Bon appetit! Here are the 9 best restaurants at GOLF’s Top 100 Resorts

October 2, 2019

There’s nothing wrong with a burger at the bar or a hot dog at the turn. But golf club grub can be so much more. Our Top 100 Resorts brim with restaurants that offer something more than the same-old golf course sustenance. Here are nine dining experiences that stand out.

THE GEORGIAN ROOM, SEA ISLAND RESORT, SEA ISLAND, GA

This elegant restaurant has a dress code, (no shorts, please!) which doesn’t mean it’s stuffy. It just reflects the seriousness of its intent. As the only Forbes Five-Star restaurant in the state, it offers refined, white-tablecloth dining under the glow of chandeliers. In this sophisticated setting, a foie gras terrine somehow feels just right. But don’t stop there. Both the a la carte menu and the six-course prix fixe abound in indulgences, from bluefin tuna with artichokes and olives to creamy sunchoke and truffle soup.

IL VIGNETO, ROSEWOOD, CORDEVALLE, SAN MARTIN, CA

When you’ve traveled a long way for a golf vacation, you don’t want your food to have done the same, Here, in a region brimming with agricultural bounty, Il Vigneto keeps things hyper-seasonal and local, drawing all its produce from farms with a 30-mile radius of the resort. Married with proteins of impeccable pedigree (free range poultry, grass-fed beef, line-caught fish, and on) these fresh ingredients shine in sparkling Cal-Med dishes such as California rack of lamb with broccoli and fennel, and halibut with sunchokes and tomato confit.

THE IMMIGRANT RESTAURANT, THE AMERICAN CLUB, KOHLER, WI

The dining room in this graceful, dark-wood accented restaurant is divided into a series of six rooms, each paying homage to early Wisconsin settlers: French, Dutch, German, Normandy, Danish and English. As for the menu, ornamented with such items as quail eggs with braised bacon and black garlic, and grilled wagyu short ribs with fiddlehead ferns, it offers just the sort of dishes that those settlers would have eaten, if they’d graduated from culinary school.

The King Crab at Addison.
Courtesy

ADDISON RESTAURANT, FAIRMONT GRAND DEL MAR, SAN DIEGO, CA

Supply a French-trained chef with seasonal ingredients from California’s finest fisheries and farms, then give him full creative license, and you wind up with masterful cooking that marries West Coast currents with precise Gallic technique. That’s a fancy way of saying that chef William Bradley’s four-course tasting menu at Southern California’s only AAA Five Star-rated restaurant is not the sort of thing you often get post-golf. On a recent evening, dinner moved from sake-cured kampachi to mussels in green curry to veal in a puffed pastry with bordelaise sauce before closing with a lusty chocolate pie. Maybe you’d prefer a club sandwich. In that case, we have nothing more to say.

THE DEUCE, PINEHURST RESORT, PINEHURST, NC

Given all the historic things that have happened at Pinehurst — 10 USGA Championships and a Ryder Cup among them — the opening of a restaurant might get overlooked. But not a restaurant that overlooks the 18th green of iconic Pinehurst No. 2. With a bar area that opens to the clubhouse veranda, where guests have gathered for decades to watch history unfold, The Deuce serves lunch every day until 3 p.m., and a smart bar menu through the afternoon and evening. The cooking is what you might call clubhouse-chic, with classic dishes deftly upgraded. Witness the Deuce Burger, which stars a juicy patty made from a ground short rib and brisket blend.

The country ham and pimento sandwich at Pinehurst.
Courtesy

PANORAMA RESTAURANT AT CABOT LINKS, CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA

When you’re finished soaking up the ocean views, feast your eyes on what’s coming from the kitchen. We’re talking heaping platters of Cape Breton oysters; and halibut ceviche; and creamy seafood chowder stocked with lobster, scallops, haddock bacon and potatoes. You get the picture. Like the glorious links the restaurant overlooks, the cooking has a vivid sense of place.

THE TAP ROOM AT PEBBLE BEACH RESORTS, PEBBLE BEACH, CA

After 18 holes that leave you walking on air, the 19th leads you downstairs to an upbeat tavern with iconic memorabilia on the walls and elevated pub grub on the menu. Sure, you pay a premium, but it’s all worth it while scarfing down a burger made from Kobe beef.

THE PENROSE ROOM, THE BROADMOOR, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO

High-end dining takes on a fresh dimension when you’re sitting up, up, up in the Rocky Mountains, enjoying sweeping views of the surrounding peaks. But let’s flesh out the picture further. The Penrose Room offers both a three-course and a five-course menu, each of which lives up to its soaring ambitions. Standout dishes include hickory-smoked ham with avocado mousse and slow-cooked sablefish with sweet onion soubise. The hay-baked squab, with barley, roasted beets and wild ramps would be delicious on its own. But the truffle-enhanced sauce perigourdine it’s served with elevates the flavors to staggering heights.

A delectable entree at Sand Valley.
Nick Ulivieri

MAMMOTH BAR AND ALDO’S AT SAND VALLEY GOLF RESORT, NEKOOSA, WI

When you build a golf resort in a unique setting, the food should fit uniquely in the surrounds. So it goes at this Wisconsin golf mecca, the latest project from Mike Keiser and his family, who also brought us Bandon Dunes. Like McKee’s Pub, at Bandon, on the Oregon coast, Sand Valley’s main hangout, the Mammoth Bar & Lounge, serves the kind of hearty fare you want after a long day on the links, but it does so with a menu rooted in the Midwest. The result is an array of regional dishes, like bison chili and Great Lakes walleye and charred pork tenderloin with mustard spaetzle. Come July, the resort will unveil Aldo’s, an elevated high-end clubhouse restaurant with refined comfort cooking. Its signature item: a 75-ounce steak designed to feed a hungry foursome.

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