Home Features Palio Ristorante brings authentic Tuscan taste to Grand Rapids

Palio Ristorante brings authentic Tuscan taste to Grand Rapids

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An outside look of Palio Ristorante located at 545 Michigan St. NE (Courtesy Photo/Shandra Martinez|MLive)

By Mathew Pratt

Authentic Tuscan dishes have made their way over to the West side of the mitten, with the opening of Palio, a restaurant offering dishes like Italian entrees, Tuscan pizzas and a full service bar. 

Palio opened their first location in 1991 in Ann Arbor, and then opened a second location in 2017 in Grand Rapids at 545 Michigan St. NE. The name ‘Palio’ is named after horse races that happen in Siena, Italy. In the restaurant, there are flags hung for decoration throughout the restaurant to represent neighborhoods in Italy so West Michigan customers can experience Italian culture. 

On top of that, the restaurant seats over 150 guests inside and 50 people on their outdoor patio. Palio is open for lunch (takeout only) and dinner. Their menu features a happy hour with food and drink specials. 

Nicole McGeorge is one of the chefs at the Grand Rapids location. She’s been at the restaurant for two years and said she enjoys working there because of the staff she gets to work with. Her favorite meal she gets to cook on the menu is the Bolognese pasta, which is a pork and veal meat sauce with fresh pappardelle, tomatoes, sage, lemon and cream. 

“I started really enjoying cooking when I started cooking dinners for my family when I was in high school,” McGeorge said. 

Her first restaurant experience was bussing tables and running food which led her into food prepping. 

“I got into the restaurant business at 15 because my parents said I needed to get a job.” McGeorge said. 

Palio is open seven days a week for dine-in from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Takeout hours are from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m everyday except Sundays, which closes at 8 p.m.

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