Belize has some luxurious high-end hotels sprinkled around the country, and Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge is one of the ones you’ll find in the Cayo district. Their restaurant, Grove House, meets the expectations you would have from such a hotel, and their “field to table eatery” concept means you’re getting the freshest ingredients in your dishes, some of which are Belizean-inspired fusion.
You do not have to be a guest of the lodge to dine here, but I would recommend either calling for reservations or going during off-hours before all their guests descend upon the restaurant before/after their daily tours. We only had the chance to go once, so this review is based solely on our dinner experience.
With its thatched roof and wooden decor, the restaurant is both casual yet fancy. The dinner ambiance is dark, and while most of the tables are bathed in small pools of light, there are a few small tables that only benefit from the romantic but meager light of a kerosene lamp. We were seated at one of these small tables, which meant it was a bit difficult to see our food (something I’m not a fan of) and you would catch an unfortunate occasional whiff of kerosene as you dined. These were, however, the only drawbacks to our dinner experience (well, maybe in addition to the somewhat cheesy guitar music which included versions of “Unchained Melody”, the theme from Godfather, and “Feelings”).
The service and food were both excellent, as would be expected from a 5-star hotel/restaurant. Our server, Laby, was very polite, knew the menu well, and was genuinely friendly and down-to-earth to boot.
What We Ordered
Though I’m not often a fan of prix fixe menus, Grove House offered a good selection, allowing us a taste of a variety of dishes. The 3-course prix fixe menu included appetizer, entrée, and dessert.
- Chicken and Veggie Soup
- Ribeye with Mushroom Sauce and Onion Rings
- Cardamom Grilled Pork Chops
- Maya Mountain Cacao Cake
- Sweet Potato Pie
I will say right off the bat that just about everything was perfect. The soup was simple but flavorful, the rib eye was very tender and perfectly prepared, the veggies and mashed potato sides that accompanied each entrée were also tasty, as were both desserts. My only one complaint about the food was that the pork chops were a little on the dry side, but the tangy sauce served with it made it delicious.
Since we couldn’t decide on dessert, we asked Laby to surprise us, and she picked the Sweet Potato Pie and the Maya Mountain Cacao Cake. Both excellent choices – just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy the dessert cravings without being too sweet.
I apologize for the pics, but as I said before, it was quite dark at our table (even the menu came with a light) and we were so ravenously hungry by the time our food came out that I didn’t pause long for quality photos!
Overall, this is an excellent choice in restaurants if you’re looking for some high-end food with fresh ingredients. The prices are also pretty reasonable for the caliber of food and service, and they serve good-sized portions. Dinner entrees are roughly USD$15-16. Both of our prix fixe meals + cocktail for Alex + tip came out to about USD$80. This is obviously not going to be a down-home authentic Belizean experience, but if you’re looking for a restaurant to indulge in a quality splurge, Grove House is a great choice.