EAST GULL LAKE -- Shhhhh. Keep it a secret.
Hidden in the woods in East Gull Lake is a dining spot so unique and inviting that it's bound to become overrun by tourists and seasonals if we don't keep it to ourselves.
Sure, you must be saying to yourself, how selfish and arrogant is that!? But then, you probably haven't eaten at The Classic Grill yet. Trust me, you'll be thinking the same thing once you've been there.
Unless you're a golfer, you've possibly never heard of The Classic Grill, which is located at Madden's Resort Classic clubhouse. The restaurant has been open since the golf course opened in 1997, but this is the first year it's been open during the winter.
The Classic Grill at The Classic at Madden's Resort in East Gull Lake is only open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the winter season.
The restaurant is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Each month has a different theme for its specials.
During November, The Classic Grill has gone wild, offering meals like stuffed ringneck pheasant, roasted wild turkey, classic quail and buffalo. I have to admit, the idea of eating wild game didn't appeal to me at all. I'd never even tried venison before.
But with an open mind, I took my grandmother and daughter to The Classic Grill on Friday. We shared the roasted wild turkey and the Buffalo short ribs, which also come with venison sausage dressing, acorn squash and mashed potatoes.
It was very good. We were amazed at the detail and garnishes put into the design of each plate served.
This Thursday through Saturday, The Classic is offering classic quail or a prime buffalo skirt steak. Nov. 22-24, they'll serve the two most popular wild game dishes served during the month. The Classic Wild menu varies in cost from $12.95 for the wild turkey dinner to $18.95 for the buffalo prime rib that was served Nov. 2-4.
Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and drink specials are offered between 4 and 5:30 p.m. There are other offerings in case you're not interested in the Classic Wild menu. Madden's Resort Executive Chef is Bob Schuld and Brian Magnuson is the chef at The Classic Grill.
In December, the menu at The Classic Grill will change to holiday classics. January's menu will include wine dinners. February will be couple's month, offering couple's dinner combinations. In March, The Classic Grill will offer classic seafood.
The dining area is very open, yet intimate, and feels as though you're eating in a friend's spacious lake home rather than at a restaurant. It is complete with a large, open fireplace. For a fee, diners can get a basket of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows to make their own s'mores on the back patio, which has two burning fire pits. Outdoor heaters also keep the patio warm for diners who are reluctant to sit outside in the chilly weather.
My 7-year-old daughter couldn't wait to brag to her friends that she ate buffalo, wild turkey and venison. She enjoyed eating at The Classic Grill, but I would have to say the restaurant is more of a dining experience for adults, rather than children. But children can order chicken tenders and walleye fingers off the appetizer menu.
To make a reservation at The Classic Grill, call 828-0991.
But keep it a secret, OK?
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