am Monday – Friday and 7am to 11am Saturday and Sunday. Closed for lunch.

Find them on Facebook under Hilton Garden Inn Findlay. In-house catering for up to 350 guests available. Carryout available.

Psssst…You’re not going to believe this…but there IS a place in Findlay that you can enjoy a great dinner in a pleasant atmosphere and slip right in to a table – on the weekend!

Lean in close now, and I’ll tell you.

Wait…do I want to tell you?

Ok, I guess I will – I’m nice like that.

This wonderful gem is The Garden Grille & Bar inside the newly-built Hilton Garden Inn. The hotel opened in December and the public is welcome at the Garden Grille, but so far mostly only weekday travelers have discovered this great place to eat and relax. Our family dined there on a Friday night, and while there were a few people in the lounge and at the bar, we could hardly believe we were the only ones there to eat.

Dazzling entrance 

The modern-feel of the restaurant is part of the lobby –  spacious, open, and really, pretty magnificent. Columns adorned with long, flowing curtains reach to a high, glass ceiling with dangling lights. Among pleasant earth tones, there are booths and wooden tables for seating, topped with flameless candles.

The menu is standard among Hilton Garden Inn restaurants, but Chef Casey Johnson said there are always specials available, and he adds his own flair to the dishes. He uses nut-free and soy-free oils for cooking, and can accommodate any diet (gluten-free or vegetarian for example), just let him know.

The menu is fairly concise but offers a nice variety to suit anyone’s fancy. Options include several soups and salads, a few appetizers and sides, burgers, a flatbread, sandwiches and five entrees, for example NY Strip, Fish and Chips and Bourbon Apple Pork Tenderloin. Dessert is also available.

I chose a special for my meal that night – lemon butter salmon with asparagus and fresh fruit on the side. The salmon was delicious, cooked perfectly with a salty tang to the sauce. The asparagus was also very nice – just enough crunch and with a savory flavor.

I was also impressed with the fruit, consisting of strawberry, cantaloupe, honeydew melon and blueberry. It appeared to be, and tasted as though it was cut fresh. You never know what you will get when you order fruit at restaurants, so I chalk that up as another accolade to The Garden Grille.

My husband requested a double order of wings from the appetizer menu, and asked for the chef to make them extra hot. I know wings are made to his liking when even catching a whiff of spice from across the table smarts the old nostrils. He was very happy with the hotness, and also remarked that they were nice, meaty wings.

The kids both ordered chicken tenders and fries (How else could they survive?), and thought they were quite tasty. I enjoyed the presentation of their food – the tenders in a cute little orange ceramic bowl, delivered with the hand-cut fries on a wooden cutting board. It was a nice added appeal to a meal selection I have seen served infinite times.

My 9-year-old son also ordered a side salad, which was colorful and fresh and made me a little envious. Meanwhile, my 6-year-old daughter was excited by the bread basket we received – especially thrilling were the pieces of butter shaped like delicate flowers, the Hilton symbol.

Outdoor seating coming soon 

We will definitely be back to The Garden Grille & Bar. Both our server, Shirilee Demlow, and Chef Johnson were extremely friendly and helpful, the food was great and the atmosphere unique and fun. The desserts we sampled were tasty too.

Demlow said that as warm weather approaches the outdoor patio will be open for dining, and they hope to bring in live bands on the weekends. Perfect!

Somehow, I have a feeling the quiet weekends won’t last there for long… 

The Short Course

Kid-friendly Yes.

To avoid wait Weekdays busier than weekends, but plenty of space available.

Noise level Quiet with music

Bathroom amenities Bathroom absolutely pristine. Full-length mirror and changing table.

High chairs Yes, and booster seats

Got Milk? White and chocolate

Kid’s menu? Yes

Food allergy concerns? Let your server know and the chef can accommodate. Already using soy-free and nut-free oils. Well-versed in gluten-free and vegetarian. Just ask – he believes in saying, “Yes.”