South of Turlock on State Route 165 in a small town called Stevinson is a hidden gem restaurant called Xaviers Grove Restaurant and Bar that has fine dining options without the white tablecloth.
Stevinson Ranch was once a golf course that had a restaurant called The Grove Bar and Grill several years ago. Tony Xavier took over ownership of the restaurant as a one-year trial business venture with his now ex-wife. The business fizzled out along with the marriage but it turned around when Xavier’s daughter Lauren purchased it in 2016.
Although there have been several challenges, including the pandemic and a current labor shortage, the Grove has managed to survive and continues to bring locals, ranchers, cattlemen, hunters, travelers and guests of all kinds a variety of tasty options like linguini, pan seared salmon, jambalaya, grilled chicken, lamb chops, salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and hand-cut choice certified angus beef.
“The menu originally got started with me and my ex-wife,” said Tony. “Since Lauren took it over, she has refined it in conjunction with us. The menu is escalated and made things I think more appealing to the general public.”
The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and on Sundays they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and during duck hunting season they serve breakfast on Saturdays as well. Chef Aldo Quiroz has been with them since the beginning and has assisted in creating the menu. He is the main dinner chef and runs the grill along with a few other cooks throughout the week to make sure the quality of food is top notch and consistent.
A customer favorite at the Grove is pizza made right on the grill outside with a variety of toppings. The sandwiches and burgers are also a hit.
The American cuisine with an emphasis on being somewhat of a steakhouse has guests coming back for their Choice Certified Angus New York, Ribeye, and Cowboy Cut steaks along with all the fixings. They offer lobster tail on Fridays and Saturdays for those that may want that surf and turf.
The 7 oz. loin lamb chops with rosemary and garlic served with a red wine reduction and two sides and the French cut New Zealand rack of lamb have been top sellers.
“A lot of people come back for the lamb and our steaks,” added Lauren. “We actually for probably about a year now have always had done lamb chops but we added rack of lamb to the menu and that has done really well. We have a lot of people that come back time and time again for that.”
The Grove may be tucked back in an area a little off the beaten path but they serve people from all over the 209. And while the offerings sound like a fine dining, white tablecloth establishment make no mistake; they are a casual, family restaurant.
“In general, we focus on more of a causal type atmosphere,” stated Lauren. “We have local ranchers and cattlemen that come in during the day covered in dust and dirt and people that come in for dinner that are a little more put together. We are casual dining but we do try to make sure that our food is top notch. We try to make sure you get your money’s worth.”
Xaviers Grove celebrates its five-year anniversary this August.
XAVIERS GROVE RESTAURANT AND BAR
2700 Van Clief Road
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday - Thursday
11 a.m. to midnight Friday & Saturday
9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday